Last updated on October 12, 2022
The main goal of buying outdoor furniture is so that you can use it outdoors. Therefore, it is natural to expect that all garden furniture will remain intact when left outdoors throughout the year. But in reality, this is not the case. And this is because most of the materials used for such furniture are not completely durable and do not withstand harsh winter conditions. So like most homeowners, you may be wondering what outdoor furniture you can leave outside in colder weather.
There is very little outdoor furniture that can be left outside to survive the harsh conditions during winter and rainy autumns. From experience, it is usually furniture made of treated wood, plastic or aluminum. Other materials like iron, steel, fabric, and natural wicker are best kept indoors.
Even with these pieces you can leave outside, some maintenance may still be required to ensure they live through the season.
In this article, we will look at the best types of furniture for cold seasons and what makes them so adaptable to these climatic conditions. We'll also review the other materials that need to be stored indoors and the type of preparation you need to do before storing them.
Can I leave my garden furniture outdoors in winter?
Then it's okaypatio furniture cushionsstay out in the winter? Well yes you can. But to be sure, you need to know exactly what type of furniture you are working with, the material and the structure. Although most patio furniture is made for your outdoor space, not all of it can withstand the humidity that the season brings.
That's because, during the winter, the nights tend to be longer. And due to the low temperatures, furniture takes longer to dry after it snows or rains.
Even for those items you choose to leave outside, proper precautions must be taken to protect them. For wood (especially teak wood), one such precaution is to seal it before leaving it out in the cold for months. This is non-negotiable if you want the furniture to last.
In addition to the low temperatures, another concern is the weight of the snow. SomeGarden furnitureAlthough they are made of durable materials, they may not be strong enough to withstand heavy snowfall or storms for a long time. Of course, this only applies to you if you stay in a place where a lot of snow falls. In that case, it's probably best to store the furniture indoors to prevent damage.
How to know the type of outdoor furniture to leave in winter?
Not all garden furniture needs to be winterized. There are some that you can leave out all year! But the question is, how can you identify these pieces of furniture?
Type of material
Outdoor furniture is made of different materials. Being able to identify these materials will help you determine which furniture to leave out. Some materials will need to be stored indoors, while others are sturdier and can withstand the harshest seasons. For the latter, it may be necessary to devise a plan to preserve it during this period. Synthetic wicker and treated wood are two good examples of materials that can survive the colder months.
Light items, such as aluminum furniture, move easily in the wind. This could cause damage to the part or to other items that might get in the way. It's best not to leave these items out in the open when it's cold, especially if there's a lot of wind or hail in your area.
If you decide to leave some light furniture outdoors, make sure it is attached to the group or to some heavier object. The process may involve driving piles into the ground, which may require professional help from a company.
Any garden furniture that can be stored in the colder months should not be resistant to moisture. It should not be affected by snow, rain, frost and anything else. And even when exposed to moisture for a long time, it shouldn't rot or develop mold or mildew from moisture. Furniture must also be resistant to pests.
What garden furniture can be left outside during the winter?
Few garden furniture are made to be exposed to the cold. Let's look at the few options you have.
Different types of wooden furniture can be exposed to the weather throughout the year, depending on their properties. A good example is teak wood.
Teak wood is very durable and hard and offers the highest strength when it comes to outdoor wooden furniture. That is why it is a popular choice for shipbuilding. Therefore, it is safe to leave it outside during the winter months. However, it must be sealed to prevent moisture from entering the wood and causing damage. This applies to other types of cold-resistant wooden furniture.
In addition to pre-winter treatment and maintenance, we also recommend covering your wood furniture for added protection. Use a breathable cover to prevent mold growth.
Plastic is another material that can be subjected to freezing winter temperatures without falling apart. This is mainly because it is completely waterproof and will not rust or rot. In fact, some plastic patio furniture can be left outside all year with very little maintenance. This makes it one of the best options when looking for weather resistant garden furniture.
Recycled plastic and resin are easily the best type of plastic for patio furniture. As well as being extremely weather resistant, they are thick and durable and will therefore hold up well through all seasons. Therefore, it will hardly be a problem to leave it outside in cold weather. You can cover it to make it completely weatherproof!
