Can you leave patio furniture outside in winter if it is covered?

Here at Lazy Susan we get asked a lot of questions about patio furniture. One of the most popular is “can you leave patio furniture outside in the wintertime if it’s covered?”

It’s a good question because naturally, you don’t want your furniture to rot due to poor weather… but do you also want to keep taking it inside whenever the cold begins to bite? 

In this post, we answer these questions — and more.

Let’s begin.

Can covered patio furniture be left outside in the winter?

The short answer to this question is: Yes, your patio furniture can be left outside in the winter if you take the time to cover it up. Here are the two most popular ways:

  1. Plastic wraps

  2. Patio furniture covers

Let’s talk about them in detail.

Plastic Wraps

Plastic wrap is probably the most popular way to cover patio furniture during the winter months. It’s not too expensive and it can cover every single piece of furniture.

However, the biggest problem you’ll face is breathability. If it rains, sleets, or snow, water will likely enter your plastic wrap, especially if your furniture has sharp edges. The downside is that the water won’t evaporate and will stay trapped. 

This can lead to mould.

You’ll also need to invest in ropes (or bungee cords) that will secure your plastic wraps during windy days and nights. 

Patio Furniture Covers 

Patio furniture covers are a great way to protect your furniture over the cold season. You can buy them in sets and they will prevent the likes of rain, snow, and sleet from doing damage to your tables and chairs. 

Like plastic wraps, you’ll still need to take care to avoid mould from developing. Look for breathable fabric when purchasing your patio furniture covers, as well as mesh vents. The trick is to make sure that there’s enough airflow to eliminate moisture.

That said, it’s still important that you monitor your furniture for signs of water build-up. If you let water build up on your covers, it can easily lead to the onset of mould. 

What else should you do to protect patio furniture left outside?

It’s not really necessary to take your patio furniture indoors if you’ve covered it up. But if you’ve got the space — and especially if you have a garage — there’s no harm in taking it inside. 

However, if you decide to leave it outside we also advise that it’s not enough just to cover your furniture and hope for the absolute best.

Personally, I prefer to clean and coat my patio furniture in addition to covering it up with wraps or covers. This is because covering your furniture is more of a storage method while cleaning and covering it is a way of protecting it. 

The issue here is that because there are different types of patio furniture, such as rattan and metal, there are also different ways to clean and coat them. 

Exactly what material your furniture is made of will dictate how you could look after it. Here are some tips:

Wood Furniture

You absolutely need to seal wood furniture when you leave it outside in the winter. If you don’t, the wood might splinter and crack as a result of freezing temperatures. 

In this case, I recommend using protective sealants alongside furniture oil to coat your tables and chairs. 

Aluminium Furniture

High-grade aluminium furniture is actually what we sell at Lazy Susan — and it’s one of the best types of outdoor furniture money can buy.

This is because aluminium furniture is weatherproof and durable, meaning you can get away with leaving it outdoors without even covering it up.

Still, you need to take precautions and I suggest mixing warm water with a bit of mild laundry detergent before gently scrubbing your furniture with it. This will help you avoid any nasty problems that can arise whenever the temperature hits below freezing, such as weak frames. 

Rattan Furniture

If you’ve purchased synthetic rattan patio furniture, the good news is that it’s easier to look after than natural rattan furniture. It won’t chip as much over time — but you will still need to cover it up in the winter and keep it clean. 

To clean rattan furniture, you can take a soft cloth and soak it in soapy water before gently scrubbing your tables and chairs. 

Final Thoughts
Final thoughts...

As a final tip, before we go, we recommend taking your cushions inside during the winter whenever your patio furniture is left outside.

Go ahead and leave your frames outside but it’s so easy to take your cushions indoors (provided they’re removable) — and we very much suggest you do this.

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