Outdoor patio furniture, in general, is built to be easy to care for and to require very little maintenance. However, there are some things that you can do that will make your outdoor furniture last longer and even more importantly, look great for a longer time. Good patio furniture can be expensive and it would be a shame to let it lose value and functionality due to not attending to some simple , basic, things that could greatly extend its life span.
Caring for Metal Outdoor Patio Furniture
Metallic furniture whether it be aluminum, steel, or wrought iron, is really very easy to maintain. In general it only needs an occasional good cleaning with a rag and a dish soap and water solution. Simply wipe it down and rinse with the garden hose.
With metal furniture, be careful to take care of and rust problems right away as it will lead to bigger problems the longer it goes untreated. When you find a rust spot, simply remove it with a stiff wire brush or some fine grit sandpaper of emory cloth(both available at any hardware store). Applying a little bit of touch up paint will prevent the rust from reoccurring.
Take advantage of the your maintenance session to apply a little bit of oil to and hinges or pivot points. Sewing machine oil works great for this with its handy little applicator tube.
Caring for Resin and Wicker Outdoor Furniture
Just as with the metal furniture above, most resin or plastic based furniture really only needs an occasional good cleaning to keep it looking good and functioning well. Sometimes the weaving on wicker furniture can get a grimy buildup that doesn’t look good. Use a little dish soap diluted in a bucket of water and a soft bristled brush to scrub away the mess, followed by a good rinse with clean water. Avoid using chemical cleaners as they can actually damage the resin.
Caring for Teak and Other Wooden Furniture
Outdoor furniture made from teak wood requires very little maintenance outside of the occasional cleaning as outlined for metal and resin furniture above. Teak is just as low maintenance free as metal and resin.
Other woods, however, will require regular care and upkeep or they will suffer a shorter lifespan. When wood is used in outdoor patio furniture, it is subjected to intense sun and moisture conditions. This sun and moisture exposure creates cracks in the wood. As the tiny cracks develop, they allow water to penetrate deep within the wood which speeds the deterioration process along. Once cracks develop, they will always get worse if not taken care of with a good sealer.
Wood patio furniture needs to be cleaned at least once per season followed by application of a synthetic sealer that will repel water. If your wood furniture has already developed cracks and rough spots, begin your seasonal maintenance by sanding the rough spots smooth and then apply the sealer. Some sealers require two coats to be effective so be sure to read the directions.
Don’t forget to check out and care for wooden framed umbrellas following the same procedure.
Caring for Outdoor Patio Furniture Cushions and Covers
The cushion and covers used with your outdoor furniture also need some TLC and attention. Cushions and covers are made from various kinds of cloth. If you have purchased good quality cushions and covers, this cloth will be water resistant and made for use in the sun.
Outdoor furniture cushions can be wiped clean with a sponge and a soapy water solution, as needed. Care should be taken to allow them to dry thoroughly anytime they become wet. During the off season, if possible, they should be stored in a dry location, perhaps a decorative box of some sort incorporated into your patio decor.
Furniture covers are a great way to help protect your outdoor patio furniture when it is not being used. The cheaper cover will take the weathering and collect the dust and dirt that otherwise would be on your furniture. These furniture covers will also need regular cleaning or rinsing to keep them clean and working hard to protect your furniture investment.
If you will take a little time to regularly inspect, clean, and maintain your outdoor patio furniture, it will not only last a lot longer, but it will also stay looking newer and better for a much longer time as well. The minimal time spent on maintenance will more than be made up in better looking and longer-lasting furniture that helps you to relax and enjoy your deck or patio.