How to care for garden furniture in Ireland in winter

Winter in Ireland comes with its unique set of challenges for outdoor furniture. The unpredictable weather conditions can be hard on your beloved patio set or garden bench. The following are some crucial steps you should consider to ensure the longevity of your outdoor furnishings during these frosty months.

Upholstery and Cushions: If your outdoor furniture has seat or back cushions, it's highly recommended to remove them. Even those that are advertised as water-proof and seem highly durable will benefit from being brought inside during the winter months. Don't forget fabric parasols; remove the top and store it indoors to ensure it remains in prime condition for the next summer season.

Selection is Key: The best defence is a good offence. When purchasing garden furniture, consider options that are known to withstand an Irish winter. Durable materials and tables complete with sturdy table legs and a robust design can significantly reduce the maintenance required during the cold months.

Care for Gazebos: Gazebos can be a challenge to maintain. Always remove the gazebo roof in windy conditions or during heavy rain to prevent damage. Wooden gazebo frames should be re-stained regularly to prevent cracks, while steel frames benefit from a gentle clean with a mild soapy solution. Regardless of the type, always ensure the fabric is clean and dry before storing.

Storage Solutions: If possible, consider storing your furniture indoors, such as in a shed or garage. When indoors isn't an option, invest in quality waterproof covers or a storage chest. These not only protect from precipitation but also help in preventing damage from freezing temperatures and frost.

Winter Usage: While many opt to store their furniture away during the winter, some prefer to use it throughout the season. If you belong to this group, remember that outdoor furniture in winter requires a different care approach. Regularly clear off any snow or ice to prevent damage. Also, ensure that the furniture is dry to prevent mould and mildew formation.

Preventative Measures: Before winter hits, it's essential to prepare your furniture. Clean your furniture thoroughly, ensuring to remove any bird droppings, mould, or mildew. These can become more problematic if left unchecked during the damp winter months.

Check for Damages: Winter can exacerbate existing damage. If there are any signs of wear, tear, or minor damages, attend to them before the cold sets in. Sealing cracks, tightening screws, and applying protective sprays can extend the life of your outdoor pieces significantly.

Positioning: Sometimes, it's just about location. Position your furniture in areas that are shielded from the worst of the winter weather. Places that are naturally protected from the wind, for instance, or spots that aren't directly exposed to rainfall and drain well like concrete or well drained artificial turf, can be beneficial.

In conclusion, taking care of outdoor furniture in winter, especially in Ireland, requires a combination of preparation, maintenance, and sometimes a little improvisation. By following these steps, you can enjoy the beauty and functionality of your outdoor pieces for many seasons to come.