With the warmer days coming to an unfortunate and inevitable end, people up and down the UK have no doubt started to optimise their homes in order to stay warm in the cold weather. But what about when it comes to looking after their homes and gardens to protect them?
Garden items in particular, like furniture, can feel the full effects of the cold & wet weather, and if you don’t fancy buying a new set of stuff every summer, it’s important you look after them efficiently.
Simply throwing a sheet of tarp over the furniture or shoving it in a shed is unlikely to help protect it from the elements, regardless of the material or how much you paid for it.
Cast or Wrought Iron Furniture
- This style of furniture has a regal and timeless appeal, but its original look certainly isn’t timeless if it’s not properly looked after. As soon as rain or snow starts to fall, it should be covered up as getting this type of furniture wet can lead to rust and other damage. It’s ideal if you can store it (fully covered up) in a garage or shed, but if that’s not possible, cover it with a tight and water proof cover so no moisture can get to it.
- Cleaning the iron furniture before you store or cover it is important because you won’t want to be storing a dirty item, and leaving the dirt on for a long time will make it harder (or even impossible) to remove. A simple soapy water solution should do the trick, along with a cloth and brush. Sandpaper can be used carefully to remove rust, too.
Wooden Garden Furniture
- Wood is a popular choice for garden furniture, though many people are put off from choosing it as they may feel it won’t hold up very well against the wintry elements. However, as long as you take the right steps to look after it, you should be fine.
- Before storing your wooden furniture away for the cold (as it shouldn’t be left out at all when the rain/snow hits) clean and treat it to prolong its appearance. You can pick up wood cleaners fairly cheaply from good home DIY stores, along with a good quality soft brush. Give it a thorough clean and then make sure you rinse it off 100% with a hose. When ready to store, cover it with specially-designed patio furniture covers, from top to bottom.
Plastic Garden Furniture
- Plastic garden furniture is a family favourite as it’s relatively cheap, hard-wearing and easy to look after. However, the fact that it is so easy to clean is also its downfall as it can mean that people forget about it and put off cleaning it, leaving it to get damaged.
- Just like with the other materials, giving it a good clean before the rain sets in is essential (a simple soapy water solution should do the trick) and ensure it’s dried properly with a cloth or from the sun. Covering it properly during the winter will avoid things like mold building up on it which can be a real battle to get rid of.
Wicker Garden Furniture
- Like with all of the other types of furniture mentioned, getting rid of any dirt or mildew build-up on your wicker garden furniture before storing it will help prolong its life. Soapy water should do it, though it’s well worth noting that using too much soap or washing-up liquid isn’t a good idea as it can fade the material.
- Likewise, only a soft brush should be used as more harsh ones can scratch the surface of the wicker and damage it. After cleaning it, it should be dried as quickly as possible too, and shouldn’t be left to dry unless it is a really warm day.
Canvas garden furniture
- If your garden furniture is made up largely of a canvas material, ensuring it has no mold or mildew on it is imperative before storing it, because the longer it’s covered in this, the more damaged it will be, and it could end up ruined by the time summer arrives again. Check in between cracks and creases of things like the cushions and covers too.
- Just storing them in an air tight bag won’t be enough if they are already affected by mold. Give them a thorough wash with soap and bleach where possible. You can even machine wash most things like cushion covers too.