Calgary's Guide to Winterizing Your Patio Furniture
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Calgary’s Guide to Winterizing Your Patio Furniture

Calgary’s Guide to Winterizing Your Patio Furniture

After a couple of warm months relaxing on the patio, you will come to realize that eventually summer will end and winter will be settling in. And if you are a Calgarian, winter can bring up a variety of thoughts and feelings. Winter is one of the harshest experiences Calgarians go through yearly, and Patioline wants to help you keep your patio furniture safe out in the cold.

Your patio furniture is built to last against the elements during spring and summer. But when it comes to winter, you will need to come up with a plan to keep your patio furniture safe from the harsh ice and snow. Our helpful guide will give you the tips and tricks you need to keep your patio furniture lasting through the cold winter months and beyond.

Preparing Your Furniture

Outdoor Cushions

Cushions made with Sunbrella or Outdura fabrics are the best in the industry for outdoor use. They are mold and mildew as well as UV resistant, however all cushions should be stored away indoors for the winter. Prior to storing, all loose dirt should be removed either with a soft brush or vacuum cleaner.  Spray on a cleaning solution of mild soap, warm water and a small amount of bleach. Use a soft bristle brush to clean the fabrics. Rinse with warm water and let them fully dry prior to storing. Never put cushions into your drier as the heat will damage the fabrics.  A cleaning alternative is to use Treasure Garden’s Upholstery & Fabric Cleaner http://treasuregarden.com/upholstery-and-fabric-cleaner-p-1406.html available at Patioline.

Aluminum & Cast Iron 

Aluminum & Cast Iron Metal  Before storing away or covering your furniture with protective covers, clean your metal furniture with mild soap and warm water, followed by rinsing and thorough drying.  Avoid using cleaners with strong chemicals like bleach because they could corrode or damage the finish over time. An alternative option is to use a spray-on cleaner/protector such as Treasure Garden’s Stainless Steel/Aluminum/Cast Iron Cleaner & Guard http://treasuregarden.com/stainless-steel-cast-aluminum-cast-iron-cleaner-and-guard-p-1411.html available at Patioline.

Resin Wicker

Outdoor Resin Wicker is one of the most common types of patio furniture available, but the tight weaves can make the pieces tough to clean before storing away for the winter. When cleaning, use a soft bristle brush with mild soap and water.  Make sure your resin wicker is thoroughly dry before covering your furniture with breathable, protective covers. Plastic and non-breathable covers are not recommended as moisture may get trapped and cause issues.

Stainless Steel

Homeowners often pick stainless steel furniture because of its easy maintenance. For the most part, use soap and warm water to clean. In some cases, a rust-like appearance may come about which is really just oxidation.  If you are unable to clean this off using mild soap and water, use a cleaner recommended for stainless steel such Treasure Garden’s Stainless Steel/Aluminum/Cast Iron Cleaner & Guard http://treasuregarden.com/stainless-steel-cast-aluminum-cast-iron-cleaner-and-guard-p-1411.html

Teak

Teak’s long-lasting properties and beautiful natural colours make them a perfect choice for outdoor furniture. To keep them clean, all you need to do is wash with a soft bristle brush, mild soap, a small amount of bleach and warm water. Avoid using pressure washers or abrasive chemical cleaners as these could damage the finish.  If you wish to keep the natural amber colour of your teak, you will need to seal your furniture annually to prevent the silvering which is due to a chemical process when exposed to sun and moisture.  The oxidation process is not harmful to your teak, however some prefer the look of “new teak”. We recommend the product Semco which seals the teak to prevent the graying. However, due to teak being very hard and oily the seal is temporary therefore sealing your furniture yearly is recommended. Semco is available at Patioline. Please see link for more info www.semcoteakproducts.ca.

Storing & Covering

The best way to ensure your furniture is safe from the elements is by storing them in a garage or shed. However, this is not always feasible for everyone. Covering does not mean you will risk the quality of your patio furniture, as it is an option Calgarians have turned to for years.

After cleaning all of your furniture and letting it dry, try to consolidate space by stacking and combining. Remove any fabrics or cushions you might have and store them indoors or in a sealed tote or plastic bag to keep dry. Finally, find a spot in your yard that can protect your furniture from the elements. Once your furniture is clean and dry, cover your furniture with a good fitting, breathable, protective furniture cover which will protect your furniture from the elements when not in use. Try to brush the piling snow off every few weeks or so, just to help keep moisture from seeping in through the cover.

And You’re Done!

With your furniture safely cleaned and stored away, you can spend the rest of your winter bundled up inside. Be sure to contact Patioline if you need more tips protecting your furniture or if you are looking for more beautiful additions to your patio.