How to Protect Your Outdoor Furniture During Winter

23rd October 2018

You might be warming up indoors but your outdoor furniture isn't...

We've started warming up our cars up before we get in them. Our winter coats are starting to make an appearance. And the central heating is well and truly back in our lives. The UK's colder weather seems to have crept up on us before we had a minute to say goodbye to the heatwave. However, we can easily wrap up in a blanket, chuck on some gloves and cosy up by the fire. The same can't be said for our outdoor furniture. Granted, some of us are lucky enough to have a shed or garage to store away our furniture sets. But that isn't possible for us all! Plus, a lot of modern garden furniture is actually weatherproof. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be taking good care of it throughout the colder months, however. Here are our top tips on how to protect your outdoor furniture this winter.

Keep cushions and fabric accessories indoors!

This is probably a no-brainer but it has to be said. Just because your garden furniture is weatherproof doesn't mean the cushions that came with it are. Sure, they might be waterproof but they're unlikely to survive a cold and harsh winter. Plus, cushions and fabric accessories like curtains for gazebos and seat covers are a lot easier to store than the entire furniture set itself. Set aside some adequate storage space (it must be dry to prevent mould growing) to keep your cushions over the winter. Make sure you give them a good clean beforehand, too, so mould or mildew doesn't start to fester.

Know your artificial rattan from your real rattan

This one's important. Real rattan should not be kept outdoors in bad weather under any circumstances. The fibres simply cannot stand rain, wind or snow! However, if your furniture set is made from synthetic rattan, you're in luck. The artificial rattan-like fibres in the synthetic stuff are weatherproof and your furniture will probably be fine left out in bad weather. That said, it's not a miracle material. If we get a particularly harsh and snowy winter, you might want to take some extra measures just to be on the safe side.

Use furniture covers - be safe, not sorry

As we mentioned, you might want to take some extra protective measures with your synthetic rattan. We recommend using a weatherproof cover to protect your garden furniture. Ensure that you get something large enough to cover your entire set. If in doubt, go for a bigger size than you need so you can at least tuck some excess material underneath the furniture. Think about using a protective layer underneath your furniture too, like a sheet of tarpaulin. This will help to protect the feet or legs of your set from damp underneath them. As for wood furniture, it is usually left outside simply for ease but you should definitely keep an eye on it after heavy rain or snow. Painting it with a protective varnish or oil will help to ensure that the colour remains the same as the day you bought it. Check your furniture regularly for mould or rust so that you can treat the problem quickly.

Clean up any mould that does form quickly

Unfortunately, we can't always prevent mould growing on outdoor furniture. It's just the way it goes sometimes. However, we can treat it quickly and stop it from getting any worse. We've actually created an entire blog post dedicated to cleaning mould off your garden furniture - you can read it here for an in-depth explanation. The method varies slightly from material to material but generally, the idea is this: you should use warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush to attack the mould. The most important part of cleaning outdoor furniture - especially wood or real rattan - is to make sure it dries quickly! This is, of course, to prevent any further instances of damp.

How do you like to protect your outdoor furniture in the colder months and winter period? Let us know your top tips in the comments - as always, we love hearing from you!

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