Your patio furniture defines your outdoor living space just as your living room furniture defines your interiors. Here are ways to help preserve it for years.
Today’s decks and patios have evolved from simple spaces to enjoy a barbeque to comfortable, even sophisticated, outdoor living spaces designed for entertaining or relaxation. And today’s patio furniture has evolved as well, from portable inexpensive aluminum tables and chairs to beautifully designed pieces made of wicker, wrought iron, and exotic woods.
In short, for many, patio furniture is an investment that needs proper care and maintenance to retain its usefulness and value. Here’s how to protect yours.
Keep it clean
Dust, spilled food and drinks, insect repellent, sunscreen, and bird and tree mess all contribute to deterioration of the finishes and materials of patio furniture. Wipe up spills right away and wash your wood patio furniture with a mild detergent periodically.
Use a hand broom to whisk dust and dirt from the crevices in bamboo and wicker furniture. For other types of outdoor furniture, hose them down thoroughly after removing any fabric cushions.
Seal and protect it
Extend the life of fabric cushions and coverings by spraying them with a UV protector to prevent fading and breakdown. Apply water repellent wood preservatives to wood patio furniture to prevent rot, decay, and wood-eating bug infestations.
Buy fabric covers for your outdoor pieces and cover them when they’re not in use; even relatively sun-resistant materials such as PVC and bamboo can warp and crack in extreme sunlight. Pay attention to your wood furniture after a heavy rain to make sure it’s not resting in standing water.
Do routine maintenance
Periodically inspect your patio furniture for signs of damage or wear. Tighten any loose bolts or screws and inspect them for evidence of rust. Apply a thin film of silicone lubricant to wheels and other moving metal parts.
Replace worn or damaged glides on chairs and chaise longues. Scrub rust off wrought iron furniture and touch up with rust-resistant paint. Wash your aluminum patio furniture and apply a coat of car wax to prevent rust, dullness, and pitting. Sand down any splintered surfaces on your wood furniture and reapply sealant.
While some patio furniture is more able to withstand harsh winter elements, fabric cushions and pillows are often not. At the end of the season, thoroughly clean and dry your loose cushions, spray them with a fabric disinfectant, and store them in a waterproof bin, shed, garage, or basement.
If you have storage space, it’s always best to bring your patio furniture inside if you have wet and snowy winters. For many people, however, indoor storage is not an option. If your furniture has to winter outdoors, you’ll want to invest in heavy-duty, waterproof covers to protect it. Give your pieces a thorough scrub before attaching the covers; look for covers with vents to encourage circulation and inhibit mold and mildew. Many high-end patio furniture manufacturers make custom covers for their pieces, simplifying the process.
Protecting your investment
You spent a lot of time and money choosing the perfect patio furniture for an inviting outdoor space. Protect your investment with the right care and maintenance, just as you would with your indoor furniture. By next season, you’ll be glad you did.