Nothing beats sitting around outside with family and friends on a warm summer’s night. Outdoor furniture makes it possible to relax in comfort, and when taken care of properly, it can last for many years and provide the perfect setting for hundreds of memorable gatherings.
The only downside to outdoor furniture is that it’s often exposed to the elements, making it more likely to deteriorate faster than furniture of the indoor variety. General wear and tear is to be expected, but how can you combat the damaging rays of the sun or protect against mould that can occur in damp conditions?
Placement is Paramount
The well worn idiom ‘prevention is the best cure’ definitely applies here. If possible, placing your furniture in an area that is not in direct sunlight is going to help you keep your furniture in prime condition, as the sun’s UV rays can quickly fade outdoor furniture. But this doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the sun! Employing the use of shade umbrellas or positioning furniture in shady areas for at least part of the day are some great examples of ways to extend your furniture’s life and keep it looking fantastic. Plus in addition to protecting furniture, your family and guests will also be kept safe from harmful UV rays!
Just like the furniture that resides within your house, your outdoor furniture also needs regular upkeep. Whether you have wicker furniture, wooden tables, or chairs made of synthetic materials, the first thing you should do before attempting to clean your outdoor furniture is to familiarise yourself with the manufacturer’s care instructions. If these guidelines are not available, there are some general rules of thumb you can follow that will help you keep your furniture in great condition.
If you have wooden furniture in your backyard or patio, the chances are it is going to develop mould or mildew at some point. The best way to combat this is to give your furniture a clean several times a year. Using a soft bristled brush in conjunction with hot water, simply scrub the furniture until the visible stains are removed. To remove stubborn rust stains, however, you may need to lightly sand the timber using a fine grit sandpaper (150 to 180 grade) and follow this with an oil or stain made especially for the type of timber your furniture is made out of (checking with a specialist is a good idea).
Another common type of outdoor furniture is cane or wicker furniture. It’s important to keep this kind of furniture dry and minimise its exposure to direct sunlight, so placement is a key element. When left in direct sunlight for too long, wicker furniture can become dry and brittle, making it susceptible to breakage. Applying a layer of clear lacquer or varnish is a great way to provide your wicker furniture with some protection from the elements. And when it comes to cleaning, all you should need to do is give it a thorough wipe down with a damp cloth before letting it dry naturally.
By simply choosing sensible locations and keeping up with maintenance, you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor furniture for years to come.