Are you tired of the seasonal dance of moving your patio furniture in and out of storage? You’re not alone. Many are choosing to invest in patio furniture that can withstand the winter, saving time and reducing worry about the condition of their outdoor setups.
The question on your mind is likely this: “Can patio furniture be left outside in the winter?” The short answer is yes. However, it’s vital to choose the right type of furniture and take steps to protect it from the elements.
In this article, we’ll explore how snow affects outdoor furniture and provide tips for choosing pieces that can stay outside all year round. From understanding the benefits of weather-resistant materials like aluminium to learning how to properly seal and protect your furniture, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and make your patio a hassle-free zone, regardless of the season.
The Importance of Outdoor Furniture
Your patio furniture plays a pivotal role in both bringing out the charm of your space and increasing your home’s outdoor appeal. Therefore, when choosing furniture, it’s essential to consider its longevity and sturdiness against rain, wind, and even snow, especially for those residing in areas with harsh winters.
Let’s get to the real question: Can patio furniture be left outside during the winter?
The simple answer is yes, with the right type of furniture and protection, your patio furniture can withstand the winter season.
Quality construction holds the key to patio furniture that will last year after year. If furniture is poorly made, regardless of the material, it’s unlikely to withstand the harshest elements. Therefore, it pays to invest in high-quality outdoor furniture from trusted brands.
Covering your furniture during winter isn’t just a good idea, it’s a proactive measure towards extending the life of your patio pieces. This simple action can prolong the lifespan of your pieces threefold, without the need for repairs or replacements. Thus, even though it’s not being used frequently during winter, your furniture still gets the care and protection it deserves.
Do note that not all furniture materials handle the winter season equally well. Woven outdoor furniture holds up well in cold climates when made with a powder-coated, fully welded aluminium sub-frame. The wicker material itself should be 100% solution-dyed to resist fading, cracking, or peeling. Quality outdoor wicker furniture should also be treated with a UV stabilizer that helps maintain the pieces’ integrity.
Patio furniture can survive winter unscathed when equipped with the right care, materials, and protectors, proving once again that quality construction and attention to detail during the manufacturing process are non-negotiables. The goal is, as always, to create a fuss-free, enjoyable outdoor space, whatever the season.
Factors to Consider
When selecting the perfect outdoor furniture for your patio area, it’s crucial to keep several key factors in mind. The mission is not just about aesthetics — instead, it’s about finding furniture that can hold up under the harsh realities of winter and beyond.
First and foremost is the question of material. What sort of stuff is your furniture made from? This single decision can make or break the longevity of your patio arrangement, especially considering the rigours of winter wear.
Note that there’s a wide range of materials out there, each offering its unique mixture of strengths and potential pitfalls. We find four main categories of outdoor furniture material. Here’s a quick look at each one:
- Synthetic Wicker: This durable material mimics natural rattan but offers increased toughness against winter elements.
- Wrought Iron: If you’re looking for elegance, durability and resistance to harsh weather, wrought iron ticks all boxes.
- Wood Elements: Certain types of wood can withstand outdoor conditions relatively well; however, they require constant maintenance.
- Powder-coated Aluminum Furniture: Renowned for its exceptional durability, this material is an ideal choice in winter settings.
Remember, the material isn’t the end of the story. Poor manufacturing can undercut even the best materials. To get the most out of your patio, pay attention to the construction and attention to detail.
The durability of your patio furniture goes hand in hand with the material choice – but it’s also very much its own concern. As you’re well aware, winter doesn’t hold back its punches. Therefore, your furniture mustn’t buckle under the pressure.
Depending on your area’s typical weather conditions, the aim should be to invest in high-quality outdoor furniture. This might mean spending a tad more upfront, but quality pays off in the long run.
The fact is, chip, crack, peel, rot, sand, and dent-resistant winter outdoor furniture can maintain its appearance no matter what. Invest in quality, and you’ll have furniture that’s intended to last for decades — if not generations, bucking the trend of seasonal disposability.
Additional precautions you can take include covering your furniture during winter and being mindful of potential furniture hazards like fire pits. Remember, winter brings heightened wildlife activity that can cause damage to your furniture, so take measures to curb this.
