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Tips to Winterize Patio Furniture, Decks, and Accessories for Protection from Winter Elements

After spending so much time and effort getting your patio, porch, or deck ready for the warm weather, it’s now time to get it ready for the cold weather.

Before the snow and ice are here to stay, spend a few hours winterizing your patio to protect your patio and furniture from the harsh winter elements, so they are still in good condition come spring.

Here are simple ways to winterize your patio and keep your furniture intact.

CLEAN

Clean your patio furniture and umbrellas before covering or storing for the winter. Wash fabrics with soap and water, scrubbing to remove any stains. And allow to air dry in the sun before storing to prevent mould and mildew.

Also clean flower pots, fountains, and other patio décor.

Once the patio is cleared off, clean the surface of your deck or patio using a broom or a leaf blower to remove debris. You can use a brush or pressure washer for hard-to-clean spots. Removing leaves and debris will help prevent stains from forming on your patio

To remove stains and to avoid mould and mildew growth over the wet winter months, use a chemical or natural cleaner on wood and cement surfaces.

Murphy’s Oil Soap, water, and a bristled brush can also be used to clean wood. And for some hard-to-clean stains, consider using a solution of 1 part bleach to 2 parts water.

Use a soft-bristled brush to remove rust from metal furniture and cover these spots with appliance paint. Once the paint dries, apply car wax to the metal surfaces for extra protection from the elements and to avoid rust.

STORE

The best way to winterize outdoor furniture, cushions, umbrellas, hammocks, small appliances, BBQs, and garden accessories is to clean and store these indoors for the winter, either in a shed, garage, or basement.

Storing these items indoors will prevent damage to upholstery and rust from forming on metal furniture.

So if possible, store all your patio furniture in a dry place for the winter. If you can’t store it indoors, be sure to remove it from a wood deck as any furniture left on wood decks can cause damage over the winter months. And also cover the furniture with a waterproof sheet that is tied down.

Wicker and stone items should also be kept indoors since the temperature extremes can cause stone to crack and wicker to warp.

Also, store planters, pots, and containers so they won’t mould, mildew, or decay from collecting moisture.

PROTECTION

Make sure to clean your gutters and drain pipes so they won’t overflow onto your deck or patio when it’s raining heavily, or snow is melting.

And if there’s heavy snowfall, make sure structures—such as pergolas and awnings—won’t be damaged from the heavy weight of snow.

While the best way to protect patio furniture is to bring it indoors for winter, if you don’t have anywhere to store it, be sure to protect it with waterproof tarps or furniture covers that are UV-, mildew-, and water-resistant and have heavy-duty ties, cord locks, and brass-coated grommets to keep the covers in place.

To protect your furniture from strong damaging winds, store under an awning or a deck, use a rope to hold it in place, or weigh it down with planters or heavy yard ornaments.

Here are tips for protecting patio furniture based on the type of material:

  • Aluminum furniture should be brought indoors or covered with a layer of car wax and a protective furniture cover.
  • Fabric furniture is highly susceptible to damage when left outdoors, so be sure to bring it indoors for the winter.
  • Teak wood furniture has a concentration of naturally-occurring water- and rot-repellent oils, so it is naturally protected against the winter elements. But still consider covering it if left outside to protect it further.
  • Wicker furniture should be brought indoors for the winter since it is susceptible to damage when left outdoors for extended periods.
  • Plastic furniture is robust and durable, but to extend the lifespan of your furniture, cover it, store it away from the wind, or bring it indoors.

Also, be sure to protect your plants with protective covers if they can’t withstand the sub-zero temperatures.

REPAIR & MAINTENANCE

Since the cold and wet winter weather can wreak havoc on patio and deck surfaces, repair your wood deck or concrete patio to help it withstand the winter.

To repair a concrete, stone, or brick patio:

  • Patch chips
  • Fill in cracks
  • Replace broken stones

To repair a wood deck:

  • Replace rotting boards
  • Tighten screws
  • Secure railings
  • Sand down peeling areas
  • Re-level stairs

SEAL

Once cleaned and repaired, seal or stain your deck or patio to protect it throughout the winter. When the weather is dry for a few days, apply a water-repellant wood stain or a cement sealer so it will have enough time dry before the cold and wet winter weather arrives.

ENCLOSE THE AREA

Consider enclosing your patio or porch for the winter to protect it from the elements. For partially-enclosed areas, you can hang clear vinyl curtains with Velcro strips to keep the rain, snow, and leaves out. Panels can also be added to screened porches to protect the screens and retain heat.

Winter weather can take a toll on outdoor patios and furniture. So follow these tips to winterize outdoor patios, furniture, and accessories, so they are ready to use once the warm weather finally arrives again.