Winterizing Your Patio Furniture

When the warm summer months are coming to a close and you start to see the leaves turn and drift to the ground, it is time to start preparing your patio furniture for winter storage. While it is always difficult to close up that umbrella and acknowledge that it is your last dinner on the patio for the season, a little planning can make sure you will be able to enjoy your patio furniture set for many years to come.

Most patio furniture is designed to withstand years of exposure to heat, rain, a little wind, and the sun. However, the harsh ice, snow, and wind that generally arrive during the winter months can dramatically shorten the life of your patio furniture. The following tips involve a little elbow grease and possibly some minimal purchases that will effectively minimize the wear and tear on your patio furniture during the winter months.

Preparing Your Patio Furniture for Storage

The type of furniture that you have on your patio can determine the process you should use for winterizing preparations. A variety of Patio Furniture Sets are available on the market, with materials ranging from aluminum to wicker. For the purpose of this article, the most common patio furniture types have been included in the tips in order to get you started.

If any of your patio furniture pieces or accessories are in need of replacing, autumn is the time to find great deals! You can add to your current set or consider new cushions, pillows, or other complimentary items.

Cleaning

Ensuring that your furniture set is clean before it is stored can help prevent staining and corrosion while making it possible to pull out your furniture to enjoy those first warm days once spring arrives.

Cleaning Wicker Sets: Wicker sets can be made of true rattan or synthetic rattan. Often, the wicker is sealed with some sort of finish to protect the material. Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that need repair or repainting while the set is clean and dry.

Cleaning Metal Sets: Most metal sets are sealed with a powder coat finish to ensure a longer life.Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that need repair or repainting while the set is clean and dry.

Cleaning Wood Sets: Wood sets can vary, from a classic picnic table to a set of Adirondack Chairs. Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that require sanding, painting, or staining. If the wood has a natural finish, consider rubbing a furniture oil or mineral oil into the surface to keep the wood from splitting or becoming brittle during dry winter months.

Cleaning Cushions & Umbrellas: Many Deep Seating Patio Furniture Sets include substantial cushioning, while other sets are accented with optional cushions or pillows.Brush off any debris on cushions and umbrellas. If cushions and pillows have removable covers, wash and dry them according to manufacturer instructions. If cushion covers cannot be removed, use mild soapy water and a sponge to wipe off any dirt on cushions. The same technique can be used on the umbrella. Let the cushions, pillows, and umbrella dry completely before storing.

Covering/Wrapping Your Patio Furniture

There are a number of options available for the covering or wrapping of your patio furniture sets. Ideally, it would be nice to move your furniture into a garage, shed, or basement where it is dry and sheltered. However, there are very few people that have the extra space available to store bulky items like patio furniture. If this is the case for you, there are still great methods for protecting your furniture if it must stay outdoors during the winter months.

Once you have cleaned and dried your furniture and accessories, try to consolidate the pieces to minimize the space that will be required for storing everything. Stack chairs, remove cushions, and dismantle any components that might be susceptible to damage. Select a storage location that is as sheltered from the elements as possible. If feasible, bring your fabric items inside for the winter, or consider putting them in a sealed tote or plastic bag for dry storage. There are a number of commercial patio furniture covers available on the market for a variety of patio furniture types. These covers are usually made from heavy duty canvas that is sealed to keep out moisture and protect from damage. Other options could include having your set professionally wrapped in plastic film or simply using a large tarp that can be secured with rope or bungee cords.

Successful Storage Throughout the Winter

If you have followed the cleaning and covering steps outlined previously, you can probably feel comfortable knowing that your patio furniture will be safely cocooned for the winter months to come. On occasion, it can be helpful to brush any accumulated ice or snow from your furniture coverings to prevent any leaking or shifting that could allow moisture to infiltrate and damage the furniture. It might also be a good idea to check every once in a while for any critters that might have decided that your securely covered furniture set would be a perfect home for the winter.

While it may be time to trade your flip flops and sunscreen for wool socks and hot cocoa, you can look forward to a successful transition into summer next year with patio furniture that has been carefully stored.

Outdoor Wall Plaques – Inspirational and Informative Decoration

Throughout my home, from the library to the bathrooms, the walls are adorned to exhume beauty and uniqueness. As a home designer I have had the good fortune of creating my habitat from all that my imagination holds. Living in the Midwest there are an abundance of months that you are held captive inside your quarters. Being in this environment has clearly given me the opportunity to have my place just the way I wanted it to turn out. Having lived in California my heart yearned for the seasons to change. I needed to see new growth form on the trees and to hear the birds chirp again. I desperately desired to make my outside come alive just like the inside.

As the season finally changed to sunshine and warmth, I could actually feel my body and soul uplifted. I ran around the entire house opening all the windows while humming and smiling thinking of the projects that I could hardly wait to start. There was the entire outside area that waited for my hands and thoughts to work their magic. I could hardly wait to get started.

