Storing wicker as winter approaches is an expected seasonal event for many, especially for rattan furniture that has been sitting on a covered porch all summer. For some, it may be time to close up a cottage while others simply want to clear a patio area before extreme weather arrives. Natural materials and all-weather resin fibers require various approaches to storage that will prolong life. The ultimate goal is to uncover these pieces in spring or summer and discover they are just as beautiful as ever. When the time comes to turn paradise into a shrouded or vacated expanse of space, a few tips will help furnishings make it through those cold, dreary months.
Natural Wicker Furniture Storage Recommendations
As natural elements, rattan and bamboo pieces, with and without rope or grass accents, are susceptible to humidity fluctuations. Temperature changes are less of an issue. Most wicker material requires a certain level of moisture in the air, but too much or too little causes a variety of issues. High humidity encourages unsightly mildew to develop. When frames and woven panels become too dry, they may begin to crack, splinter or fray. Painted rattan fibers can also start peeling. Sunlight is another damaging element that will eventually cause wicker to lose its luster.
A garage or spare room is fine for wicker storage. Furniture can also remain in place with plastic or cloth covers to keep dust from settling into cracks. Add a humidifier if the room is too dry or a dehumidifying unit if the space is too damp. Sometimes, a light misting can help eliminate overly dry conditions. In open areas, move furniture away from air vents or radiators, which produce a surrounding blast of heat and dust. A darker corner distanced from sunlight is also helpful. If wicker goes into a non-temperature controlled space, such as the garage or a workshop corner, it should never be used as impromptu seating. Wicker left in cooler temperatures is prone to brittleness. Just let it warm up again indoors before use.
Protecting All-Weather Resin Furniture from the Elements
Higher quality resin wicker is virtually impervious to weather. Furniture can survive along coastal areas without deteriorating from exposure, and pieces are just as resilient when it comes to the onslaught of winter’s roughest snows and ice.
Lesser quality all weather wicker, while still durable, will simply have a shorter lifespan if left to the elements. When temperatures dip to all-time lows, some resin fibers do become brittle. At about 10 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, the furniture should be left alone. Otherwise, even mild impact can cause fibers to develop minor cracks or break apart in larger sections.
The best bet for outdoor rated wicker furniture is to cover it up when not in use. Moisture barriers should feature venting and provide full protection all the way to the ground. That helps prevent debris from blowing underneath, which translates into less clean up when spring arrives.
Many manufacturers also warn against storing all-weather wicker upside down. If water enters the aluminum framework and then freezes, structural damage can occur.
Cushions, while resistant to water and stains, should always be stashed away for the winter. Even during seasonal rains, it is wise to store them temporarily to avoid damage. Prior to packing them away, make sure they are spot-free and completely dry.
Before heading to storage or throwing covers over indoor and outdoor furniture, thorough cleaning is a must. The bonus to having clean wicker going into storage is that it will be ready to display when warm weather finally arrives.