Many of us like to leave our Patio Furniture in the garden and on our patios all year round. However, as the recent cold snaps have shown us, mother nature can be cruel, so it is important you know how to protect your patio furniture from winter weather.
We have a number of top tips and practical advice on how you can keep it clean, protect it from the elements and most importantly keep it looking like new and ready to use for many summers to come.
Our thinking has always been, if you keep it outside during the winter months, then you want it clean and ready to sit on as soon the weather permits. But we also want that combined with minimal fuss and as little cleaning as possible.
Anything left outside for any period of time will need cleaning, however, what we want to look at in this article is ways you can keep it cleaner for longer, and that when you do clean it, its a quick 30-minute job and not a day of sanding, painting, etc.
That is the advantage of our metal patio furniture over other materials. It is as easy to clean as plastic synthetic resins but requires significantly less maintenance than natural timbers.
Lazy Susan’s guide to protecting your patio furniture in winter
Whilst we are focussing on our own Patio Furniture range in this article, much of the advice can be applied to all types of outdoor furniture, regardless of materials.
1. Keep your patio furniture clean and ready to use
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than the cure. Keep it clean, well maintained, and apply a little protection and you’ll keep it like new for longer.
Much like a bicycle, if you keep it clean, maintain it and protect the moving parts with lubricant, that bike will last you a number of years. Pop it outside and just leave it and in no time it will be rusted and unrideable. Even the bikes chain which is covered in oil, will eventually rust.
Of course, patio furniture generally has very little in the way of intricate moving parts. Our range is also protected with a tough durable painted finish and this will prevent any corrosion or pitting. So, it won’t go the way of a bike, however, the cleaning and maintenance part is still important if you want it ready to use.
If exposed to the elements in wintertime, your patio furniture will end up dirty, factor in other things such as birds and overhanging trees and shrubs, and come spring it will look filthy.
The key is to keep it clean. Little and often. If we see a mild dry day, give it a quick wash with some warm water soapy water and rinse. If you get any bird droppings at this time of year, don’t leave them until summer, wipe them off asap weather permitting.
If you want a more detailed breakdown of how we clean more stubborn dirt such as tree sap or bird droppings, then our how to remove tree sap from outdoor furniture article is a great place to start.
2. Maintain your patio furniture to keep it like new
As well as cleaning, a little maintenance could be required too. Actually, maybe vigilance is a better term. Our painted finish is pretty tough but it pays to keep an eye on it.
For the paint to continue doing its job and protect the cast aluminium any chips or scratches must be repaired. If left, moisture could find its way between the paintwork and aluminium. Rust will not form as the aluminium will oxidise to protect itself but this process can compromise the paintwork.
The solution is quick and super simple, check it regularly, and if you get a chip or scratch, repair it with our Touch-Up Paint Kits (pictured above).
As you’d expect, the most commonly affected area is the feet from when chairs are moved on a stone patio, for example, so flip them over and check.
It is also worth stressing that chips and scratches are rare but they can occur if a little heavy-handed on a rough patio surface or if somebody dropped say a large ake knife onto the tabletop
If you do need to touch up, then the application is simple, and our how to touch-up paint chips and scratches article has all the info you need and an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide with pictures and video.
3. Protect your patio furniture from winter weather
Keep it clean, keep it well-maintained and third in the trifecta is applying a little protection.
A simple coat of car wax will go a long way in helping to protect your patio furniture from winter weather and is ready to use if you’re leaving it outside all year round.
Once clean apply a light coat of ‘carnauba’ style wax and it will not only give the paintwork a nice lustre, it will also give you extra protection against the elements and help keep the furniture cleaner for longer.
For more information on the logic behind this, our how to apply car wax to metal garden furniture post looks at the why, the how, and we recommend some of our favourite products
4. Store or secure your patio furniture if it is windy
If you have the option to store your patio furniture in a shed or garage, then our advice would be to do so. That way you can guarantee it is clean, dry and ready to use when things warm up. It will also save you from having to clean and protect it.
Here at Lazy Susan many of the team pop it away for the winter. One even removes the legs from his patio table to save space/make it fit. Many of our patio chairs are stackable so they can be tucked in a corner but the larger 8+ seater tables need a lot of room.
If you do want to store a table this way, then our advice is to take your time when removing the legs. Pop all the parts in a zip-loc bag and give them a little squirt of WD-40 as this will help with reassembly. Also, wrap the tabletop in something like a Moving Blanket to keep it protected too.
The above is too much hassle for most though, and let us be honest here, it is designed for outdoor use. Personally, I leave my own Lazy Susan patio set outside all year round even though I could store it in our garage if needed.
Our garden is enclosed on all sides so we don’t get too much wind but I do tend to move it into the corner of our patio just to be on the safe side. If your garden is a little more exposed, then we would definitely advise you to secure it as if the wind picks up it could topple it and damage it.
Carefully stack it in the corner, secure it with straps, etc. Our keep it safe with our garden furniture security tips article is mainly concerned with theft but it has some great pointers on how you can secure a large patio furniture set.
5. Cover your patio furniture to protect it from winter weather
In the wintertime, if you can’t store it indoors but want to keep it clean, then a patio furniture cover is the route to go down.
However, the key to a good cover is getting one that won’t blow off. So you have to ensure a good fit, that they can be secured in place and are constructed from a breathable waterproof fabric.
You can pick up large covers that will fit over our full patio table sets from the likes of Amazon, however, our advice would be to get ‘fitted’ individual covers for each piece from somewhere like Bags & Covers Direct.
They supply tables, chairs, sun loungers and parasol covers that are custom-made to measure and fit any size or shape (as pictured above on a patio sofa set). As well as being waterproof, they are UV and tear-resistant, and they can be supplied with those all-important tie-down straps to secure them in place.
6. Insure your patio furniture for peace of mind from winter storms
For peace of mind, it might also be worth considering insurance to protect any large expensive patio sets from accidental damage.
Storms are becoming more frequent in the UK and all the protection and cover in the world can do little if we see extremely high winds such as the case with Storm Eunice back in Feb 22.
Patio furniture is an expensive purchase, especially if you have one of our larger sets or multiple pieces, and home insurance policies don’t always cover garden items for accidental damage or theft for that matter.
So start by checking your existing policy to see if your patio furniture is covered if it was to sustain damage from a winter storm.
If it is not covered, then shop around, use a price comparison site such as Money Supermarket and see what extra garden cover will cost.
7. Purchase new patio furniture for summer 2023
Of course, even cast aluminium patio furniture will look a little tired after several years of winter weather and summer use, so the wintertime is the perfect time to start planning, researching and purchasing new.
Here at Lazy Susan, whilst this is our off-season, the shop is very much open for business, so beat the summer rush and have your new patio set delivered, set up and in your garden ready for the start of summer.
Shop our full Patio Furniture range today!
If you have any photos of your Lazy Susan furniture in your garden in winter, then we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign.
We especially love snow snaps such as those in our Winter Gallery. Just share your photos on social media and tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or email them to us at [email protected].