How to Winterize Your Patio Furniture

by Team HomeServe
Outdoor patio furniture on a rainy day

Winterizing Patio Furniture at a Glance

  • Step 1: Clean furniture
  • Step 2: Dry
  • Step 3: Apply sealants and coatings
  • Step 4: Cover and secure
  • Step 5: Stack chairs
  • Step 6: Move to storage location

Saying goodbye to another outdoor entertainment season is never easy. You can crank up the patio heater and layer clothing as much as you want; if you live in an area that sees cold winter weather, you won’t be able to stretch it out too much longer. Eventually, you’ll have to pack up your patio furniture.

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Proper care of your patio furniture now will help it last for more seasons. Learn how to winterize your patio furniture so it’s ready to go for next summer.

What Kind of Furniture Can Stay Outside in Winter?

Storing all types of patio furniture indoors in the winter is ideal. Some materials can handle winter weather, but they'll still last longer when stored indoors. If you have to leave your pieces outdoors, durable materials like teak and aluminum hold up best.

Most patio furniture can handle a winter outdoors if covered. Things like porch swings in covered areas have some protection, but covering them with tarps makes them last longer.

Can You Leave Patio Cushions Outside in the Winter?

Patio cushions are usually made from all-weather fabric that can handle moisture. Sunbrella is particularly well-suited for outdoor conditions. However, storing cushions indoors is ideal because they can deteriorate faster when wet. Cushions can also blow away in strong winter winds.

Can You Leave Wicker Furniture Outside in the Winter?

Synthetic wicker furniture is designed to handle all types of weather. Many synthetic wicker pieces are made from resin. It's a durable material that can handle all types of weather conditions, so you could leave it outdoors when the weather gets cold. However, it's still a good idea to cover the furniture and move it to a shielded area for winter.

Natural wicker doesn't hold up well in outdoor elements and should go indoors for the winter. Even during the normal outdoor entertainment season, natural wicker is used best indoors or in a well-covered outdoor area.

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How Do You Wrap Patio Furniture for the Winter?

Patio furniture covers fit securely over the pieces to winterize patio furniture easily. Secure the attached straps around the furniture. If you wrap patio furniture with a tarp, use bungee cords to secure it. Choose a tarp that's large enough to cover the entire piece so water doesn't leak in at the seams.

Steps to Winterize Your Patio Furniture

Taking care of your outdoor furniture requires you to prep and cover the furniture properly before storing it for the winter. Here’s what to do:

  1. Hose down your outdoor furniture. Scrub it with a soft brush and soapy water to remove the dirt, pollen and other debris.
  2. Dry off the water with clean towels. Let the furniture dry completely. If you cover it while it's still damp, it can mold or rust in storage.
  3. Apply protective coatings when appropriate, such as sealant on wood furniture.
  4. Cover the furniture using specialty patio furniture covers. They often have straps to hold the cover in place and offer ventilation to prevent moisture buildup. Covers are useful even if you store the furniture indoors because they protect against UV rays and dust.
  5. Stack chairs and cover them with one large cover or tarp to save storage space.
  6. Move the furniture to its winter storage spot. Storing it in a shed, garage or basement is ideal for providing protection from outdoor elements. If you leave the furniture outdoors, choose a protected spot to shield it from wind, snow and ice if possible.