[Note: This post was originally published as a guest post on Big Mick’s Garden Services’ blog (originally published on 7th August 2015), but given that his website has since gone offline, we have republished it here.]
The Great British Weather is not a match made in heaven for garden furniture. Whether you’re using real wood, wrought iron, rattan or plastic furniture on your patio, simply shoving it in the shed when the drizzle descends can lead to soggy, mildewy furniture which you’re not going to want to use next summer.
From deckchairs covered in cobwebs, to tables that give off a distinctly damp aroma, it’s time that we get better at looking after our outdoor furniture. These tips will help to keep your tables and chairs in great condition all year round, whether they’re in hibernation for the winter or simply sheltered from summer downpours.
1. Keep an eye on the weather
Storing garden furniture when it’s wet is never a good idea. You may have popped it under cover for just a day or two until the sun comes out, but if the sun fails to shine on the UK right up until October, you’ll be faced with a shed or garage stuffed with damp furniture. This is particularly bad news for wooden, rattan and metal furniture, which can quickly become rotten, mouldy and rusty.
To prevent this problem, try to keep a close eye on the weather in order to avoid your garden furniture getting a drenching. If it does get caught in the rain, make sure that you give it a good airing and a chance to dry out in the open once the rain stops.
2. Consider covers
Not all of us have the space to store bulky outdoor furniture during inclement weather and the winter months. If you don’t have a garage or shed with space to stash your furniture, investing in waterproof covers can help to keep furniture looking good and performing well for longer. Of course, many pieces of outdoor equipment are designed to weather whatever the elements have to throw at them, but nothing lasts forever. Protecting each piece as best you can will help lengthen its useful, usable life.
3. Clean it up
When the summer is over and it’s time to put away the patio set and hunker down from October onwards, giving your garden furniture a clean is a good idea. This will prevent mould from growing, spreading and damaging your items. A simple wash with warm soapy water should do the trick, but make sure that you complete this task on a dry day, giving your furniture time to dry completely before you store it away.
4. Keep it dry
From dripping sheds to leaky garages, our outbuildings are rarely the most weather-proof spaces in our homes. But to keep your furniture in mint condition ready for next year, storing it in a clean, dry space is essential. Before you pack everything up for the winter, do some maintenance on your storage space. Give it a good clean to avoid infiltration by creepy crawlies and fix any leaks to maximise your chances of keeping your furniture cobweb-free and as dry as a bone.
5. Invest in storage space
No matter how well maintained they are, sheds and garages are not ideal for garden furniture storage, offering less-than-perfect protection from the elements during wetter, colder months. If you’d like to keep your outdoor furniture in pristine condition, renting a good quality storage space is a great consideration. Accessible, dry and well maintained, affordable storage spaces can keep your furniture in perfect condition and create more space in your home as well… What could you do with your empty shed?