On the other hand, the cheapest.plastic patio chairsthey are usually very light and can crack or break from a single blow of wind or snow. Therefore, before you decide to place any plastic furniture outside, make sure that it is not too light.
Anything made of premium PE rattan can be left outside in cold weather. Synthetic wicker is made of resin and plastic, making it weather resistant (water and UV resistant) and therefore an excellent choice for outdoor use. It is highly resistant to moisture, making it safe to keep outdoors in winter.
Natural rattan, on the other hand, absorbs water and cracks when exposed to snow or rain. Therefore, it should be taken to the garage or any other safe place, but not left in the open air.
With synthetic wicker, you have to pay close attention to the frame material. Ideally, it should be aluminum, which will resist snow and rain. Do not leave steel frame wicker furniture outside as the steel can rust.
Aluminum furniture is an excellent option for winter, since it does not rust or deteriorate like other metals. So you don't have to worry about snow or rain damaging your furniture.
However, the weight of aluminum furniture can be a problem. Most aluminum parts are lightweight so they can be blown around in high winds. So if you're storing aluminum furniture outdoors, try to secure it so it can withstand gusts of wind.
Can teak furniture be left outdoors in winter?
Yes, you can leave teak furniture outside all year long as long as you treat it with teak oil. We also recommend covering it with a breathable material.
There are different grades of teak depending on the part of the trunk from which they are taken. For example, Grade A (or First Grade) teak is harvested from the center of the trunk and represents the highest quality teak. Garden furniture made from this teak typically offers the greatest resistance to the elements, but is often more expensive than other grades. They usually have an oily surface and a golden brown color.
Grade B teak is taken from the outer heartwood while Grade C teak is taken from the outer sections. Grade B teak has a lighter golden color, while Grade C teak is softer and irregular in color. Both have a uniform grain, unlike Grade A teak.
Therefore, Grade A teak is the best option if you want garden furniture that can survive the winter.
Can the wicker furniture be left outside in winter?
Synthetic wicker furniture can be left outside during the cooler months, but natural wicker should be moved inside or stored in a dry place.
Natural wicker tends to expand and contract with high levels of humidity, such as during a blizzard. This often leads to wicker furniture cracking and breaking. The best plan is to cover the furniture and store it in a dry place, such as a shed, garage, attic, or basement.
Can plastic furniture be left outdoors in winter?
Yes, the plastic furniture can be left outside in winter. Unlike most materials, plastic will not rot or crack in winter conditions. So it's good to leave it in the cold.
However, due to the lightness of most plastic furniture, it is susceptible to strong gusts of wind. This could damage the plastic part or other items with which it may come into contact.
So if you plan to leave the plastic outside, find a way to protect it from the wind.
Can metal furniture be left outside in the winter?
Actually. The type of metal is what determines if you can leave it in your garden. With the exception of aluminum, metals generally do not hold up well to rain or moisture. Therefore, outdoor furniture made from materials such as steel, iron, and other metals is best stored indoors. On the other hand, aluminum does not rust or corrode with precipitation. Therefore, it can be left outside during the winter months.
Can wrought iron furniture be left outside in winter?
No, wrought iron should not be kept in your garden during the winter.
While it may be durable, wrought iron is susceptible to corrosion. So leaving it out will cause it to rust.
Most outdoor furniture made of iron is usually coated to prevent rust. But spills and bird droppings can render the coating ineffective. That's why it's important to wash them as soon as you notice them.
Wrought iron furniture is often expensive. Bringing it indoors for the winter will ensure it lasts for many years.
Can natural stone garden furniture be left outside in winter?
No, natural stone furniture should not be left outdoors in winter.
Natural stones often have cracks that allow water and air to pass through. Leaving it exposed to wet conditions for too long can cause it to expand and contract. Over time, this causes the stone to become brittle until it eventually breaks.
So your best plan for working with stone furniture is to store it indoors.
Can wooden furniture be left outside in winter?
Some wooden patio sets can be left out in the cold as long as they are properly cared for and cared for. Untreated wood, on the other hand, will rot quickly if left in this condition.
