If you have a backyard, garden, lawn, or patio at your house or commercial property, chances are you have at least a few outdoor furniture in place. Whether it is wooden outdoor furniture like old-style benches and chairs or he is more modern plastic and stainless steel variety, these adorn the location for both aesthetic and practical purposes. Although these are intended to be durable, they are not invulnerable. And if you do have such at your home or places of business (like a café or restaurant), you also know the frustration and inconvenience of having damaged furniture in these locations due to the environment.
Barring the fact that you cannot watch over them every moment of your life, you can invest a little time, effort, and perhaps just a little bit of cash for outdoor furniture protection. Being a little forearmed in protecting your furniture goes a long way. Let us take a look at some practical yet simple tips to protect outdoor furniture.
Why Outdoor Furniture Protection is Important
Now, some of you might be thinking “hey, I bought these from a place and they said they’d last a lifetime”. Sure, that is likely the ideal scenario and the salesperson was not necessarily lying. However, the reality is there is no furniture, whether tough wooden outdoor furniture or garden furniture, that can withstand exposure to the elements and changes in climate, while also experiencing the wear and tear of continued use over the days, months, and years. Even casual lounging on wood patio furniture puts stress on its structure, which accumulates over time.
By investing in outdoor furniture protection against the most common causes of damage, you can help them to last longer and perhaps even pass them on to the next generations of your family and kin.
Common Causes of Damaged Furniture
While damaged furniture located outdoors can result from simply prolonged and continuous usage, the more common cause is the general environment. While circumstances may be different depending on where you are located, generally the wind, rain, and sunshine all contribute to the damage that patio furniture or garden furniture can experience. Dirt and grime is another factor to consider.
- Wind – Winds can cause parts of wooden outdoor furniture to break. Even small chips here and there can accumulate and be eventually significantly noticeable.
- Rain – Just as rainwater can erode rock and soil, it can do the same for outdoor furniture. Wood outdoor furniture is particularly vulnerable as the water can seep inside and cause fungi and even rotting if left unchecked. Even those with metal parts and attachments (i.e. nails and screws) can be affected by rust due to moisture exposure.
- Sunshine – Even a sunny climate can cause damage to patio furniture and garden furniture, as the ultraviolet (UV) rays and heat can cause anywhere from discoloration to eventually weakening the structure.
- Dirt and grime – Dust and dirt is never a good thing to leave on outdoor furniture. Beyond being unsightly to look at, dirt can be the medium that causes mold to form, blemishing and spreading on wood and textiles in the cushions and pillows of your outdoor patio furniture.
Knowing the common causes of damaged furniture, you can now take steps to prevent it from happening.
How to Protect Your Outdoor Furniture
As mentioned earlier, the general location your home or business where you have outdoor furniture set up contributes greatly to what causes of damage you should most prepare for. To illustrate, say your location is in a humid and dry environment; in this case, dust and the sun’s heat would be the more likely cause that you should most protect against. On the other hand, if the location is one known for frequent rains, the ideal outdoor furniture protection would be against moisture and rainfall.
With that said, here are some generally useful suggestions for protecting your garden furniture and patio furniture:
- Keep them Clean – It seems like a given, but it can be easily overlooked. Moreover, depending on the construction materials, the method of cleaning for outdoor furniture protection would vary. These days, the more common varieties are made out of plastic and metal. These require little more than regular brushing and wiping, and the occasional handwashing with soap and water. If the metal parts show signs of rust, you can use sandpaper to scrub it off. On the other hand, wood patio furniture requires extra care. Wiping with a cloth that is slightly wet to remove most dust and grime, and avoid using a hose as the water pressure can erode the surface. The cushions and pillows should be washed and dried separately from the frame of the outdoor furniture.
- Coat, Paint, and Seal – Putting a layer of “armor” to protect outdoor furniture is not out of the question. Now this “armor” can be different depending on the material involved. Wooden outdoor furniture can be applied with a coating of either varnish or water sealant. Varnish is fine for most needs and it keeps the wood looking pristine for prolonged periods. Water sealant is suggested for environments that are usually moist and experience frequent rains. Paint is another option, which is probably the longest-lasting outdoor wood protection. The downside is that the wooden furniture will lose its natural looks.
- Cover it up – When outdoor patio furniture and garden furniture is not in use, it would be ideal to keep them “under wraps”, so to speak. Use tarps for most outdoor furniture. Waterproof tarps are readily available from most furniture and department stores. These can protect from rain and even snow. By placing waterproof tarps regularly for outdoor furniture protection, you can ensure the effects of the weather do not cause long-lasting damage.
- Storage – In areas where there will be occasional harsh weather conditions such as rainstorms and hail, it would be best to store your outdoor furniture, at least until the season when the rougher weather passes. Dedicating extra space in the garage or a storage shed for such is best.
Outdoor furniture is an investment and it is only prudent to prepare for protecting them for future use at your home or business. Whether you have wood outdoor furniture, plastic patio furniture, or metal garden furniture, giving the extra effort to keep them in good condition protects your investment. Take the suggested tips and preserve your furniture’s looks and practical use.