You probably spent a lot of money on your patio furniture. Even if you try to go cheaper, you are likely going to spend close to $200-$300 for a complete set.
On average, a good set of patio furniture can cost close to $2,000.00. No one wants their investment to just rot away in the cold of winter.
That’s why proper care and storage are so important to the maintenance of your balcony. Balcony closing and cleaning can prolong the life of your summer sanctuary.
If you’re looking for a how-to, you have come to the right place!
Balcony Closing: Why it’s a Good Idea
Closing your balcony for the winter entails preparing and protecting any furniture or lose items you have inside or near your balcony. The truth is, the cold can damage items rather quickly.
Have you ever left a rubber ball outside in the winter and rediscovered it again in the spring? Did you notice it was all crusty, crumbled, and cracked? This is because the cold weather cracked its exterior which allowed moisture inside.
This is similar to what happens to your furniture over the winter months. No one wants to come back to their beautiful balcony and find it all cracked and dull.
This can also weaken your furniture and make it more susceptible to damages. If you ever worry that your chair may crack or your table’s legs may get wobbly, weather damage has a huge impact on this.
Bad weather can also damage any material items you have in your balcony area. If your chairs have cushions or your tables have tables cloths then the weather can wear these out quickly.
Last, the oxidation and the cracks caused by the shifting climate can lead to rust and decay on the metal parts of your furniture. This can be difficult to repair and fix, so it is best to prevent this in the first place.
Preparing your balcony for winter is the best way to prevent these issues from occurring. This has several components, which will be explored in detail.
Can You Enclose Your Balcony?
Depending on your location and housing arrangement, enclosing your balcony may not be an option. You should speak with the landlord if you rent before making this decision.
Please note that these things apply mainly to gazebos or other semi-structured balconies. Not so much for the outdoor patio setting.
But, maybe you want to see if you can make your balcony itself winter-proof. Here are the most popular methods:
Waterproof shades: You can try installing waterproof shades around the open areas of your area. This is a good idea if you do not live in an especially cold area.
Plexiglass: This isn’t a bad idea, but it can be time-consuming if you do it yourself. And, if you hire someone it can be expensive.
Bamboo shades: This is also best for areas that are not very cold. It can help make your balcony more comfortable in the summer if it helps block the sun. But, this is also the pitfall of this system, since you probably love the sun on your balcony.
Completely or partially sealing your balcony can be tedious and time-consuming. It can also lead to a buildup of mold and mildew if it has any breaks in the seal.
This is why you are better off finding the best method of protecting your furniture while leaving your balcony open. Especially if your goal is to protect your furniture. Completely sealing off your balcony may be too excessive.
Here are the best ways to protect your furniture without all the hassle.
Should You Cover Your Furniture In the Winter?
A simpler and cheaper method of protecting your patio furniture and accessories is to cover them. Covering your furniture will keep the ice and moisture off and prevent decay and exposure.
One of the best methods for doing this is to use a tarp. A waterproof canvas or plastic tarp is adequate for most types of furniture. These should be wrapped securely around the furniture and held sealed with bungee cords.
However, this may not be sufficient for all types of furniture. If you have aluminum or metal furniture this method is great. But, if you have wicker, wood, or PVC composite furniture then this may not be sufficient.
There are other methods of storing and covering your furniture. These include a storage unit/shed for temporary storage or a lean-to addition to your home or shed.
Best Method For Wicker/Wood Furniture
Wicker and wood furniture are a little weaker than other metal and plastic furniture. They have a nice rustic appeal and many find they are softer than their metal counterparts.
However, it is this softness that makes them a little more susceptible to rot, decay, and weather damage. These types of furniture should be stored indoors or in a securely sheltered area.
This can be a shed or a makeshift shelter made with wooden posts and a plastic or metal roof. This is sufficient if you live in a place that does not get overly harsh winters and maybe only a few inches of snow.
If you live in a place up north which has very cold temperatures you should consider bringing them into your house. The environmentally controlled setting is better for the structural integrity and well-being of the furniture.
If the temperatures get very cold it can cause the wood to shrink and warp. If this happens it cracks the wood and allows moisture and mildew to form.
Best Method For Plastic/PVC Composite
Plastic and PVC composite are actually built to be more sturdy and durable than other materials. However, due to their nature, they can suffer more from prolonged exposure to both the sun and cold.
You’ve probably seen this before. A chair or table gets a lighter area, or changes colors after sitting outside for a while? This is sun damage.
Plastic is especially prone to sun damage. The sun and cold combined is especially bad for prolonged periods because it weakens and bleaches the colors of the furniture. Just because it is winter does not mean the sun goes away.
This is true for PVC composite chairs as well, even though they are a little more sturdy than plastic. If you do not get very cold winters, you can resolve this issue with a properly positioned tarp.
When covering your furniture first rinse it with soapy water to remove any debris or mildew. Allow it time to dry or hand dry. Then, cluster the furniture close together and cover them securely with a tarp and bungee cords or ropes to hold it down.
Clustering them together prevents them from getting blown over in the winter winds. Make sure you leave about an inch at the bottom for the air to circulate. This will prevent mildew from developing in a poorly ventilated area.
Balcony Cleaning For the Winter Storage
Properly cleaning your furniture is essential to preventing decay and damage from occurring. If you have dirty furniture it can cause weak areas to develop while they sit idle all winter.
For furniture, soapy water is usually sufficient to remove most debris and substance buildup. Although, if you notice black mold on your furniture it should be removed with a mild, safe bleach solution.
Do not use straight bleach as it is a harsh chemical and can harm your furniture. But, if you dilute it 1 tbsp per 1 gallon of water ratio it should be safe.
Balcony cleaning is also a good idea for the winter. If you have a cement or wooden floor balcony, any leftover leaves or branches can rot or stain the area.
An epoxy floor paint is good at preventing this since it creates a protective barrier and layer on top of the floor. It’s especially good for stone, brick pavers, and cement floors.
For wooden floors, you may want to consider getting a waterproofing polyurethane coating. This makes clean-up much easier while preventing decay and rot from the cold and weather.
Epoxy paint and polyurethane coating create a smoother surface on the flooring. The slicker surface prevents decay by filling in weak spaces where debris could accumulate. Additionally, it prevents things from sticking so removal is easier.
Balcony Closing and Cleaning For Your Home
Now you understand the importance of and the methods by which you can prepare your balcony for the winter. Cleaning your balcony is also important and can be expensive.
But, with an all-in-one cleaning service, you can save valuable time and money. The best services include deck cleaning and furniture cleaning to ensure your balcony is winter-ready!
Securing your balcony can protect your investments. No one wants to spend money on their balcony and furniture twice!
At Balcony Cleaners, we have the know-how to do it right! Call us today for an estimate!