For all its cosiness, winter is a sad time for the garden. As the last leaves fall and the roses wilt, attention needs to be paid to the upkeep of your outdoor items. Nowhere is this more important than with patio furniture. Treat them well and your deckchairs and tables will last you for years to come. Treat them poorly, and you might not have a seat to tan on next summer!
Annual Maintenance For Garden Furniture
Each winter, you should take careful steps to cleaning, preserving and storing your deckchairs, tables and swing benches. None of these steps are particularly difficult, and the whole process should take no more than a couple of afternoons. Just make sure you do it on a sunny day! By the end of the process you want your items nice and dry.
Step 1: Clean Your Furniture
Over the course of summer, bits of dirt and residue will have stuck to your furniture. Not only are these unsightly, they also risk developing spores that seep through and destroy the wood.
Take an ever-so-damp sponge, a bit of soap, and run it over all the surfaces of the furniture. Make sure you get every crack and crevice, especially in screw holes, hinges and underneath benches. If it means bracing yourself for creepy crawlies then so be it! The last thing you want is to paint over a bit of dirt and have it preserved on your lovely oak table.
Step 2: Wax & Vanish
The next step depends on your furniture type – whether you’ve got a metal bench or a wooden deck chair. The rough outline is this: purchase some material-specific protector and apply it thoroughly. That could be a wax sealant, silicone solution or an oil-based varnish. Again, make sure you apply it to all sides of the furniture, over and under.
Plastic and resin furniture can be washed with basic warm water and detergent. No problem here.
Wood furniture requires treatment products specific to the material, be that teak, oak, pine or wicker. Check with your local hardware shop if you’re unsure. York residents should be aware of Pexton’s, an excellent local business and a great alternative to the bigger retailers.
Glass tabletops should be washed with everyday glass cleaner, or with a hot water and vinegar solution.
Metal chairs and tables should be inspected for rust before you clean them. If you find any, sand it down before applying a powder coating or extra layer of paint.
Step 3: Dry, Cover & Relax
Once your furniture is clean and protected, simply find an appropriate place to cover and let it sit out over the winter. Some general tips for covering your furniture:
- Sheds and garages are ideal as they are generally drier than the outdoor alternative. If you can make room, put them here.
- Invest in some good tarpaulin if you are storing furniture outdoors. An extra £10 can go a long way if it means protecting valuable items.
- Got any spare pallets lying around? Place your furniture on top of them to encourage airflow and prevent creepy crawlies from getting at the legs.
- Remove soft furnishings and cushions from the furniture and store these in the home. If needs be, take the covers off and give them a wash in warm soapy water.
- Anchor your tarpaulin to the furniture with spare bricks and heavy items. You can spend days not opening the back door over winter, and you don’t want to discover that your tarp blew away in a storm.
And that’s it! Once your furniture is clean, protected and covered up, you can rest easy knowing it won’t get chewed away over winter. Repeat this process every year and you’ll find that these items will age well and last twice as long.
These are the typical care and maintenance steps we learn from administering garden removals in York. If you have any specific questions you’d like answering please let us know! If we haven’t covered it on this website, we will soon!