A huge backyard is not complete if you don’t have any outdoor patio with furniture. From having a solemn place in the afternoon to a space where you can drink beers and have a barbeque with your friends, you’ll surely enjoy your intimate time there once you have comfortable furniture to lean on.
Storing and taking care of your backyard furniture is important to ensure that you’ll enjoy it for a long time. But before taking your furniture into your storage area, make sure to properly clean and dry it. To store your furniture, you can use a furniture cover, put it inside your house, or in an outdoor shed.
No matter what materials your furniture is made of, grime and mildew will eventually start building up. If you want to preserve the stability and appearance of your backyard furniture, keep reading to learn how to properly store your furnishings.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can care for and store furniture made from different materials, the best time to cover your furniture depending on the climate, and what happens if you don’t cover it.
Ways to Store Different Backyard Furniture
Different backyard furniture requires different care and storage. Whether it be your outdoor hammocks, cushions, furniture made from wicker, plastic resin, cedar, teak, or metal, we’ll tell you how to store it properly without having to get a storage unit.
Note that every time you store your outdoor furniture, you must clean and let it completely dry off first. Doing so will remove any unwanted residue that may linger on the furnishings and make them look brand new on the next use.
How to Store an Outdoor Hammock
- A hammock made with any material should first be washed and dried using natural air. Afterward, fold the hammock and store it indoors.
- For a fabric umbrella, follow the instructions on the tag on how to wash and brush it using the recommended detergent. Let it dry in an open position. Make sure to lubricate the pivots, switches, and locks before you store them in a dry place in a closed position.
How to Store an Outside Cushion
- If you have removable covers on your cushions, take them off and follow the instructions on how to launder them to kill possible mildew. Once dry, put the covers back on the cushion and stack them loosely in a dry and safe area.
- If you have an outdoor shed, you can store the cushions in it, but make sure to cover the stack of cushions with a cloth tarp. Avoid using a plastic tarp as it may ruin the fabric.
How to Store Wicker Furniture
- Using bleach and water solution, brush off the entire furniture to remove and clean any mildew. Using a fine spray on your garden hose, rinse it gently until all the soap is gone. Let the furniture dry thoroughly to ensure there’s no mildew growth.
- If needed, you can repaint the furniture using spray paint to add a fresher finish.
- Apply your preferred moisture-repellent on the feet and legs of your furniture.
- Put blocks on the bottom part of the furniture to keep the feet off the ground. Store it in a safe and dry place. You can also add furniture covers to avoid gathering dust on the furniture by the time you use it again.
How to Store Plastic Resin Furniture
- Wash your plastic resin furniture using the detergent suggested by the manufacturer. Once done, rinse it thoroughly and let it dry completely.
- Store the furniture in a safe and dry area where the temperature doesn’t drop below freezing temperature.
How to Store Cedar or Teak Furniture
- Apply bleach on the whole furniture to lighten the wood and kill any mildew, and leave it on for an entire day.
- Using 120-grit abrasive, sand the surfaces to ensure that you’ve removed all stains.
- Apply your chosen oil to polish the wood. We recommend China wood oil, also known as tung oil.
- Once you’re done treating the cedar or track furniture, you can leave it on your patio.
- You can use a furniture cover to protect it from the sun, rain, or even snow.
How to Store Metal Furniture
- Using water and detergent, scrub the entire surface of your metal furniture and rinse it thoroughly with a hose.
- Inspect all the corners for oxidation or rust. If you find any of these on your furniture, treat the affected area immediately with a rust-neutralizing primer. You can smoothen the primed area using steel wool. Afterward, apply spray paint that closely matches the color of the original finish.
- After treating and spray painting the whole furniture, apply a protective coat of wax on all the surfaces.
Rain and snow are not the only elements that can damage your wooden outdoor furniture. In the summer, you have to keep an eye out on your outdoor tables and chairs because they can be damaged by too much exposure to the sun. To prevent this from happening, you can follow our guide to protecting outdoor wood furniture from sun damage.
When Should You Cover Your Patio Furniture?
You should cover your backyard furniture during winter. The best time to cover your furniture is before the first snowstorm and after the first frost. During summer, you want to cover your furniture to ensure that the wood construction and color don’t fade, unless it’s completely covered by your awning.
What Happens When You Don’t Cover Your Backyard Furniture?
Patio owners’ most common mistake is not to cover their backyard furniture. Imagine buying your dream outdoor set and not taking care of it. That would be a waste of your money and the beautiful scene in your backyard.
Excessive sun and constant rain and snow exposure will only lead to the quick deterioration of your furniture’s quality. If it’s made of wood, even if it’s cedar, it will lead to mildew and will not only ruin the furnishings but also your entire patio.
What If You Don’t Have a Furniture Cover?
If you don’t have or want to cover your outdoor furniture, you can opt for a “furniture screen.” It’s used like outdoor paint wherein you can apply coating once, twice, or three times. On wood-constructed furniture, this will ensure that the wood underneath remains safe for many years.
Items You Can Leave on Your Patio
We don’t recommend putting all the items in your backyard inside your house when it rains or snows. Indeed, you can leave certain items outside if they are:
- Composite furniture
- Aluminum furniture. Just make sure that the items are free from water.
Items You Need to Bring Inside
Contrary to the materials mentioned above, you need to bring some items inside your house or backyard shed as they have delicate fabrics that may get ruined if left outside:
- Outdoor rugs, umbrellas, and upholstery. Even if these items are waterproof, you can extend their lifespans and reduce maintenance by storing them in a safe place.
- Wrought-iron and steel furniture, which are prone to rust.
- Stone tabletops, which are prone to cracks if the moisture makes its way to the surface.
- Wicker sofas. Those tend to contract and expand depending on the weather conditions, which will eventually ruin the furniture.
Rattan furniture is built to last a very long time, even if kept outside throughout the year. Synthetic rattan is waterproof and weather-resistant, but genuine wooden rattan furniture tends to give in to the harsh weather. With these factors in mind, can you leave your rattan furniture out all year?
To improve the looks and ambience of your backyard, one of the things that you can do is add outdoor furniture. Not only will you have a more visually appealing outdoor space, you will also have a place to hang out and chill with your family and friends. Unlike your indoor furniture which only stays inside, you will need to store your outdoor furniture inside to make them last longer.
Taking care of your backyard furniture is essential to prevent unwanted damages, mildew build-up, and rust. There are a lot of things that you can do to improve the longevity of your furniture, like making sure that they are clean and dry before storing and using additional protection such as furniture covers. By using furniture covers, you don’t only protect your items from rain and snow but also from the possibility of fading due to excessive sun exposure. By following the aforementioned ways to store your furniture, you’ll surely enjoy your patio furniture for a long time.