Even with treated wood furniture, you should disassemble it regularly to minimize wear and tear. For added protection, we recommend covering furniture. Make sure the cover is breathable, as anything less will encourage mold growth.
What types of wooden furniture can be left outside in the winter?
In general, any wooden garden furniture can be left on your patio over the winter if it is cared for. However, the type matters.
There are two broad categories of wood: hardwood and softwood. Hardwoods are generally preferred over softwoods for outdoor furniture because they are more weather resistant and tend to rot more slowly than softwoods.
Some of the best winter hardwoods include teak, oak, cedar, and eucalyptus. While they all have different properties, they will survive the winter if cared for properly with the right oils or sealers.
What kind of garden furniture should you store for the winter?
These are the types of furniture to keep indoors for the winter until the sun comes up again.
Iron and steel are popular choices for outdoor furniture due to their low cost. Although they are durable, they are not resistant to rust like aluminum. Therefore, exposing them to humid conditions will encourage corrosion and, in turn, reduce their useful life.
Some people tend to go for wrought iron, which is more expensive but offers more durability than plain iron. But even wrought iron is not weather resistant, even when clad. It's still going to rust under all that snow and rain. Therefore it is not suitable for outdoor use during the colder months.
So the best plan is to move the furniture inside to store until the sun comes up again.
Natural stone furniture should also be stored indoors during the winter season. Stones often have natural cracks that allow air and water to flow through. Prolonged exposure to cold can cause these cracks to expand and coalesce. Ultimately, this leads to total collapse and ruin. So keep your stone furniture indoors until the warmer months.
Wicker is very susceptible to wet conditions. When left outside in the rain or snow, it tends to crack and rot from the freezing water.
So unless you're using furniture that's treated wicker or made from a synthetic material like resin, it's best to save it.
Upholstery and outdoor fabrics are also part of some outdoor furniture. Therefore, it is also vital that you know what to do with them during cold weather.
Like the other materials above, don't leave your furniture fabrics outside in inclement weather. Most of the time, it would be the pads.
Winter conditions can cause mold and mildew on your pillows, which can seriously damage the fabric and foam. So your best plan is to clean them up; Air dry and store for storage.
It doesn't matter what material the fabrics are made of; keep it inside.
All metals will eventually rust if subjected to winter conditions for an extended period of time unless treated. But some tend to work better than others. Metal outdoor furniture is typically made from one of these types of metals: aluminum, steel, and iron.
Aluminum is normally waterproof, but can be treated to make it more winterizable. Other metals like iron (or wrought iron) and steel, while durable, will rust very quickly if left out in the rain or snow.
How do I prepare outdoor furniture for winter storage?
Follow the steps below to prepare your outdoor furniture for winter storage.
Cleaning is necessary if you want to store outdoor furniture indoors or leave it outdoors. This helps remove dust and debris and prevents mold growth. Make sure each piece of furniture is properly dried before storing.
The way to clean each piece will depend on the material it is made of. For example, plastic can be cleaned by spraying it with disinfectant and wiping it down. For wood, you'll need to mix water and vinegar and maybe baking soda, depending on how dirty your furniture is. Then rub the wood and air dry. The fabric must be washed following the washing label provided by the manufacturer.
Some furniture must be coated with a protective finish before storing it for the winter. This is often the case with metal and wooden furniture.metal sidingHelps prevent rust while protecting wood from rot and breakage.
The best coating to use will depend on the type of metal or wood the furniture is made of. But in our experience, teak oil is usually the best choice for most outdoor wood furniture, while a quality corrosion resistant finish will work for metals.
Allow the coating to dry and proceed to the next step.
The next thing to do is cover the furniture with a breathable slipcover. This is important to keep the exterior and interior safe from moisture. Also, you want the cover to be waterproof, even if you use it indoors.
How to store garden furniture for the winter
The best way to store patio furniture for the winter is to move it indoors. Of course, it depends on whether you have enough storage space or not.
