Photo by Sveinn Birkir Björnsson from Unsplash
It’s fun to stay in your outdoor lounge during the spring, summer and autumn season. However, it’s unlikely for you to stay here during the snowy months of the years. Aside from it’s impractical, it can also cause heavy damage to your favorite pieces of patio furniture.
If you’re wondering how you can maintain and protect your outdoor furnishings during winter, you’ve come to the right place. In this short guide, you will learn all the essential things you need to do so you can still enjoy your patio furnishings for the rest of the year.
The biggest problem with metal patio furnishings is that they tend to corrode if you fail to maintain them properly. To prevent corrosion, you must clean then store your metal furnishing in a warm and dry place for the whole length of the winter season.
To clean your metal chairs and tables, use a sponge or a microfiber cloth damped in soap solution. As much as possible, you must avoid applying too much cleaning solution on the furnishings. Also, don’t use too much water to rinse your metal furniture.
Make sure that you wipe the chairs and tables dry before you store them in the basement or other storage areas in your house.
In case you don’t have enough room for your metal seats and table, you should apply a few layers of silicone-based metal furniture sealant. The sealant acts as a protective layer for the metal.
Wood is highly susceptible to damage. When a wooden material gets saturated with water or moisture, it starts to rot. The strength and integrity of the material weaken as it starts to decompose.
Also, if you leave a wooden furnishing outside, the low temperature might cause the wood to crack. If it does crack, your wooden chair or table may not be safe for use.
This is why you should definitely store your wooden garden set before it starts snowing so you can use them again during spring to autumn.
Before you store any piece of wooden furniture, you should clean it first. Make sure that it’s free from molds or mildew.
Also, make sure to remove any critter living inside the crevices of the furniture. These bugs might soon invade the rest of your wooden furnishing inside the house if you fail to contain them.
After cleaning your wooden furnishing, you should apply a few coatings of paint, varnish or special oil to protect it against the harsh temperature as well as moisture.
It’s easy to protect your outdoor rattan furniture during the winter months, most especially if they’re made from synthetic materials such as polyethylene (PE). Unlike wood and metal, PE isn’t that susceptible to damage caused by extreme weather.
To keep your PE rattan furnishings in good condition, you need to clean it prior to the start of the snowy season.
Use a soft brush to get rid of dust and other unwanted debris. If your rattan patio furniture comes with an aluminum frame, you should apply a few layers of car wax on it. This will help prevent moisture from seeping inside the metal.
If you want to fully protect your rattan garden set, you can cover it or store in a warm and dry area after cleaning.
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Like PE rattan furniture, plastic furnishings are also highly durable. However, you may need to keep them inside your homes before the temperature drops too low because the material might crack.
As a rule of thumb, before you store your plastic furniture, you must also ensure that it’s free from dirt, grease or contaminant.
A lot of homeowners use colorful fabric such as table linens and runners, pillowcases, and rugs to decorate their outdoor lounge.
Before the snowy season begins, you should have already cleaned and stored your outdoor fabric. You can use fabric sealants to discourage mold and mildew growth.
To extend the life span of your outdoor cushions, you can wrap them in old linens or bed covers. They should be kept inside a dry place to prevent molds from proliferating inside the cushion.
You can take them out again when spring starts. Try to hang them outside before you place them back in your outdoor lounge just in case they smell musty after the long storage period.
Tips to prepare your patio or garden for winter
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Aside from cleaning and storing the furniture and decors mentioned above, there are other key preparations you need to protect your patio or garden from the harsh and cold weather.
Make sure your BBQ grill is squeaky clean
A lot of people tend to forget to tidy up their BBQ grills before the cold wind starts to blow. This is why their BBQ grills look so messy when the snow starts to melt. Clean it up after you finish packing your furniture.
Keep your yard free from debris
A few weeks before the snow starts to fall, you have to deal with the pile of dried leaves in your yard. Use a leaf blower to remove them. If you have a compost pit, you can place them here. Alternatively, you can just throw them in the bin.
Replace lighting fixtures
If your house has a sunroom, then maybe you would want to stay here during the winter season to marvel at the frosty outdoors. If you plan to use the sunroom, make sure that you replace the lighting. Winter seasons tend to be darker than the rest of the seasons, so you must opt for a brighter type of bulb to fully illuminate the area.
Protect your garden from snow
Inevitable a few weeks after autumn, snow starts to fall. It’s best to prepare your garden for the chilly season once the leaves start to change color. Here are some tips you need to follow:
Discard rotting plants
Aside from the fact that rotting plants look ugly and untidy, these can harbor pests, microbes, and fungi. It’s best for you to remove dying or rotting plants from the garden plot or pots.
Remove all invasive plants
This is the best time for you to remove weeds and other invasive plants. Using a trowel, remove these plants and discard them in the trash.
Don’t attempt to combine these to your compost pit because their spores will remain in the soil.
Start planting cover crops
Garden experts highly recommend planting cover crops such as clover, field peas, and rye during early autumn.
These plants help minimize soil erosion and loosen compacted areas. Additionally, these crops can increase the organic material in the garden bed.
While cover crops have a very short lifespan, they’re still quite important to every garden because they help enrich the soil.
Prune your perennials
Perennial plants are those that can live for more than two years.
These are the type of plants that attract butterflies and bees when they’re in full bloom. Some popular examples of perennial include rosemary, sage, basil, tomatoes, peonies, hostas, lavender, sedum, rudbeckia, and salvia. They require pruning during the
fall so they can grow healthy during winter. Pruning these plants also minimize their exposure to stress and diseases.
Don’t forget to add a new layer of mulch
Mulch is a combination of various materials which include hay, grass cuttings, kitchen scraps, bark nuggets, sawdust, woodchips and even pulverized shells.
Adding a layer of mulch on top of the garden bed protects it from eroding. It can also inhibit the growth of weeds and other invasive plant species.
Winter mulching is quite a crucial task you need to include in your to-do list because it helps the plants adjust when the soil starts to thaw. The mulch layer regulates soil moisture and temperature so your plans can ease its transition to springtime.
Outdoor furnishing can cost a lot of money. That’s why it’s absolutely important to learn how you can maintain them properly, most especially during the coldest months of the year.
There are various ways you can protect your outdoor furniture during winter. Feel free to use the easy-to-follow tips above to your advantage most especially for the remaining winter months.
Bonus home improvement tips
Photo by Sayan Nath from Unsplash
A new year has just begun. Apart from learning how to maintain your outdoor furnishing during the winter season, it’s also high time for you to start sprucing up your home.
After the snow starts to melt, you should start planning on your home improvement project.
You can start working on your garden first. Surely, you need to regrow some of the plants that died during the cold months. Also, you may need to makea DIY garden decoration to upgrade your garden.
Then, you should also think about revamping your home interiors. Perhaps you should add some new home decor so you can create a fresh and new vibe inside your house.
Don’t forget to work on the other rooms so you can level up your home this 2019.
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