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Should You Leave Your Outdoor Furniture Outside for the Winter or Bring Them Inside? | Fairfax VA


lawn and leisure blog

Outdoor furniture always adds individual style to a backyard patio or deck. When winter comes, though, you may be experiencing conflicted feelings about whether to place that furniture in storage or to leave it all outside through possible inclement weather. Because some people have outdoor furniture that's not easy to move, you may need the balance of leaving some outside and storing lighter furniture indoors.

For those who choose to leave the furniture outside, you'll have to do a few things to get them ready for the winter. However, depending on what material your furniture is made of, you may have no choice but to bring them inside.

Cleaning Your Furniture

Even during the summer, your outdoor furniture will get plenty of dirt that could turn into mold by the time next spring or summer comes around. Your first job is to clean all your furniture so it's as dirt-free as possible. For most furniture, simple soap and water is sufficient. recommends Murphy Oil Soap and water for wooden chairs. Bob Vila also notes that Teak wood furniture needs an application of specialty oil once a year to retain its original color.

When it comes to plastic materials, they can be washed with simple soap and water, though it's best if you bring those items inside due to the chance of becoming brittle in the winter. 

Any cushions you have on outdoor couches should also be washed and obviously brought inside. The last thing you want to do is keep cushions outside all winter, no matter if they're covered with a tarp.

Applying Protective Coating

Metal and wicker furniture can generally stay outdoors due to their resiliency to the elements. Aluminum furniture, in particular, has powder coating to eliminate any chances of rusting due to condensation. Nevertheless, applying some car wax to metal adds an extra layer of protection if you expect winter conditions to be harsh.

Wicker also stays in good shape when left outdoors. But Bob Vila above warns about natural rattan needing a dark and dry place for storage due to the potential of drying out.

Wrought iron furniture, conversely, is known for having the potential to rust badly when exposed to dampness. Before preparing it for winter, you can remove that rust with a wire brush and then give it a new coating of paint.

Placing Tarps Over the Furniture Remaining Outside

Many furniture tarps are available that can accommodate large spaces. Some even come with the ability to cover a high stack of chairs to save space. Be sure the tarps cover your furniture securely so when wind storm comes up in the thick of winter, your tarp won't be blown away along with your furniture. 

In the meantime, if you're seeking out some new outdoor furniture for next spring or summer, visit us here at Lawn & Leisure. We provide every style of furniture you need for your patio or deck. Our selection is also quite diverse and covers everything from table umbrellas to swivel chairs.

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