While most of the country is still in the grips of Summer-like weather, it’s time to start looking ahead to when the temps are going to drop and you’ll need to start thinking of how to make sure your outdoor furniture is ready to use again next Spring and Summer.
So here’s some advice on how to protect and prepare different pieces of your outdoor furniture and decor so that they’re ready to use when warmer weather comes back around.
Depending on the type of hammock that you have, you’ll need to do more or less to make sure it makes it through fall and winter. If you have a simple cotton hammock it’s incredibly important that you take it down and store it away if you’re not actively using it. While cotton is nice and soft for relaxing on, it’s not designed to withstand the elements and leaving it outside through Fall and Winter will result in a ruined hammock that you won’t be able to use when Spring comes around again.
If your hammock is made from DuraCord or Sunbrella fabric you’ve got a bit more wiggle room. Both of these materials are more durable and are designed to be exposed to the elements, but I’d still recommend moving them to a covered area when they’re not in use to help protect them.
In either case, if you’re not using your hammock (you know…because it’s cold outside), it’s best to take it down and store it so it’s not exposed to rain, snow, and freezing temps that it doesn’t need to be.
Patio umbrellas are a great way to give your outdoor space some shade, especially when you don’t have a pergola or other covered area to get away from the heat of the day under. They are not, however, well equipped for withstanding driving rain or heavy snow.
Once Fall rolls around you should absolutely start collapsing your umbrella when it’s not in use to help prevent wind and rain damage from making it unusable. Once Winter comes I recommend taking it down completely and storing it somewhere dry – heavy snow on an open umbrella is a great way to end up with a damage, unusable patio umbrella come Spring.
DuraWood Patio Furniture
DuraWood synthetic outdoor furniture is great because of how durable it is (I mean, it’s in the name after all), but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to take some steps when Fall and Winter come around.
Even though synthetic materials are more resistant to weather, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect them if you can. If there’s a covered area that you can bring your DuraWood patio furniture under, that’s recommended. Barring that, regularly cleaning off leaves, standing water, and snow can help preserve your furniture.
Wooden Patio Furniture
While synthetic furniture can stand up to the elements, even if you should take care with it, wooden patio furniture requires some care before Fall and Winter come, as well as upkeep once they arrive to keep it in usable shape for years to come.
First, even if you’ve already done so, applying a fresh coat of weatherproofing sealant before the start of Fall and Winter is a good idea. These come in both clear coat and as part of a stain, so you can keep your furniture’s current color or change it if you choose.
Second, if you have a covered area to put your furniture, do so any time you’re not actively using it. This will help protect it from the rain and snow that can take a toll on your furniture and make it unusable the following Spring.
Finally, if you don’t have an option but to leave it out, be sure to go out and clean it off as much as possible. Removing leaves, excess water, and snow can help the weatherproofing work more effectively.
Outdoor Pillows & Cushions
Here again we have a situation where what type of pillows and cushions you use in your outdoor space will influence what needs to be done to keep them safe in the less hospitable months of the year.
If you happen to be using cotton pillows and cushions outside you should absolutely store them away any time you’re not using them, and that includes during the Spring and Summer. Also, trade them in for some pillow and cushions that are better designed for being outdoors.
If you’re using outdoor pillows and cushions made from polyester or Sunbrella fabric the advice is much the same as DuraWood furniture – store them somewhere under cover when they’re not being used, but if you have to leave them out, clean them up as soon as possible to help prevent damage.
I know that you love your outdoor furniture, which is why I want to help you keep it looking and feeling like new for as long as possible. Just remember, the more protection you can give it, the longer it will last. Nothing will top storing it in a garage or shed during the off-season, but even if that’s not possible, if you follow the advice above your patio furniture, outdoor pillows, and hammock should give you years of Spring and Summer enjoyment.
Have some unique ways of protecting your outdoor furniture? Have some more advice that I didn’t think of? Send in notes or pictures (firstname.lastname@example.org) – you never know when I’ll share them with our readers here or on Facebook.