With summer set to give way to autumn, it’s time for the barbeque to go under wraps and the garden furniture to disappear inside.
Your lawn mower, strimmer, hedge cutter and garden tools will also become surplus to requirements after your last cut, so remember to put these away too. After all, a winter of heavy rain, snow and frost could cause irreparable damage.
Many families find it difficult to justify the winter storage space for their garden bits and pieces. Storing them in your garage will take up too much room, whilst a normal size shed is simply not big enough for all of your outdoor belongings.
Some, of course, will cover their furniture and hope for the best. Unfortunately, as many folk found last year, the high winds and monsoon conditions were ripping protective sheets from the furniture and exposing the goods to the elements.
If you are short of room inside, but still want to take your belongings out of the natural firing line, why not consider a small storage unit at your local self storage centre.
Give your local centre a ring and inquire about prices and size of unit. It will solve your space issues and ensure that your belongings are kept in a safe, damp free area for the duration of the autumn and winter.
If you go down the winter storage route – and many do – it’s imperative that you prepare your belongings for their hibernation. Don’t just transport them to the unit dirty. It will defeat the object.
Here are some top tips for preparing your garden tools and furniture for winter storage
1. Make sure to check all your garden tools before winter storage. Clean off any ground or dirt particles from grips and blades and make sure to oil tools which are difficult to move.
2. Clean off the dirt and grime built up over the last six months or more by using a cleaning solution and sponge.
3. If you have a petrol lawnmower, use rags to wipe down all exposed surfaces, making sure you pay particular attention to hidden surfaces beneath the engine.
4. Remove remaining petrol from the fuel tank. You can either tilt the mower and use a plastic can or run the engine until empty.
5. Drain old engine oil. If you know what you’re doing you may want to inspect and clean or replace engine spark plug and air filters. Read more about doing that here. If you’re not sure, it’s probably better to have your mower serviced by a professional.
6. With your strimmer, make sure you clean thoroughly around the base to ensure there is no grass or dirt remaining.
7. Aluminium patio furniture should be cleaned thoroughly. Dissolve some mild dish detergent in water, wipe the furniture with the cloth to remove any dirt or marks. Rinse off the cleaner thoroughly and dry the furniture with a soft cloth. It is also advisable to rub car wax onto the surface of the aluminium with another soft cloth. Buff off the wax when it’s dry.
8. For those with white plastic furniture, fill a bucket with one gallon of warm water and three tablespoons of dishwasher detergent. Using a sponge and the solution, wipe the plastic patio furniture, focusing especially on dirty areas. Leave the solution on the furniture for 15 minutes and then rinse it off. The bleach in the detergent whitens the furniture as it sits.
9. If it’s wooden furniture, make sure you clean off any spillages. Wash or brush it down; you may need some sort of garden furniture cleaner that will help remove stains or mould and then let it dry completely. If you give it a coat of restorer, varnish or stain before you put it away for good, again, make sure it’s completely dry before you store it.
10. Don’t forget the cushions! They need to be clean and dry too before they’re put into winter storage. If you have to wash them or treat stains, make sure you give them time to dry before storing.
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If you’re looking at all your garden equipment wondering where you’re going to put it this winter, Space Centre Self Storage have centres in North Bristol, Stroud and Gloucester. Why not give us a call and see if we can help?
Got any tips you want to share for cleaning and storing garden furniture? Share them in the comments box below.
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