If you live in an area of the country that gets cold during the winter months, you will need to take steps to protect your furniture. In the event that it is left untreated against the elements, furniture can rust or become brittle. This may result in having to repair or replace tables, chairs and other pieces the following spring.

Spray a Protective Coating on Metal Surfaces

If your furniture is made from cast iron or any other metallic surface, you should spray paint it as soon as possible. A coat of primer and a coat of paint specially designed for metal can provide a barrier against the cold weather as well as moisture from rain, sleet or snow. This barrier will ensure that the metal does not interact with oxygen in the air, which could lead to rust or corrosion.

Cover Your Furniture During the Winter Months

One option that you have is to cover your furniture with a tarp or a blanket. Some materials are specially formulated to both keep rain and snow off of the furniture while also insulating it against the cold, which can keep it from getting weak or brittle. However, almost any blanket, tarp or covering will help keep your patio table and chairs protected against the harsh weather during the winter months.

Bring it Inside

In some cases, it may be best to simply store the furniture inside during the winter. You can pull it into the garage or a storage shed until it gets warm enough to start using it again on a regular basis. If you don’t have a storage shed or anywhere else to put it, short-term storage units may be an answer. For those who live in apartments, it may be possible to use your outdoor furniture as indoor furniture to conserve space.

Wash the Furniture at Least Once or Twice

If the furniture is left outside at all during the year, make sure to wash it before it gets cold out. Dirt, grime or grease may freeze to the furniture’s surface and remain their permanently. In some cases, it may be possible for your table or chairs to develop a layer of salt or salt residue. This could occur if you throw salt on the deck to melt the snow or throw other materials that are intended to melt snow. Washing the salt can reduce the odds of it eating away your furniture.

Protecting your furniture now may make it easier to extend its useful life. However, you decide to shield it from the elements, make sure to do so in a manner that will not damage the furniture or act as an abrasive agent when applied.