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Preparing Your Deck Furniture for Winter

Deck FurniturePutting away the barbeque, checking for rotting decking materials – Portland residents typically know to accomplish such tasks before winter arrives. And almost no one who owns cedar decking is unaware that regular restraining and waterproofing is required to protect wood decking materials. Portland homeowners may not know, however, just what to do with the patio furniture that sits on top of a cedar deck.

The easiest approach to protecting your patio furniture is to store it indoors, where it won’t be subject to the months of rain we usually see during a Pacific Northwest winter. However, even those without the extra storage space in a garage or storage shed can take a few measures to protect the furnishings that sit upon their decking materials. Portland homeowners can maintain their outdoor furniture by heeding the following tips.

Cast and wrought iron:  This is one type of cedar deck furniture that can be left outdoors all winter without major problems. However, the key to keeping cast and wrought iron looking good for years to come is to immediately sand away any rust. Repaint the iron surface once the rust has been removed.

Wood furniture: Wood is a popular material for furniture that will be placed on decking materials. Portland patios and decks often feature wood Adirondack chairs, for instance. Before storing wood furniture for the winter, clean it with a white vinegar solution. Tougher stains may require a solution of one cup ammonia, ½ cup white vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda mixed into one gallon of warm water. Once it’s clean, re-stain and reseal the wood furniture just as you would your cedar decking.

Canvas and other fabrics: Check outdoor cushions, seat covers and umbrellas for mildew or mold. If you find these moisture-loving flora, clean the surface with a bleach solution and let the fabric dry completely. Many homeowners stuff outdoor cushions into a large sealable plastic bag or tote, which is then kept in a garage or basement; however, this approach will only encourage mold and mildew growth if there is any moisture remaining in the fabric.

Wicker: Begin by wiping down wicker furniture with a soapy sponge. If there’s still mildew or mold between the weave, use a pressure washer set at a low pressure setting to remove it.

Molded plastic: Clean with soapy water and then add a layer of car wax, which will help protect plastic furniture during the winter months.

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