This solution will mainly favor light furniture that is easy to move around the house. But don't neglect the heavier pieces; do what you can to bring them in as well. Typically, you'll want to use a shed, basement, garage, or storage unit, but in general, any storage space will do as long as the furniture isn't exposed to the elements.
If you have nowhere to store your indoor furniture, you can use outdoor furniture covers. But first, make sure the caps are sturdy and the correct size. You can order these slipcovers online, but most will be a standard size, which might not fit your furniture well. In that case, you will need custom skins. If you decide to go this route, make sure the cover material is breathable and durable.
A cheaper alternative to using covers is to invest in tarps. Like covers, tarpaulins help protect patio furniture from water and snow. Just wrap the tarp around the piece and tie it off so it doesn't fly off. This will help leave some space around the bottom for proper airflow.
While the idea of storing your garden furniture in the winter may seem a bit counterintuitive, it will add more years to the furniture and keep it in good condition for a longer period of time.
Can garden furniture cushions be left outside in the winter?
No, patio cushions should not be left outside during the winter months. Instead, store them indoors.
When sanitary napkins are wet for a long time, they become soggy and smelly. And in most cases it will attract mold and mildew. To prevent this from happening, it is best to simply save them.
Storing patio cushions indoors shouldn't be something you only do when you're getting ready for winter. It should be more of a general practice applicable during severe weather changes or when you don't intend to use them for a while.
This helps increase their lifespan so they can live in warmer seasons.
Where can you store outdoor furniture cushions in winter?
You can store youroutdoor cushionsin any dry place, protected from rain and high levels of humidity. However, there are two main options that we recommend depending on what you have in your house. These include bags and storage boxes. These are more specific storage for outdoor pads, as they are designed for small items.
Other storage options are sheds, garages and storage rooms. While they are commonly used to store larger items like furniture, you can still store your cushions alongside your furniture. If you decide to go this route, we highly recommend covering your furniture and cushions with a breathable material.
FAQS – Outdoor furniture that can be left outdoors
Can you leave patio furniture outside in the rain?
In theory, you can, but in reality it's better not to. If you know it's going to rain a lot, bring the following pieces of furniture inside or at least cover them. Leaving outdoor furniture out in the rain increases the risk of rust (for metal furniture) or rot (for wood and wicker). No piece of furniture is indestructible, even if it is made with the best materials. Keeping them out of the rain will help extend their life.
What does winter proof outdoor furniture mean?
Winter-proof outdoor furniture is a term used to refer to outdoor furniture that can be left outside in the winter. Such furniture can be subjected to winter conditions (snow, rain, frost and others) without being damaged. A good example is treated wood.
Should I cover my garden furniture in winter?
Yes, you should, especially if you don't plan on moving them indoors. Covering your patio furniture in the winter will not only help protect it from the elements (snow, frost, sleet, etc.), but will also ensure it's clean when you're ready to use it again.
Is it normal for outdoor furniture to get wet?
Yes, it's okay to get outdoor furniture wet if it's for a short period. Prolonged exposure to humid conditions can cause damage and wear, especially if furniture is left uncovered or neglected.
Will the wicker outdoor furniture get wet?
Yes. The wicker furniture can get wet. This is often the case if the furniture is made from organic or untreated wicker. Organic wicker tends to absorb moisture when left out in the rain. This creates odors and causes mold and mildew to grow. However, synthetic plastic wicker is waterproof and can be left outside.
Can wicker chairs get wet?
Yes, the wicker chairs can get wet when you leave them outside. This can be a problem depending on whether the chair is made of natural rattan or synthetic rattan. If it's made of natural rattan, it's likely to trap water inside, which can cause it to rot and deteriorate. On the other hand, if the chair is made of high-quality (treated) wicker, it can withstand the heaviest downpours.
Conclusion: Outdoor furniture that can be left outside in winter
Let's close the curtains here!
By now you should know what furniture to leave outside in winter and how to store garden furniture in winter. Learning how to winterize patio furniture will help extend its life and ensure it looks vibrant when you're ready to use it again.
Follow the steps above to protect your furniture from the weather so you can enjoy it when you need it most.
Let us know if you have any more questions about outdoor furniture storage in the winter. Until then, enjoy the winter chill!