Keep your outdoor furniture in good shape during winter months
Patio furniture is often an investment and you want it to last a very long time. This winter, prepare it properly and you'll be enjoying it for years to come.
The best way to provide protection is to bring all pieces into the garage. However, space may be an issue. At the very least, remove the cushions and take them inside. Make sure they are clean and dry (to prevent smells and mildew) before storing them away on a closet shelf or in a storage container.
Make sure the patio umbrella is clean and dry as well. Do not lay it flat on the ground in the garage or storage shed; critters may find it a nice hiding space and chew their way through to make nests. Stand the umbrella upright - folded - in a corner. Better yet, you can mount bicycle hooks at set intervals from the ceiling and rest the umbrella across the expanse.
For furniture that remains outdoors, purchase covers that are meant to handle the job. Regular plastic simply cannot hold up to the elements and once a hole appears, moisture will, of course, seep inside. That goes for grills as well - purchase a cover that will fit your particular model. Cover from top to bottom and make sure the edges are anchored. A flapping cover will not protect your furniture.
Also, it is never wise to turn furniture upside down to deflect pooling water. Moisture can enter the footcaps and cause inner problems with tubing-style frames.
Some newer composite "faux" wicker furnishings are designed to withstand any type of weather. However, to prolong their life, it is still a smart move to cover or store them if possible when not in use for extended periods of time.
If you are covering any flat objects, place a box underneath the cover. This will prevent water pooling in the middle.
If you have empty containers sitting around, be sure to turn them bottom side up and cover up if they cannot be brought inside. Sitting water can create a lot of damage and also attract thirsty creatures. Plus, it's a mess to clean up in the spring after sitting for a few months.
Remember to round up all the tools and garden hoses as well while you are prepping your outdoor furniture. They, too, will suffer if left to the elements.
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