The winter months is usually a time of packing up the patio and battening it down against cold and inclement weather. Nowhere is this more true than with your patio furniture. You want to make sure you put it away properly in fall so it will look its best come the following spring. The following tips will help you do just that.
Tip #1: Scrub and dry the cushions
Outdoor cushions need a little more TLC compared to the rest of the furniture. Spread them out on your lawn on a sunny day. Hose them down thoroughly to rinse out any dirt. You can use a sponge or soft brush to scrub out any stubborn stains. Once clean, make sure the cushions are completely dried or they may develop mildew in storage. Some cushions may be machine washable, so read the labels to see if this shortcut is available.
Tip #2: Protect the cushions against moisture
The next step is to make sure the cushions are protected against moisture in storage. The easiest way to do this is to bag each cushion in a plastic garbage bag and to tie it securely closed. As an alternative, stow the cushions in plastic storage tubs. Both will protect against moisture, pests, and dirt.
Tip #3: Oil or treat wooden furniture
Wood furniture needs a bit more care to make sure it survives winter moisture unscathed. Woods like teak simply need a rub down with a fresh coat of teak oil. Any wood oil soap will work on other varieties of unfinished wood. If the wood has a sealer on it, you may need to first sand it down if the sealer has begun to peel. You can then either oil it or apply a fresh coat of wood sealer.
Tip #4: Place everything under cover
For furniture that is normally left outside exposed, you will need to bring it to a covered area for winter. You can stow it in a garage, beneath a patio overhang, or underneath a tarp. This will protect the furniture from the elements. Glass table tops should not be left outside, even if they are covered with a tarp, since hail or heavy snow loads can break them. Keep the original tabletop box to store the glass in the garage, or move the entire table into the shed or under the patio cover to protect it from breakage.
For more help, talk to a an outdoor furniture retailer.
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