Weather-Resistant Patio Furniture Options
Your outdoor space takes the hit from extreme weather conditions, and selecting patio furniture that can handle these trials is of the essence. With your focus on creating a winter-resistant outdoor space, let’s explore diverse furniture options that feature weather-resistant characteristics.
Aluminium, a material synonymous with durability in patio furniture, is ideal if you’re looking for long-lasting, weather-resistant options. With minimal maintenance, aluminium outdoor furniture holds up well even in the harshest weather conditions, especially if it has been coated with a powder-coated finish. It remains rust-free under humid or salty outdoor air, and unlike most wooden furniture, it doesn’t dry out or crack when exposed to the sun.
Notably, aluminium furniture is corrosion resistant and can be left outside for extended periods, making it a great option for a winter-proof patio. When opting for PE rattan furniture, invest in those with aluminium frames over steel frames; these resist rust better and can weather all conditions without wear.
Moving on to wood, teak stands out as the premier choice for premium outdoor furniture. It’s a sustainably grown hardwood with a high oil content that makes it highly resistant to rot, mold, mildew, and insect infestation. This natural resistance to all kinds of weather conditions renders it suitable for almost any yard.
Teak furniture is not just durable; it’s visually appealing, too. Treated with teak oil or sanded down, it showcases a range of vibrant, natural hues. Plus, it’s low-maintenance: a simple clean suffices to keep it looking great. As a bonus, teak is splinter-resistant, making it a safe choice for children and pets.
Last on our list, but certainly not least, is Wicker Furniture. This comes in two types: natural rattan and synthetic (also known as resin wicker). While both types should be kept in mind, synthetic wicker holds the upper hand when it comes to withstanding winter weather.
In damp weather, natural wicker can absorb moisture, leading to cracks or breaks when the moisture freezes and expands. On the other hand, PE rattan is resistant to UV rays and cold, which means your furniture can be left outdoors all year round.
Still, precaution is better than cure. If it’s impossible to move your wicker furniture indoors, consider relocating it to a covered area. Also, secure the wicker by tying it down to heavy weights or stakes driven into the ground to ensure it withstands high winds. Covering your wicker furniture with a heavy-duty, water-resistant, breathable fabric can keep out moisture and cold air, effectively winterizing it.
Maintenance Tips for Outdoor Furniture
Ensuring the longevity of your patio furniture isn’t a Herculean task. Crafting a strategic maintenance plan can prevent dire issues like cracking, rust, mould, and mildew. Here are some useful strategies you can consider.
Keeping your furniture squeaky clean is imperative. Remember, dirty furniture and debris hasten the deterioration process. Depending upon the material type, you might need varied cleaning regimes. Some furniture requires a simple hosing down, while others might need periodic resealing or recoating.
Towards fabric furnishings such as cushions, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning. Some can be machine washed while others might need a dry-cleaning approach. Outdoor fabrics like curtains, pillows and cushions should ideally be cleaned before storage to prep them for spring.
For wood, a mix of water, ammonia, vinegar and baking soda produces great results. Similarly, for plastic or synthetic pieces, a quick disinfectant spray and wipe tactic works the best. Remember, if you spot any mould, take swift action to prevent its spread.
Covers and Protective Accessories
As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’, investing in robust patio furniture covers can make all the difference in maintaining your outdoor haven. On a side note, don’t shortchange yourself by opting for the cheapest covers, the lifetime of your furniture depends heavily on the quality of the covers.
Covers fend off harsh weather conditions like rain and UV rays, over time these elements can cause immense havoc to your furniture. It’s especially advantageous to use waterproof storage boxes for cushions and upholstery items.
Don’t forget to periodically check the snugness of these covers throughout the winter and brush off snow, ice or debris buildup. Topping up with a water-repellent spray can further prolong the life of your furniture.
Storing during Extreme Weather
Extreme care is needed during severe weather. Indoor storage isn’t feasible for everyone. If you don’t have the room, utilise your garage, shed, attic or basement. Even if you can stow your furniture in such places, for an added layer of protection, consider a lightweight cover to safeguard against water leaks and dust.
