Colder temperatures are heading our way, and,sadly, this means outdoor time on the patio will be very limited for the next few months. At Bart Fireside, every fall season brings questions from customers concerning what they should do with their patio furniture to protect it from the elements during the cold winter. Many believe they must place their patio furnishings in storage until warmer weather returns in the spring; however, most outdoor furniture is durable enough to withstand exposure to winter weather elements. Depending on the material of the furniture, you can take some extra precautions to prepare your furniture for surviving the winter. We at Bart Fireside would like to share with you some tips from Bob Vila on how to winterize your patio furniture.
Metal Patio Furniture
If your furniture is aluminum, most likely it has been powder coated during the manufacturing process to prevent rusting. All you will need to do to furniture made from aluminum is washing it and then applying a coat of automotive wax for added protection. If you have wrought iron patio furniture, you need to take extra precautions to prevent rusting. If you see any accumulation of rust, you can remove it with a wire brush. Apply a coat of exterior spray paint made to protect wrought iron and cover the furniture with a high quality tarp for the winter months.
Plastic Patio Furniture
Needing little care, plastic furniture should be cleaned and dried once summer is over. Since extreme cold temperatures can cause plastic to become brittle, you do need to store your plastic patio furniture indoors if you live in a climate with frequent freezes.
Fabric Patio Furniture
To prepare acrylic fabrics for the winter, you need to wash them according to the manufacturer’s instructions because even though this material is made to deter mildew, it can harbor mold if the fabric is dirty. Cushions and anything else stuffed with foam should be placed in a dry spot for the winter. If you find any tough stains on your fabric furnishings, you can attempt to remove these stains with a mixture of bleach and detergent. However, you should avoid using bleach on any cotton or printed fabrics.
Wood Patio Furniture
Teak is the wood used to make a majority of patio furniture because of its durability. Teak will turn silver over time and exposure to the elements, so if you want the wood to stay its original color, you need to apply a specialty oil to the wood at least once a year. For painted wood patio furniture, you can replenish its fading color with an acrylic paint made for exterior use. If you have wicker furniture, it can stay outdoors if it is synthetic.However, if it is natural rattan, the furniture should be kept in a dark and dry space during the winter.
If you would like to know more about winterizing your patio furniture, contact Bart Fireside. Our staff is happy to answer any questions you may have about the best ways to prepare your outdoor furniture for cold weather.