A great set of garden furniture can help create a relaxing haven or even an additional entertaining space. Taking care of your furniture through the winter months can ensure that your investment will continue to bring pleasure and comfort for decades.
First Things First
When summer days are over and it is time to store your garden furniture, the first step is to ensure that your pieces are free from debris and clean to help avoid any mould or mildew setting in whilst in storage. Remove any soft furnishings and brush down with a soft brush to remove any dirt. A gentle wipe clean with mild soapy water should be adequate. These should be dried thoroughly and then stored indoors. You can treat the furniture in a similar fashion, although a stiffer bristle brush might be useful. If you are finding it tough to remove from the crevices, you could always use a vacuum to help. If your furniture does require a more thorough clean to remove dirt, a mild detergent should be adequate.
Checking For Damage
Particularly in the case of wrought iron furniture, it is important to check for any chips or damage. Anything like this can allow rust to set in in the damper weather. Rub any chips down with a soft steel wool and then paint over with a suitable primer and paint. It is also a good time to seal your iron furniture with wax to prevent further damage. Car wax is often a good substitute for specialist wax. Wooden outdoor furniture may also have suffered some damage and fading over summer. There are specialist wood sealants available on the market which can be applied to help prevent water damage over winter. Staining or painting is best done at the start of the new summer season as further colour damage could occur over winter.
Once you have brushed down, checked for any damage and ensured all the furniture is completely dry, if you have a large garage or out building, storing indoors is ideal but for most people storing outdoors is the only option. It is essential that you cover your furniture with heavy duty covers designed specifically for the job. If they weren’t provided with your furniture, do be sure to purchase some. They are an essential investment to extend the life of your furniture. Ensure that you buy the correct size for each piece of furniture as, if you attempt to force a too small cover over your outdoor furniture, you may cause splits or tears which will allow the elements in to you furniture causing untold damage over winter. Once your furniture is covered up for the season, don’t get complacent. If puddles or snow settle on your covers, do make the effort to remove them as, if left to sit there the liquid has a remarkable way of finding its way in to the furniture.
There is a vast selection of garden furniture available on the market these days from wicker to iron and plastic. Follow these simple steps, along with the manufacturer’s advice and you can be sure that your furniture won’t be just a one summer wonder.
Jackie Redan is a writer specializing in home and garden related subjects. She is a strong believer in the benefits of outdoor furniture as a way to turn the garden into an additional room for the home.