Respectfully, plastic furniture must be treated with additional diligence, especially if you reside in an area where freezing temperatures are prevalent. Prolonged exposure to frigid conditions can make plastic brittle.
Deep clean outdoor cushions and cushion covers and then store them indoors. If the indoor room isn’t an option, consider utilising cushion storage bags. Fabrics, unless they are water/ weatherproof types like Sunbrella, should either be brought inside or put into storage, as they are susceptible to mould and mildew growth.
While the wear and tear differ depending upon the material of the furniture, one thing’s certain – continuous care for your patio furniture can enhance its life, leaving you to enjoy your outdoor space for many more years.
The Best Patio Furniture for All Seasons
When it comes to choosing patio furniture that stands the test of time, and every brand of weather, there are a few high-performing materials that clearly outshine the rest. Let’s delve right in.
Resin is a top choice for outdoor furniture. Offering extreme durability and resistance against rot and rust, it can bear all seasons without a flinch. This material, replicated to look like natural rattan, is incredibly light and calls for minimal upkeep.
Common names for this material include synthetic wicker, all-weather wicker, and resin wicker. Its strength and longevity derive from polyethylene (PE), a robust material mimicking the look of natural rattan. Furthermore, resin furniture sets are UV-resistant and weatherproof, enhancing their suitability for Ottawa’s harsh winters. However, adding an extra cover wouldn’t hurt.
The colours in resin furnishings are chemically dependent, securing them against fading and eradicating the need for dyes or sealants. They’re also easy to clean and maintain. In fact, these qualities make them slightly pricier than other types of patio furniture but entirely worth the investment.
Stainless Steel Furniture
Stainless steel furniture speaks volumes of luxury and endurance. It’s stronger than aluminium and doesn’t shy away from braving any climate. Thanks to its considerable resistance against salt air environments, it fares well in coastal areas. But do you know what enhances its appeal even more? You’ve got an option to choose stainless furniture made out of 304-grade stainless steel, the industry standard, or 316 marine-grade stainless steel which offers superior resistance to salt air.
In Steve McQueen-style, you could go for powder-coated stainless steel, which sports a protective barrier acting as an armour against rust caused by salt air. Remember though, exposure to chlorine could lead to rust so do ensure your pool-side steel furniture has a durable powder coating for added protection.
While stainless steel is king when it comes to longevity, it might weigh heavily on your pockets. Still, considering its potential to withstand weather adversaries, it’s a one-time investment you wouldn’t regret.
Any discussion about patio furniture isn’t complete without a mention of cushions. They bring an element of comfort to wicker, woven resin, metal, and aluminium pieces. Fabric that is fade-resistant, mould and mildew proof, UV-resistant, and easy to cleanse makes the best fit for patio furniture cushions. Protection against even stubborn stains like chocolate and fruit juices adds to its qualities.
However, leaving these cushions outdoors all year round can significantly decrease their lifespan. It’s highly recommended to store the cushions indoors during chilly winters, irrespective of whether they’re crafted from Sunbrella, Outdura fabric, or otherwise. Even materials hailed for being UV, mildew, and mould-resistant require protection against harsh winters.
Outdoor resin or stainless steel furniture sets, coupled with UV-resistant cushions, can wonderfully overhaul your patio’s look. Adopting regular maintenance habits and protecting your investment can ensure a lasting lifespan for your patio furniture, serving you for numerous seasons to come.
Choosing the right patio furniture that can endure the winter chill isn’t as daunting as you might think. With options like aluminium, teak, synthetic wicker and stainless steel, you’ve got a variety of durable materials to choose from. Remember, though, that even the toughest outdoor furniture needs some TLC. Regular cleaning and the use of protective covers can go a long way in extending your furniture’s lifespan.
Don’t forget about your cushions either. While they might be UV-resistant, they’re best stored indoors during the brunt of winter. And if you’re looking for the ultimate in weather resistance with minimal upkeep, it’s hard to beat all-weather resin furniture.
So, don’t let winter stop you from enjoying your outdoor space. With a bit of planning and care, your patio can be a welcoming retreat all year round.