Gone are the days when garden fences were simply a privacy barrier between your garden and the next ...
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The sunny summer spell is long gone and the breezy autumn will soon depart too.
On the Stewart Timber blog, we have been looking at how to winter-proof your garden, starting with shed insulation.
By the time winter settles for the year, it is unlikely you’ll be putting your wooden garden furniture to use for a few months.
The furniture can’t stand the test of time in the harsh winter conditions, so it’s in your best interest to take steps to protect it.
If you have wooden garden furniture, read on to discover how you can properly store and protect it this winter.
Dirt clings on to moisture. Over time, the moisture in wood will cause it to decay. Clean wood dries out far better than dirty wood, so scrubbing is your first step.
Using warm, soapy water and a sponge or bristle brush, scrub the framework of your wooden garden furniture to remove remnants of dirt. You may need to use extra elbow grease if you’ve not done this for some time!
Rinse all the suds off with cold water to prevent soap residue from going stagnant over time.
Do not use a power washer in the hope of doing the job more effectively. This is much too powerful and you run into the danger of stripping the timber back.
Leave the furniture to dry naturally. Aim to clean on a windy day as this will speed up the drying process. If you don’t let it dry properly before storing, you risk moisture getting trapped and mould growing, ruining your hard work!
Fabric cushions or covers should be cleaned according to the care instructions on the label. Keep these inside your home for safe-keeping and to prevent mold and mildew.
After thoroughly cleaning and drying the furniture, quickly check it for issues.
Look for things like missing or loose screws. Brass screws are best for outdoors, so if you need to replace any, opt for these, as they don’t rust. If you use steel screws, smear Vaseline into the threads to prevent water seeping in.
Your clean and dry wooden garden furniture will need to be coated in a protective preservative. This is particularly important if you have to keep it stored outdoors, rather than your shed or garage.
A coat or two of oil-based preservative will do the trick. If your furniture has to stand outside, stand the legs in washed out food or paint tins filled with preservative. It will soak into the feet, giving it extra protection.
You should use garden furniture covers to completely cover your furniture, whether you are storing it inside or outside. For outdoors, it’s the sole protection from the environment, but indoors, it keeps dust at bay.
The garden furniture covers should be totally dry before using them. There should be ventilation room for air to circulate in case moisture becomes trapped, allowing it to dry out. Secure it down with a heavy object.
When picking your cover, make sure it covers the furniture entirely.
You have a few options for storage spaces.
You can store it covered in your garden shed or garage. If you opt for this, stack or fold up the pieces of furniture to reduce the storage space required. Storing it inside a shed protects it more than outdoors, so perhaps look at our range of garden sheds!
If you need to store it outdoors, avoiding leaving the furniture, even covered, on the grass. Move it to a solid, dry spot in the garden where moisture will not soak up through the ground into the legs, regardless of whether you put preservative on it.
If you can’t avoid the grass, place solid supports under the legs to raise it off the ground – you could do this with a brick for example.. Just ensure it doesn’t come into direct contact with any moisture.
Regularly keep an eye on your furniture to make sure that they’re not affected by moisture or dirt.
Have you stopped lounging in your wooden garden furniture for the year now? If so, you should be carrying out these steps to protect and store it as soon as possible.
Stewart Timber are timber specialists. For all your product queries, contact us today to see what we can do for you.