Winterizing Your Patio Furniture

When the warm summer months are coming to a close and you start to see the leaves turn and drift to the ground, it is time to start preparing your patio furniture for winter storage. While it is always difficult to close up that umbrella and acknowledge that it is your last dinner on the patio for the season, a little planning can make sure you will be able to enjoy your patio furniture set for many years to come.

Most patio furniture is designed to withstand years of exposure to heat, rain, a little wind, and the sun. However, the harsh ice, snow, and wind that generally arrive during the winter months can dramatically shorten the life of your patio furniture. The following tips involve a little elbow grease and possibly some minimal purchases that will effectively minimize the wear and tear on your patio furniture during the winter months.

Preparing Your Patio Furniture for Storage

The type of furniture that you have on your patio can determine the process you should use for winterizing preparations. A variety of Patio Furniture Sets are available on the market, with materials ranging from aluminum to wicker. For the purpose of this article, the most common patio furniture types have been included in the tips in order to get you started.

If any of your patio furniture pieces or accessories are in need of replacing, autumn is the time to find great deals! You can add to your current set or consider new cushions, pillows, or other complimentary items.

Cleaning

Ensuring that your furniture set is clean before it is stored can help prevent staining and corrosion while making it possible to pull out your furniture to enjoy those first warm days once spring arrives.

Cleaning Wicker Sets: Wicker sets can be made of true rattan or synthetic rattan. Often, the wicker is sealed with some sort of finish to protect the material. Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that need repair or repainting while the set is clean and dry.

Cleaning Metal Sets: Most metal sets are sealed with a powder coat finish to ensure a longer life.Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that need repair or repainting while the set is clean and dry.

Cleaning Wood Sets: Wood sets can vary, from a classic picnic table to a set of Adirondack Chairs. Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that require sanding, painting, or staining. If the wood has a natural finish, consider rubbing a furniture oil or mineral oil into the surface to keep the wood from splitting or becoming brittle during dry winter months.

Cleaning Cushions & Umbrellas: Many Deep Seating Patio Furniture Sets include substantial cushioning, while other sets are accented with optional cushions or pillows.Brush off any debris on cushions and umbrellas. If cushions and pillows have removable covers, wash and dry them according to manufacturer instructions. If cushion covers cannot be removed, use mild soapy water and a sponge to wipe off any dirt on cushions. The same technique can be used on the umbrella. Let the cushions, pillows, and umbrella dry completely before storing.

Covering/Wrapping Your Patio Furniture

There are a number of options available for the covering or wrapping of your patio furniture sets. Ideally, it would be nice to move your furniture into a garage, shed, or basement where it is dry and sheltered. However, there are very few people that have the extra space available to store bulky items like patio furniture. If this is the case for you, there are still great methods for protecting your furniture if it must stay outdoors during the winter months.

Once you have cleaned and dried your furniture and accessories, try to consolidate the pieces to minimize the space that will be required for storing everything. Stack chairs, remove cushions, and dismantle any components that might be susceptible to damage. Select a storage location that is as sheltered from the elements as possible. If feasible, bring your fabric items inside for the winter, or consider putting them in a sealed tote or plastic bag for dry storage. There are a number of commercial patio furniture covers available on the market for a variety of patio furniture types. These covers are usually made from heavy duty canvas that is sealed to keep out moisture and protect from damage. Other options could include having your set professionally wrapped in plastic film or simply using a large tarp that can be secured with rope or bungee cords.

Successful Storage Throughout the Winter

If you have followed the cleaning and covering steps outlined previously, you can probably feel comfortable knowing that your patio furniture will be safely cocooned for the winter months to come. On occasion, it can be helpful to brush any accumulated ice or snow from your furniture coverings to prevent any leaking or shifting that could allow moisture to infiltrate and damage the furniture. It might also be a good idea to check every once in a while for any critters that might have decided that your securely covered furniture set would be a perfect home for the winter.

While it may be time to trade your flip flops and sunscreen for wool socks and hot cocoa, you can look forward to a successful transition into summer next year with patio furniture that has been carefully stored.

Patio Furniture – What Are the Best Patio Furniture Materials For You?

Choosing patio furniture can be a little overwhelming because there are several material types and hundreds or possibly thousands of styles made from those materials. The type of materials that you choose should depend on your personal preference but also on the climate where you live, whether your patio is covered or uncovered, your budget and several other factors.

By keeping in mind your priorities and carefully thinking things through, selecting the right patio furniture be straightforward and easy. When you are choosing new furniture the first thing that you need to do is pick a type of material. The most common materials are wood, wicker and rattan, metal, and plastic.

Wood

Wooden patio furniture is very popular and lasting. In general, wooden patio furniture can stand up to the elements like very hot sun or summer storms pretty well. However, if you decide to use wooden patio furniture you should treat it with a water resistant coating to protect it from drying out in the sun or becoming damaged from being out in the rain. It is a good choice if you do a lot of entertaining because it’s very strong and rigid, thus can accommodate people of all different sizes. It’s also simple to change the look of wooden patio furniture with just a new coat of paint in the color of your choice. Good quality wooden patio furniture can be expensive but if you carry out regular maintenance of painting or protective coating on the wood every few years, the furniture will inevitably last for a long time.

Wicker and Rattan

If you like to change the decor of your patio frequently and don’t want to have to buy new furniture every time then wicker & rattan patio furniture would be a good and decent choice for you. Wicker and rattan is the second most popular type of furniture that is made from natural materials. Both wicker and rattan furniture is durable, light weight and to a certain extent – flexible, making it great for patio furniture that needs to be brought indoors or moved frequently. Wicker is actually not a material by itself. Wicker is the end result of weaving rattan with other materials, usually bamboo slats, to make furniture.

