No one wants their lovely lawn furniture to pull a Wizard of Oz and end up somewhere it was not intended (like at the bottom of your pool, or worse — through a window). In high winds, even relatively sturdy pieces can make their way across the lawn, damaging themselves and the landscaping in the process. Fortunately, there are some simple and inexpensive methods that you can use to keep your patio set safely where it belongs.
If you haven’t purchased your lawn or patio furniture yet, consider heavyweight materials before you buy. Heavy wood, wrought iron, or poly lumber may be good choices if you live near a beach or in the mountains where high wind is a daily occurrence, or if heavy, sudden gusts can occur with no warning.
But if you like to move your furniture around regularly and are only concerned with the occasional stormy day, there are other methods of temporarily securing your furniture.
Weight it down
If you have lightweight patio or lawn furniture, there are plenty of ways to keep it where it belongs. Place a few weight bags filled with rocks or sand on your furniture to anchor it. When full, these can weigh up to 35 lbs. As a bonus, these can also be used to weigh down a pop-up tent.
To keep top-heavy patio umbrellas from toppling, there are also special stand weights that can add stability to umbrella stands.
When the weights aren’t in use, you can store them out of sight. You’ll want to keep them close to the patio furniture so you’re not lugging them from the garage or storage shed every time the wind picks up. Consider an outdoor hutch or storage bench where you can keep the weights within arm’s reach.
If your furniture is on a deck rather than a stone or gravel patio, you can use either temporary or permanent deck anchors to secure it. Look for an option with a D-ring that you can use to fasten a bungee cord over the top of your patio furniture set.
If you’re going to strap your furniture to anchors, make sure that you weave the rope or bungee cord between the arms and seat of your chair. This will prevent the chair from getting swept out from under the cord.
Stakes in the grass
A simple stake installed in the grass or gravel patio can keep lightweight furniture from blowing away. If you use straight stakes, make sure they are heavy-duty and long enough to really grip the ground. Or try a spiral anchor which you twist into the ground like a screw. Secure your furniture to the stakes with zip ties.
Keep in mind that high winds can be accompanied by heavy rains, so you’ll want to ensure that when the ground is sodden, the stakes won’t loosen their hold.
There’s safety in numbers. A large furniture cover uniting a whole patio set will force the wind to contend with the set’s complete weight, rather than with each individual chair. Just this simple addition can keep your dining table safe during a major gust.
If you can’t find a cover that fits your set, a large tarp secured by bungee cords can also do the trick.
Play with putty
So what if you want to affix your furniture to a solid patio, and you really don’t want to drill holes into your pristine flagstone?
Try Museum Putty. While its stated purpose is to keep fragile items on their shelves in case of an earthquake, this strong but removable adhesive may be just the thing to keep your chairs from blowing away.
To use: yank a piece off and warm it in your hands until it becomes pliable. Press it into the patio where you want your chair to sit, and then press the chair legs into the putty. It will bond the chair to the patio. To remove, twist and lift the chair. The putty will peel up, leaving your patio undamaged. Magic!
Remember the cushions
Even if you’ve secured the frames of your furniture, there are still the cushions to contend with. Many patio furniture cushions come with ties to keep them strapped down. But if yours don’t have ties, they’re not difficult to add.
Add as many ties to your patio cushions as you need. If you’re not sure how, follow this simple tutorial. It uses bias tape and buttons which you can get from your local craft store in dozens of colors and styles to match your furniture.
Bring it in
While these are all great solutions for your average windy day or summer storm, there are always exceptions. If there is a tornado or hurricane coming your way, don’t count on these methods to keep Mother Nature at bay. Bring your furniture into a shed or garage, if it’s safe for you to do so.
Furniture caught in the wind can be more than a nuisance — it can be a danger. So make sure that whatever method you chose, you’re doing something to secure your tables and chairs. A little planning will protect you and your home from your furniture so you can continue to sit on it, rather than running from it!