Friday, October 4, 2013

Guest Post: Looking After Outdoor Furniture During The Winter Months

I've got another guest post for you all today! I don't know about you, but here in Southern California we are still having summer-like weather (it's been slowly cooling down, though - yay!). But, with school back in session and since Fall is officially here, it's time to start thinking about winding down the outdoor activities.  Amy is guest posting today with some ideas for looking after outdoor furniture during the winter months...

We all love spending time outside; there’s something about those late summer nights, the sound of crickets chirping and that summer night-time smell that brings back a plethora of memories. But caring for our outdoor furniture can be another matter entirely. Just thinking about it can be a drain but caring for your patio or garden furniture doesn't have to be inconvenient or difficult. Taking a bit of time throughout the year and at the end of summer can save you a significant amount of money, and make your outdoor furniture last for years. Below, is a little guide to the maintenance and storage of your outdoor furnishings.

Aluminum, Wrought Iron and Other Metal Furniture
Aluminum isn't supposed to rust, but if you leave your furniture outside all year long, the elements can do some serious damage.
If you can store your furniture inside (for example in a garage, shed or even a storage unit) during the winter, that's great. If you can't, there's still hope. Umbrellas should be moved indoors to avoid breakage and seat cushions should be stored somewhere warm and dry to keep mold at bay. Covering the table with a tarp should be sufficient protection for the winter months.
Before covering your table for the winter, wash it with water and a gentle detergent, and allow it to air dry. Apply a coat of automobile wax for extra protection. If your patio or garden furniture is looking a little worse for wear, remove any surface rust, and then use an outdoor-friendly spray paint in the correct color.

Plastic Furniture
You may think plastic tables and chairs are 'cheap', but replacing them can be expensive. Avoid the need for costly replacement by washing your furniture with water, drying it, and storing it indoors. Plastic furniture left in the sun (even during the winter) can become brittle, eventually cracking and breaking. To remove mold, mildew or stubborn dirt, use a Magic Eraser pad and a little 'elbow grease'.

Wooden Furnishings
Teakwood naturally turns silver over time, but you can prevent the color change by oiling it at the end of the season and prior to winter storage. Like any other kind of outdoor furnishings, wooden furniture lasts longer if it's stored indoors or covered with a waterproof cloth. However, if you do leave yours outside, protect it with acrylic stain or paint.
Covered Cushions
Replacing your seat cushions is a simple and cost-effective way to give your old furniture a new look. Before stowing away, clean cushions and umbrellas thoroughly with a solution of dish detergent, one cup of bleach and a gallon of water.
A quick tip for year round maintenance: it's best to have a dedicated, dry storage spot for your acrylic or fabric cushions during the usage season. The sun's rays can fade and stain fabrics eventually, so to extend your cushions' life, take them outdoors only when needed.

Rattan and Wicker Furniture
Bamboo, rattan and wicker furniture is difficult to maintain, and it's not intended to be kept outside in the elements. This kind of furniture should always be kept clean and dry, and it should be stored indoors during summer storms and during the wintertime. When cleaning your rattan or wicker, first vacuum it carefully, or wipe it with a cloth. If your furniture needs washing, use a moist cloth and a bit of liquid detergent. For extra shine, treat your rattan with furniture polish once it's dry.
Once you know how, caring for your outdoor furniture is quite simple. With the tips above, you can care for and store your furnishings during the winter--and they'll be ready to use when spring and summer come around. It’s always best to store furniture indoors if possible, but if not these tips should help to extend its life and keep it looking its best for longer.

Amy is a media graduate with a passion for home improvement and design and creative home crafts. Combining this with her love to write, she blogs on various different home related topics across the web. For this article, she has collaborated with Bingham Self Storage who offer storage services for everything from classic cars to furniture.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a message below - I will respond back via email, but if you have a no-reply or don't leave an email address, then I will reply below your comment. Thanks for taking the time to visit and commenting! It's much, much appreciated.