Rattan (originated from a Malay word – Rotan) is technically a tree, although it grows like a vine along the ground. They are usually found in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia. The rattan vines are cut and peeled, then steamed to make them pliable, and then they are used as rattan weaving materials. Rattan furniture can be made of stripes of Rattan that are woven together when the wood is wet. It can also be strips of Bamboo or other materials woven around straight rattan slats. Rattan easily accepts paints and stains like many other kinds of wood, so it is available in many colors and it can be worked into many styles.

Both rattan and wicker furniture is a less expensive alternative to hardwood, if you want to have furniture that is made from natural sources. These types of patio furniture don’t require a lot of maintenance and can be used in or outdoors all year long. It’s also possible to change the outlook of Wicker or Rattan furniture by giving the furniture a new coat of color. So, if you’re inclined to change the decor of your patio frequently without buying new patio furniture every time, then wicker or rattan furniture would be the best choice for you.

Metal

Metal patio furniture is often a more economical choice compared to hard wood type especially for people who want the stability of wood but wouldn’t want to spend too much. Metal furniture is also great for people that want furniture that has low maintenance costs because most metal furniture doesn’t require the kind of maintenance that wooden furniture does. There are three main types of metal patio furniture that you can purchase. They are wrought iron, aluminum and tubular metal.

Wrought iron is probably one of the most expensive types in the range. Wrought iron furniture is incredibly popular because it’s stylish and adds a very classic feel to a patio but it’s also popular because of its durability. Wrought iron furniture is heavy and requires little upkeep. For instance, just a simple new coat of paint every year or so will keep wrought iron furniture looking beautiful for years. Furthermore, wrought iron patio furniture is sturdy so that it can be comfortable and safe for people of all sizes. It is also heavy which is good in that it won’t be blown away in strong winds but not to a point that it is too difficult to move.

Aluminum is often used commercially because it’s so easy to maintain, light-weight and tough. Hotels, public pools, restaurants, resorts, and other types of businesses that deal with the public often use aluminum patio furniture for their outdoor patios. Aluminum is a very much lighter metal than wrought iron so if you will frequently need to move your furniture, aluminum may be a better choice. Most if not all outdoor bars and bistros will quite definitely choose aluminum furniture because of its weight & maintenance cost. Aluminum furniture can be a bit pricey for some people but the cost is negligible over time as aluminum patio furniture will last for a long time.

Tubular metal patio furniture is the least expensive type and easily found at discount stores. It has some of the durability that other types of metal patio furniture have although it is not as strong as aluminum or wrought iron. Tubular metal doesn’t require a lot of maintenance and can lasts for a long time. It can though become bent and damaged and can never quite be bent back into its original shape. It is also light enough to easily be blown away in strong winds.

Plastic or PVC Patio Furniture

Plastic or PVC patio furniture is the cheapest option and can be easily found at discount/bargain stores. Stackable Plastic or PVC patio furniture can be found at any discount store, sometimes even at the grocery store. They are easy to maintain because all you need to do for cleaning is simply to wipe the dirt off. It stands up well to any natural elements except strong winds and usually will only last for one season.

They are not very sturdy and can break easily. There is a high possibility it becomes a safety issue if you have little children using it frequently because it tends to tip over or break. They also tends to crack and splinter very easily, which is dangerous even to adults. If you are looking for some cheap, quick patio furniture then plastic is the best choice but don’t expect them to last.

Choosing the Right Patio Furniture For Your Outdoor Living

The patio is one of the best places to entertain visitors especially during the warmer seasons. You and your visitors can enjoy fresh air and the great outdoors. The patio can also add to the value of your home in case you plan to sell it. It is therefore important to make sure that you design your patio well. Choosing the right kind of patio furniture can definitely make your patio stand out.

When planning to build a patio, the kind of furniture you are planning to use will definitely affect the design of the patio. For some people, they plan their patio depending on the kind of patio furniture they like. For others, they buy furniture which blends with the theme or design of their outdoor living areas. The important thing to remember is the furniture should bring a homey feeling to your patio.

Kinds of Patio Furniture:
Patio furniture usually includes a dining set, benches, rocking chairs, throw pillows, cushions and other accessories. Many stores sell furniture for outdoor living areas in sets. This means that customers can usually see different furniture with the same designs. For those who do not want uniform designs, they can mix and match from a wide array of furniture.

Most shops selling furniture for patios usually categorize the furniture pieces to help customers pick the best furniture for their patios. Some of the categories include: Modern, Classic, Contemporary, Luxury, Functional and Traditional. There are also some shops which categorize the furniture depending on certain themes. Customers who are budget conscious can also find some furniture divided depending on the prize range.

The most common patio furniture includes dining sets (tables and chairs), benches, chaise lounges, settees and rocking chairs. Others are bar stools, picnic tables, porch swings and hammocks. There are also several accessories you can add to make your patio more relaxing and comfortable. Examples are cushions, throw pillows, outdoor lightings and storage deck boxes.

Materials:
Furniture for patios and other outdoor areas are made of different materials. The most common are wood, teak, wrought iron, wicker, rattan and aluminum. Some are also made of steel, bamboo, plastic and Adirondack. When buying furniture for your patio, you should consider the material which best suits the design of your home. You should also think of the weather condition and the location of your patio.

Where to Buy Patio Furniture?
Because of the popularity of outdoor living areas these days, many shops are selling furniture at an affordable price. Watch out for sales and discounts at your local furniture store if you are planning to build or remodel your patio. In addition, there are many second hand furniture stores which sell furniture in good condition. Moreover, you can usually find unique and antique furniture at second hand stores.

Choosing the right patio furniture for your home is not easy especially if you are not following a certain design or plan. Fortunately, there are many good sources of information such as architecture magazines and online sites. In addition, you can also ask help from designers.