Autumn is the perfect time to start thinking and planning how about how you intend to protect your garden furniture come the harsh Winter months.
If at all possible you should consider storing your furniture in a shed, garage or any other outbuilding over Winter. This will drastically improve the risk of any moisture-related problems.
If you have nowhere to store your furniture, you can instead purchase a small storage unit to sit in your garden. These are readily available and can be very affordable.
Of course, some may not have the space for a storage unit of any kind. If this is the case, you can store your furniture outside under a tarp or other waterproof covering. If this is the case, make sure that it is securely fastened to your furniture and/or weighted down to prevent it flying off! Be sure to check on your furniture every so often to make sure no damage is starting to form and that the covering is still safely secured.
Before you store anything anywhere, there are a few things you should do first.
No matter what your furniture is made out of, the first thing you should do is give everything a thorough clean. For wood, you could use a product such as Net-Trol wood cleaner & brightener. For composite wood, you could use something like Compo-Clean cleaner and degreaser. Or for metal furniture, you could use something like Transyl Oil to remove any dirt, grease or grime.
Once clean, ensure everything is completely dry before tucking it away to prevent mould or mildew.
If you have foldable furniture, we recommend you fold everything up to keep everything neat and tidy but most of all to reduce the overall space your furniture will take up. Whether they are being stored in a garage, shed etc. or not, we still recommend you keep everything folded or stacked together.
If you have furniture made from rattan or metal and they do not fold, we recommend you stack the furniture as best you can. Then use a waterproof cover or tarp and secure it tightly.
If you have upholstery such as seat and or back cushions on your furniture, we highly recommend you remove them if at all possible. Even upholstery that is tough and waterproof will still benefit from being stored inside in some capacity. Same goes with parasols. If you can remove the fabric from the top, bring it inside and give it a clean.
Being subjected to such variations of moisture and temperature increases the chances of mould and damage to your fabrics.
Once you have brought them inside you should clean them as best as possible ready for next year. Be sure to check the labels to make sure they can safely go in the washing machine. If not, most surfaces can be wiped down with a damp cloth.
Another thing you can do to protect your garden furniture before storing is to use a protective finish. We recommend you identify the type of material your garden furniture is made from to help you choose the right protective finish. We have talked through some below:
If you have purchased some lovely new furniture this Summer that has not been finished, you will certainly want to protect it ready to finish come next year. If your wood is new and untreated, we recommend applying Seasonite. Seasonite is a new wood protector that bonds with the wood fibres to stabilise the wood. This allows it to naturally weather but offers protection during its vulnerable first year.
Seasonite does this by controlling the transfer of moisture into the wood which prevents warping, cracking and splitting.
Usually, all that would be required is a good clean with Net-Trol before re-applying a coat or two of your chosen Owatrol finish to help keep the wood safe and protected. However, it should be noted that our finishes should be applied in specific environments, so if the weather is not great, you may be better off waiting until next year instead.
Previously finished wood
Weather permitting, you could remove the previous finish and clean the wood, then apply your chosen Owatrol finish to help protect it over Winter.
Take a look at a previous blog post, ‘Give your wooden sunbeds a makeover with Textrol‘, to see how a customer finished their sunloungers in the Autumn so they were protected over Winter and ready to be used come the Spring.
Please pay close attention to the application notes though as applying in the wrong environment can lead to a poor finished result. It may be more beneficial for you to leave the wood until next year instead.
If you have metal furniture, we recommend applying a coating of Owatrol Oil. Owatrol Oil is a rust inhibitor that penetrates deep into metal and pushes out any moisture and air within it, preventing it from rusting.
Owatrol Oil can also be applied directly onto rusted surfaces to prevent rust from further corrosion.
You could instead use a protective finish such as Owatrol Deco rust-inhibiting primer and finish in one.
Plastic & rattan furniture
The best thing to do for plastic and rattan furniture is to give it a really good clean. Be sure to not use any harsh chemicals though as this could alter the colour.
You could also use Polytrol to restore the colour and shine of your furniture. However, it should be noted that Polytrol is not a protective coating.
What about the rest of the garden?
Not only does your furniture need looking after over Winter, but so does the rest of your garden. Take a look at our previous blog post ‘5 Handy tips to prepare your garden for Winter‘ for the best advice on what you should do to protect the rest of your garden such as your fences and outbuildings.
We hope you found this post helpful. If you have any further tips, tricks or advice on how to protect your garden furniture please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We love hearing from you!