The first true display of winter in Northern Colorado probably means it’s time to take care of your patio furniture for the season (if you haven’t already). Some is fine to leave out; others need to go into the garage, shed, or other protected place.
Here are some tips for treating your patio furniture well this winter:
Aluminum: Aluminum patio furniture is durable enough to be left outside in the elements. However, make sure all the water is drained out of the frames so they don’t freeze and crack. Patio furniture covers work well to keep the water out, especially from melting and refreezing snow. If you have cushions on your patio furniture, you should bring those inside.
Wood: Wood patio furniture can be left out year round (that’s how teak gets that wonderful silvery look). Don’t cover it, however – covers can trap moisture inside the wood, leading to mold and mildew, even in our dry climate.
Natural wicker: Unlike wood patio furniture, wicker should be stored in a covered, protected area. The cold, dry air in the Northern Colorado winters can cause your wicker to crack and splinter.
All-weather wicker: The man-made counterpart to natural wicker is typically made of a durable material like polyethylene that leaves it fairly weather-resistant. (Make sure it has an aluminum internal frame to avoid rust.) You can leave all-weather wicker outside; a cover will help keep it clean and protect it from wind-blown debris.
Steel: Steel-framed patio furniture should be stored inside to prevent rust from forming on any nicks or scratches on the finish. Touch up any damages before storing, if possible, and your patio furniture will look as good as new when you bring it out again in the spring.
Natural stone: By its nature, stone has cracks in it, which can collect water and moisture. If it freezes, the stone can expand and contract, causing damage and potentially breaking it apart. Sealing your stone a few times a year can help protect it as well.
Wrought iron: Iron is famous for its rust. Check any of your wrought iron pieces for rust; use a wire brush to remove it, then touch up the areas with rust-resistant paint. Store inside if possible, or in a covered, protected area outside.
Cushions and umbrellas: Today’s outdoor fabrics are designed to take the elements, but it’s still a good idea to bring cushions and umbrellas inside for the winter out of the weather and away from critters that may choose to nest in them over the winter.
Taking care of your patio furniture will help ensure it has a long life in your outdoor room, making it an enjoyable place to spend your time for years to come.
Image: Malibu set by Castelle