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Should I Cover my Outdoor Patio Furniture?

While most outdoor furniture is made of all weather materials, covering them during winter, rainy season and in hot sunny summer is important. Protecting outdoor patio furniture from elements keeps them looking new and strong for years to come.

Uncovered outdoor chairs and tables will typically get damaged by dust, mold and mildew. Further, uncovered light furniture is likely to be blown away by high weeds.

Scorching heat and UV radiations from the sun causes pre-mature fading and cracking of your garden furniture. This not only lowers their aesthetic value but also reduces their shell life.

How to protect your outdoor furniture in winter

High temperatures, frost and precipitation will affect even the best outdoor furniture material. There are a number of things you can do protect your patio furniture from elements.

1. Cleaning

Cleaning of outdoor patio furniture before winter is one of the first steps of protecting it from harsh conditions ahead. Thorough cleaning helps in clearing moisture, dirt and other debris that can lead to mold growth and rusting. The method of cleaning will depend on the type of furniture material.

Chairs and tables made from plastic, wicker or iron can be cleaned using a brush or a sponge along with soap and warm water. Simply scrub, rinse and let the furniture to air dry.

Wooden patio furniture requires specialized cleaning by use of the right cleaner. Scrubbing with a hard brush or using a harsh chemical can ruin the furniture or void the warranty. Use cleaning methods and products only recommended by the manufacturer.

Outdoor cushions, rugs, patio umbrellas and other textile materials should also be cleaned before storing them. You can vacuum to get rid of dust and other allergens then follow with a thorough cleaning of warm soapy water. You may also use a pressure washer.

2. Coating/waterproofing

Outdoor furnishings should be treated with a coat of a protective seal to make them tolerant to harsh environmental conditions. The method of treatment however varies based on the material of the furniture.

Wooden outdoor furnishings should be protected by a waterproof sealant that prevents them from absorbing moisture. This will prevent wood swelling, warping and cracking when exposed to humid conditions.

Waxing or painting is important for metallic and aluminum materials. Other than preserving the outdoor furniture, this treat also adds them a visual appeal.

There are also fabric coating protectors for textiles and upholstered materials such as cushions and pillows. Treat them after a thorough wash and dry. Plastic furniture may not require a special protection other than a wash with soapy water.

3. Storing

Outdoor furniture can be stored in for winter. You can construct a shed or find a space in your garage to store them until the end of the season.

Alternatively if you have a fully covered deck or patio, your furniture are very safe. When spring starts, uncover your furniture and clean them to get rid of dust and cobwebs.

4. Covers

Investing in patio furniture covers will save you on maintenance costs such as cleaning, painting and even replacing your furniture. This is also one of the ways of securing your patio furniture from winds which can blow them away.

A quality covering should be able to keep off moisture, UV radiations and other debris from cushions or other hard surfaces of the furniture.

How to choose a good outdoor furniture cover

There are plenty of coverings in a range of sizes, shapes and colors. What are the things to look for when ordering a patio furniture covers?

1. Versatility

A good covering should protect your furniture during all seasons. During summer, the cover should offer UV protection, water resistance during torrential rains and humidity during winter. It can be expensive setting to a different cover for every season.

2. Design

This is important considering factors such as buildup of moisture and humidity. Vents are important in a furniture cover to allow free air circulation and escape of moisture. This will largely prevent breeding of mildew and rust.

3. Cost

Pricing of coverings varies based on the material type or size you intend to order. The larger the material the more it cost. Some materials such as Vinyl cost extra dime due to their durability and flexibility.

The Bottom Line

Outdoor patio furniture should be covered especially during torrential rains, winter and when temperatures are soaring in summer. Doing this makes your outdoor investment to last long and remain beautiful. Due to the unpredictable nature of weather, plan ahead to avoid being caught unaware.

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