Beach Lounge Range by Alexander Rose

How To Protect Your Garden Furniture Over the Winter

Loosely speaking, you should think of the first lawn cut as being the start of outdoor furniture use and the last lawn cut as signalling the end of outdoor furniture use, ready for hibernation for the autumn and winter.

It’s worth remembering that, at Alexander Rose, our garden furniture is designed to live outdoors all year round. Our products are built using good quality, weather-resistant materials which are able to withstand even our harshest winter conditions.

However, if you want your garden furniture to remain in pristine condition from one year to the next, if you have the space, it will certainly benefit the most from sheltered storage. Or, often far more convenient, covering your furniture during these colder months, when it’s not in use for an extended period of time, is another way of ensuring maintenance is kept to a minimum.

What coverings do you recommend?

At Alexander Rose, we have a good selection of thick, good-quality coverings for all your garden furniture needs, including circular and rectangular tables, chairs, benches, parasols, recliners, sunbeds and even one for our more unusually shaped Ocean Pearl relax hut! They all come with cords and ties to secure to your furniture and keep it watertight.

It’s important that the coverings are well fitted and securely fastened down, especially for those strong windy days, which none of us appreciates! A strong metal stake or anchor dug into the surrounding area might even be necessary to prevent your furniture from taking off, if it’s on the lighter side. We have anchors at Alexander Rose- one for use with soft ground and the other for use with concrete.

Our coverings are typically made from polyester so that they’re breathable. If they were 100% waterproof, moisture could get trapped and mould and mildew could form underneath the cover, which could of course over time lead to undesirable rot, which nobody wants! We do also recommend using a bucket (or something similar) in the middle of your table to prop the cover-up like a tent, in order to prevent it from sagging, encouraging air flow and avoiding rainwater from collecting in the puddles.

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What if I haven’t got the space to store my furniture during the winter months?

If you don’t have space in your house, shed, garage or perhaps a conservatory, you could consider investing in a plastic storage shed for your furniture, or even a smaller plastic box just for storing your cushions.

Alternatively, you could look to store your furniture in a more sheltered area of your garden or stack it up near to a fence, wall or in a corner in order to give it some protection from strong winds.

If you should be lucky enough to have a pergola or similar outdoor structure, you could always consider winterising it by attaching a plastic, metal or canvas roof or side panels in order to keep your furniture extra dry.

Is it OK to leave my patio cushions outside all year round?

The majority of our outdoor garden furniture cushions are designed to be relatively durable and weather-resistant, but they will naturally stay in good condition and last a lot longer if you can store them away if they’re not going to be used for a prolonged period of time. We strongly recommend getting familiar with the fabric of your cushions and following the storage (and cleaning advice) for that specific material. Some of them are water resistant but they are not 100% waterproof, so storing them in a dry place when not in use will certainly extend their life and keep them looking clean, plump and beautiful!

Cleaning your garden furniture cushions before storage will help maintain their appearance too. Be sure not to use bleach, any abrasive cleaners or strong detergents when doing so, and simply allow them to air dry for the best results.

You could also consider spraying your cushions with our Fabric Protector which will help prevent future staining, as well as add an extra layer of water resistance.

We also have specially designed fabric bags for all our small, medium and large cushions.

Should I clean my furniture?

Our weave garden furniture is durable and weather resistant but if you’re planning on storing or covering your furniture over winter, it’s a good idea to give it a clean first in order to remove any dust, grime, grease, bird droppings and doggy paw prints etc. Mild soapy water and a microfibre cloth will do the trick, but make sure the furniture is dry before storing it away!

Our wooden garden furniture can also be washed down and can even be cleaned with a jet washer, as the durability won’t be compromised, but for the best result, we recommend cleaning and treating your furniture with our specially formulated care products –  all designed to maintain the beautiful finish of the wood. If the grain of the wood should lift a little over time with cleaning or exposure you can gently sand it down to recapture the smooth finish.

How should I protect my wood furniture?

Wood is naturally a very durable material, and makes for excellent (and visually very appealing) garden furniture. It can be left outside exposed to our British winter weather without concern but if you do have the space, it’s a good idea to store it away in order to avoid prolonged exposure to the elements.

If a few hairline cracks and splits appear in the wood, you can rest assured that it’s part of the normal weathering process and the durability will remain unaffected.

We do however have timber treatments and sealants which can be applied each year in order to replenish the natural oils and provide protection against water ingress.

If left untreated our timber furniture will weather over time to give you that beautiful silvery grey appearance.

If you’re more of a Spring and Summer fan (like us), hang in there, it’ll be around again soon. Take a couple of hours to carefully prepare your beloved furniture for the colder months which are coming and they’ll be ready and waiting for you, in tip-top condition, when the sun comes back out again to play.

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Created by Carla Harries