Summer nights relaxing on outdoor furniture is a classic way for Americans to spend their evenings, and for many, their best memories were made on a relative’s patio sets. Almost everyone remembers their grandparents’ favorite porch rocking chair and countless springs spent rocking on it, but few knew how actually to take care of outdoor wooden furniture.
Wooden outdoor furniture can be damaged by anything from the sun, rain, and neighborhood pests, but in this blog post, you will learn a few quick tips to keep your outdoor furniture protected looking its best.
What dangers does outdoor wooden furniture face?
Wooden outdoor furniture is just as susceptible to damage as anything else left outside. It can crack, discolor, and get ruined far quicker than indoor furniture, with wooden furniture being more at risk than metal or plastic. One of the biggest threats is UV rays and sunlight. Furniture left in a sunny spot for too long can lose its color and suffer damage, and in a few cases, the discoloration can become permanent.
Insects can be a problem as well, and as they often accompany the sun, they can be just as hazardous. Insects, like termites, can burrow into soft and hardwood alike, destroying furniture one piece at a time. But raccoons and even pets can reak havoc on furniture, clawing or biting its legs or armrests. Although sprays and keeping Fido away from the furniture can help, nothing can stop the natural elements.
Like sunlight and insects, water can be just as detrimental. Water infiltration can cause rot over time, ruining the structural integrity of your furniture. An excess of moisture can also encourage the growth of various molds and mossy patina, which can ruin the look of your outdoor set. Moisture can also cause the wood to swell and leave permanent watermarks. Although certain woods can be more water-resistant, like Shorea, Teak, or Ipe, water-resistant doesn’t necessarily mean waterproof. While these woods may do better in humid environments, they won’t last forever, which means a different solution must be found.
Tips on protecting outdoor furniture
Although the elements may beat down on your furniture proper storage techniques could easily fix these problems. Proper storage is one of the simplest ways to protect your wood long-term. Although you can’t protect your furniture from every beam of sunlight or drop of rain, you can move your furniture into shadier areas to shield it from the sun. A covered porch or a resting place under a tree can not only block the sun but some water as well, and while it’s not a perfect fix it’s much better than raw exposure to the elements. Even a simple umbrella can provide quick shade, which is a much cheaper solution than replacing the entirety of your outdoor furniture.
Another way to protect furniture is coverings. Furniture coverings are a cheap and easy way to protect your furniture and store it away for the winter. Outdoor furniture coverings are typically made from plastic or thick fabric, and while leaves and debris may tend to build on them the furniture underneath is perfectly preserved. The type of coverage your furniture needs depends on your environment, with heavy-duty tarps and waterproof coverings being the best options for snowy climates. However, the coverings have to be snug, as a loose covering will allow for mold growth and provide a house for insects and vermin. If the proper measures are taken, your furniture will be preserved all season long.
Taking care and treating your wooden furniture
Another way to greatly increase the longevity of furniture is with simple protective measures. Sealants are a great way to preserve color and protect your wooden furniture, as sealants provide an added shield against the elements. Although it needs to be reapplied every few years, depending on the weather conditions and basic wear and tear, it doesn’t take long to do. A simple wash, sanding, and new coat of sealant can keep your furniture looking as good as new. If you don’t want to do reapply sealant, however, a coat of paint will also do. Bright whites and bold colors are a trendy garden fashion and can give even the oldest lawn furniture a modern touch. Paint is easy to apply and reapply, and you can cover small sections at a time if scratches occur. The paint is opaque as well, and thus you won’t have to worry about color overlapping like you would with wood stain.
In the meantime, a simple cleaning job can do wonders for the furniture. A moist cloth, a soapy solution, and a little bit of elbow grease are often all it takes to keep your furniture looking pristine. Although a simple clean can do wonders, deeper stains need alternative measures. A deep clean is recommended for the start and finish of each season to get rid of tougher stains and mold. To deep clean your wooden furniture, you’ll need a water and detergent mixture, possibly with bleach depending on the stain. You’ll need to scrub the mixture in the direction of the grain, and once the mixture is rinsed off the stain should be gone. If it isn’t gone you can buff out the stain by sanding it. After sanding you can reapply your stain or paint, and restore your furniture to what it previously looked like.
Where to get outdoor furniture?
Now that you know how to take care of outdoor wooden furniture, the question is were to get it. You could go to Lowes or Menards and get an overpriced piece or you can support a local business and go to Lawn and Leisure. Lawn and Leisure is a Virginia-based company that sells anything from hammocks, to benches, to outdoor fire pits from popular brands like Gensun, Ebel, and Homecrest. Their showroom displays a large variety of pieces and guarantees affordable prices. They not only sell patio furniture but assemble and install it for you as well, making sure your furniture is always well built and properly set up. With hours ranging from 9 am to 5 am, Monday through Sunday, why not pay a visit and check out our amazing offers?