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Protecting Your Outdoor Patio Furniture
Editors Note: Updated October, 2018
You thoroughly enjoy being outside a lounging about on your lawn chairs or other pieces of furniture in your patio or yard in the spring, summer and even in the fall. However, in the winter with the snow, freezing rain and cold, your outdoor patio furniture might not hold up too well. That’s why it’s important to take the correct steps to protecting your patio furniture. How do you protect this type of furniture? Let’s look at the various measures to take during the winter to prolong the life of your chairs, tables and other pieces.
Wood Patio Furniture
Wood patio furniture should have a protective sealant applied to it. This seals the wood from moisture year round, which is especially important during the winter months. In the winter, the moisture can freeze in the wood causing it to crack. When properly sealed, the snow and freezing rain cannot soak into the wood in the same manner as with raw wood. Covers keep the snow and ice from seeping into this furniture. However, the sealant should still be applied because wood can absorb moisture from the air.
The last thing you need is to spend hundreds of dollars on outdoor patio furniture only to see it break down after a couple of years. Most wood patio furniture is made from teak, which is naturally better at withstanding moisture and fluctuating temperatures. A little extra care, and you’ll see your patio furniture lasting for years to come.
Tango Teak Outdoor Sofa Set – $1,979.00
Recycled Plastic Outdoor Furniture
Plastic furniture doesn’t have the same problem with moisture as wood furniture does since it doesn’t absorb moisture. However, the frigid temperature in the winter tends to make plastic brittle enough for it to crack. One of the benefits of plastic furniture is that it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver. Additionally, most plastic furniture is easily stack-able. These great features of plastic patio furniture mean that it’s easier to store away if the weather gets really nasty.
Although outdoor furniture is designed to withstand extreme conditions, it is strongly advised to bring in your outdoor furniture when it snows. For all other conditions, try using furniture covers that protect your sectional and outdoor dining sets from the elements while allowing proper ventilation to prevent mildew. When these best practices are followed, outdoor furnishing can last for many years.
5 Piece Brasserie Arm Dining Set – $929.00
Wrought Iron Outdoor Furniture
Wrought iron patio furniture for the most part should not be left out in the weather during the winter. It can rust because of the snow or freezing rain. When rust happens, it weakens the metal and causes it to breakdown. Galvanized metal holds up better than regular metal, but over time it could also suffer from being out in the snow. It is best to bring this furniture in from outdoors in not only the winter, but also when it rains.
Maintenance is highly recommended if you want your wrought iron patio furniture to last for extended periods of time. It’s important to keep an eye on this type of patio furniture because it’s much harder to move around or into storage because of it’s weight. If you think it’s already too late for your wrought iron, don’t fret! We wrote an awesome step by step guide on how to refinish rusty old patio furniture!
Recco 3 Piece Bistro Set – $525.00
Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture
Cast aluminum patio furniture is one of the most durable and weather resistant pieces of patio furniture that you can buy. Cast aluminum is basically rust proof so you don’t need to worry too much about moisture. There are plenty of covers that are available that fit all sorts of different shapes and sizes of patio furniture. Another added benefit of cast aluminum is that it’s super lightweight. If you’re concerned about a big windstorm or crazy snow conditions, it should be easy to move this furniture into a place away from the elements. In our “Choosing the Best Material for Patio Furniture” guide, you can see that cast aluminum is top of the line when it comes to sub par weather conditions.
San Michelle Sectional Set – $4,165.00
Many of the models of outdoor furniture use removable cushions. When not in use in the winter they should be stored indoors, in a shed, or a heavy-duty cushion storage box. The fabric can be easily damage by the freezing and thawing that occurs during the cold weather. Additionally, the stuffing in these cushions can mold and mildew. You should also bring these inside when it is raining. Covering them with a tarp or sheet of plastic will keep dust from accumulating on them.
If you’re willing to spend the extra money (we highly recommend this) then you should be purchasing patio furniture with cushions that are made with Sunbrella fabric. Sunbrella is the gold standard when it comes to outdoor fabric options. Their top of the line fabrics are marine rated and can handle rain, snow, UV rays, you name it! Investing in quality materials is the easiest way to extend the life of your outdoor patio furniture.
Urbana Cushion Storage Box – $599.00
Any patio furniture maintenance you perform on your outdoor furniture will prolong its life. Outdoor decor is an investment in your home, and as such you will want to protect yourself in the long term.
Below is a list of 4 Additional Resources that will supplement this post and give you ideas to help protect your outdoor furniture this winter.