How to Protect Your Outdoor Furniture in Winter

1 December 2014 by

Winter is nearly here and with it comes snow, sleet and ice. All three can wreak havoc on your patio furniture, even if it’s designed to withstand winter weather conditions. The following advice from Zoltan Kurucz and Lajos Nagy, owners of United Water Restoration Group, a full-service restoration company that restores property after water, flood, fire, storm, sewage and mold damage, can help you protect your metal, wood and plastic furniture, and your cushions, from the elements.

Many outdoor furnishings today are advertised as weatherproof. Still, “it is strongly advised to bring in your outdoor furniture when it snows,” said Kurucz and Nagy. “If you don’t have any space, perhaps you should try using furniture covers that protect your sectional and outdoor dining sets from the elements while allowing proper ventilation to prevent mildew.” Covers can be purchased at home good stores such as Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and Crate and Barrel.

“When these best practices are followed,” Kurucz and Nagy said, “outdoor furnishing can last for many years.”

Metal Furniture

According to Kurucz and Nagy, metal furniture should be store inside. Snow and freezing rain can cause rust, which weakens the metal and causes it to breakdown. “Galvanized metal holds up better than regular metal,” they said, “but over time, it could also suffer from being out in the snow.”

It’s best to store this furniture inside a basement, attic or shed not only in winter, they said, but also when it rains.

Wood Furniture

To protect wood furniture, Kurucz and Nagy recommend applying a sealant to it in the winter months to protect it from moisture all year long. “Moisture can seep and freeze in the wood and cause it to crack. Sealing the wood prevents any snow or freezing rain to damage the wood.”

They said sealant should be applied even if it isn’t raining or snowing since air moisture can cause damage as well. Sealants can be purchased at hardware stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot and Ace.

Plastic Furniture

Although plastic is the most weather-resistant of all outdoor furniture, freezing rain, sleet and snow can make it fragile enough to crack when you try to use it.


Kurucz and Nagy said cushion fabric can be easily damaged by the freezing and thawing that occurs during cold weather, while wet and cold weather can cause mildew or mold inside the cushion. “Nowadays, many cushions are removable,” they said. “It should be extremely easy to keep them indoors.”

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