Tips on Properly Storing Furniture During the Rainy Season
You’ve enjoyed basking in the sun, and the natural sights and sounds of your yard. Your outdoor space has served you in the warm season. But now, the rainy season is around the corner, and you may be wondering whether your furniture will withstand the elements.
You don’t want a case where the original stains, materials, and colours of your patio furniture deteriorate due to the extreme rain and cold. As such, caring for your furniture before the onset of the rainy season is a no-brainer.
Regardless of the material of your outdoor furniture, properly storing furniture will ensure its longevity. Your furniture will maintain its quality, stability, and appearance, which will allow you to enjoy it for many years to come.
Here are a few ways you can prepare to properly store your furniture for the next rainy season.
Prepare your Storage Unit Before the Rainy Season
If you want your furniture to last through the winter, your shelter must be dry and free from moisture. Where possible, ensure your storage has climate control, with dehumidifiers and HVAC systems in place, to avoid extreme moisture that can potentially damage your furniture. The temperature control will protect against mold and rot in extreme cold and humid temperatures.
If moving the furniture into a dedicated storage space isn’t an option, at least ensure your furniture is covered or wrapped. If using a tarp, tightly tie it around the bottom of your furniture so that it doesn’t allow moisture in and leaves space for air circulation.
For extra protection, even in climate-controlled storage units, lay plastic sheeting on the floor. Alternatively, you can elevate your furniture so that it doesn’t come into contact with the ground. Extreme cold may cause the floor to condense and wrap the furniture legs, leading to mold.
Properly Clean your Furniture Before Storage
Before making any plans to properly store furniture, it's important to ensure that it's clean. Storing dirty furniture can compromise the quality. Little and seemingly harmless food crumbs may attract insects, bugs, or critters into your unit. Also, stains may become permanent if left unattended.
Clean and dry furniture reduces the possibility of mold and mildew growth. You don’t want your fabrics smelling bad or infested with bacteria when you’re getting them out next season. To avoid this, wipe with an antibacterial cleaner that is safe for fabrics. Use an absorbent material, such as naphthalene balls or camphor, to control insects and moisture, and keep unpleasant scents at bay.
To properly clean and store your furniture, pick a suitable approach depending on the furniture material.
Wood furniture exposed to chilly temperatures is susceptible to warping and cracks, giving some pests space to invade. Wood is fragile enough to be affected by the changes in humidity; if exposed to prolonged water and air it will rot and decay.
To properly store wood furniture, first dust with a soft duster to clean off any debris from the surface of the furniture. Use a towel dipped in water and detergent to clean, then dry areas with a soft cloth or air dry. At this point, repaint and repair any areas that need attention.
Finally, polish your wood to restore the natural look, apply a protective wax or oil, and apply a water repellent. To store, wrap up your furniture with bubble wrap and keep away from walls and the ground.
Cedar and Teak Furniture
Teak and cedar, if treated properly, can be left in moist outdoor environments without degrading. To treat the material, first apply bleach to kill any mold or mildew. Then, let the furniture dry for a day or two. Treat with tung oil to maintain its finished character and avoid changes in colour.
Clean with a mixture of vinegar and water, wipe it, and allow the material to dry completely. Apply leather conditioner and allow it to dry before moving the furniture into storage. Cover your leather furniture with a cloth or furniture tarp, or improvise with sheets and old blankets during storage.
For all your cloth and upholstered furniture, remove the cushions and vacuum all the nooks and crannies. A steam cleaner comes in handy in cleaning the furniture. If your cushions have removable covers, take them off and launder.
A little bleach will kill and prevent mildew unless, of course, your material doesn’t allow it. Restore the dry covers to the cushion and loosely store them in a dry space. If storing in an outdoor shed, ensure you cover the furniture with a cloth tarp and not a plastic one. Plastic traps moisture, which can attract mold and cause your furniture to develop a musty smell.
Clean the surfaces of the furniture with a mixture of bleach and water to remove mildew. Rinse with a fine spray and let the furniture dry completely. If needed, spray with spray paint to match the original finish. Use a moisture repellent for the corners of the feet and legs. Store in a dry place and use blocks to raise the furniture off the floor or ground.
Wash the metal surfaces with water and a cleanser; scrub, but be gentle to ensure that you don't scrub off the metal paint. Rinse and let it dry. Check for rusted areas and treat with rust neutralizing primer. Smooth the rusted areas and apply spray paint to the furniture focusing on the areas where paint has come off. Then apply a coat of wax to protect the surfaces.
Wash with water and detergent and rinse thoroughly. Store the furniture in an area where the temperatures will drop below freezing.
Disassemble Wooden Furniture
Properly storing furniture may require you to disable furniture to protect it from damage. Detach the legs and other parts of the furniture for easier storage and access.
There you have it; tips for storing fine furniture during the rainy season. Follow these tips, and your furniture will be safe and in proper condition for use in the warmer season of the year, or until you need it again.