First things first. I needed to remove all the dead leaves and brush that had accumulated over the winter months. Next I went all around searching to see what survived and what needed help with some tender loving care. Gently and lovingly working many hours I revived some plants and added many different kinds of colorful flowers and vegetation.

After completing this task my front and back yard shined with brilliance and beauty but it still felt like something else was needed. Looking around, my walls and fence seemed to be dull and bare. How could I make them part of this theme and complete the picture that I was after? Realizing that inside my home I had adorned the walls with numerous wall d├ęcor, why couldn’t I continue with the same artistic qualities outside.

Trying to decide what type of wall decor would blend and ablaze the yard with beauty was relatively easy. It came to mind almost instantaneously. Wall plaques would dramatically fulfill the outcome with their words and statue. They tend to add dimension to any bare area they cover.

Decorative outdoor wall plaques are unique accent pieces that adorn your patio, garden or other outdoor area. Most outdoor wall plaques are flat plates or disks which are beautifully chiseled, ornamented or engraved. They can be used as a decoration, information or identification. Best of all, you can mix and match materials and styles to ensure a look that is unique to your home.

Whether you prefer elegance, artistic or modern, there are an abundance of styles to match your own. The themes range from animals, nature, floral, sun, moon, to inspirational words. They are available in materials such as: wood, stone, pewter, crystal, glass, and ceramic, marble, iron and resin. Resin seems to be the most popular for today’s garden style. It is most affordable, light weight and is highly resistant to wear and tear for the extremities of weather conditions. You can locate wall plaques that are hand made, hand painted, sculptured or custom made to your specifications.

One of my favorite outdoor wall plaques is a simple design that I have placed on my white PVC fence in the center of the yard. It is made of wrought iron and has the words Live, Love and Laugh. They add visual interest and inspire me daily. The other wall plaque that I am quite found of is one that was custom made. It resides above my entry way and has all of our family names upon it. Below it also states our address and I get comments on it whenever a new person visits.

If you’re stumped for a unique gift, this is one of-a-kind and will be cherished for life especially if he or she is a garden enthusiast. Have an inspirational saying with the persons name engraved and you will be remembered always.

Whatever outdoor wall plaques you choose, I can assure you it will add color, spice up the property surrounding your home and be appreciated by all for many years to come.

Patio Furniture and Clearance Information

You are looking to purchase furniture for your patio so you can have nice place to spend a summer evening with a good book, a relaxing meal or an after dinner drink.

When you ready to purchase of patio furniture consider the following: style, size, type, location and cost. Patio furniture has two common characteristics – durability and weather-resistance. The most common materials used in the construction of patio furniture are plastic, recycled plastic, resin, wrought iron, aluminum and cast aluminum, wicker and wood.

If you live in an area of the country that is extremely hot, then metal furniture may not be your best choice. On the other hand, if you live in a very cold climate, resin may not be the best choice because it can crack in a cold environment.

Plastic is the cheaper and less durable than other types of furniture and offers more limited choices; however it is comfortable and low maintenance. It is an excellent choice if you are looking to furnish your patio cheaply.

Patio furniture made from wicker tends not to hold up to the elements as well as other types of material, however, if you are looking to furnish an enclosed patio, wicker are an excellent choice.

Aluminum and cast aluminum furniture is a very popular choice because it is rust resistant and light weight. Wrought iron is also a common choice but not necessarily as comfortable as the other types of furniture. It will stand up very well over time and handle the elements.

Teak wood furniture is very durable and does not need special treatment to protect it from elements. Cedar wood is also an excellent choice because it is also durable and popular because it appears natural in an outdoor patio environment. Cedar is strong and resistant to bacteria and fungus.

The cheapest way to furnish your patio may be to purchase a patio set rather than purchase the furniture items individually. Patio sets come in various prices and styles, so you have plenty to choose from to fit your style, your patio space requirements and your budget.

Patio sets consist of a patio table and patio chairs. The table size varies as does the number of patio chairs that come with a set. A patio set can be purchased with as few as two chairs or as many as eight chairs. Some patio sets include a table umbrella.

It is easier to purchase a patio set than to purchase the furniture separately. It is more cost effective and it takes the stress out of trying to find patio furniture that matches.

If you are not in a hurry to furnish your patio, it is best to wait for end of season when stores offer patio furniture clearances. If you do not want to wait to the end of season for clearance sales, look for wholesalers or manufacturers that sell patio furniture directly to the public and not through a middleman. But cutting out the middleman, the patio furniture may be purchased at a lower price.

With a simple Google search, you will find several websites that offer discount patio furniture, and that may very well be genuine. Remember to take into consideration shipping costs because patio furniture is not cheap to ship.