If you want your outdoor space and its furniture to last for years to come, you need to properly protect it from the elements. From tropical rainstorms to Midwestern winters, we all deal with bad weather from time to time — and when that bad weather strikes, you want your outdoor space to be protected. So with that in mind, here’s a look at some of the top do’s and don’ts for taking care of your outdoor furniture and features properly!
- Practice Preventative Maintenance: Part of taking care of your patio furniture in inclement weather involves cleaning and caring for it in normal weather first. Whether you have top-of-the-line equipment or more durable pieces, practice preventative maintenance by regularly cleaning off your outdoor items. “Many experts recommend regular cleaning of outdoor furniture, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort,” says Amy Lorentzen of The Post and Courier. For plastic, vinyl or aluminum, use a bucket of hot, soapy water and a sponge to scrub everything well. For canvas or other fabrics, try upholstery cleaner made for that material. Each time you clean your furniture, rinse it thoroughly and let it dry completely before moving or storing it elsewhere.
- Move Things to Storage for the Colder Season: Easy to do and able to keep your patio or deck furniture looking good for years to come, winterizing is a smart step to protect your outdoor items in months prone to rain, sleet, snow and ice. Winterizing may mean stowing away furniture in an enclosed garage, part of the basement or an outdoor-storage shed. But if you don’t have extra storage space, you could also try furniture covers instead. As an added bonus, “covers are convenient to use throughout the year during storms or while on vacation,” says Frontgate. “Covers protect from the elements, as well as keep off dust, dirt, leaves, animals and other debris.”
- Add an Umbrella above Seating Areas: Sitting outside in the hot summer sunshine becomes much more enjoyable when you can do it in shade. Adding shade structures to your outdoor space offers other benefits, too, like protecting your furniture from sun and other weather damage. Today’s market includes umbrellas and shade options that are specially designed to be wind resistant, making them ideal even in the more blustery months.
- Don’t Forget the Grill: Even if you want to use your grill year-round, be sure to detail and season it at least once a year, perhaps when the busier outdoor activities slow down. After your grill is completely cooled, the grill surface should be scrubbed and cleaned, removable parts should be scrubbed separately — use a grill-approved scrub brush to remove caked-on food. Likewise, you can wash the outside of your grill with a warm, soapy cloth and a light oil like WD-40. If you don’t plan to use the grill for a few months, disconnect the tank to store in a metal container outside your home, and move the grill into a dry outdoor area where it will be safe.
By following the simple steps above, you’ll do a lot to protect your furniture and equipment when harsh weather comes. From storing away chairs and tables during harsh winter months to covering furniture when it’s not in use in summer, use these tips to help you extend the life of your outdoor space!
About the author: Jessica Kyriakos is Brand Manager of Webcoat Inc. in McAlester, OK. For 15 years she has worked in the site furnishing industry. The company provides picnic tables, benches and more for your outdoor space.