Guest post contributed by Helen Bradford
Sunny days and warm weather are finally here, and it’s about time you enjoyed that new outdoor furniture you bought. The only thing you’re not sure about is how to take care of it so it lasts longer. Specifically, what to do to prevent the elements from ruining that custom-made woodwork, or those expensive cushions. Don’t worry – some of this advice might help keep that nirvana corner in your garden for the longest time.
Wood needs pampering
Wooden furniture can add that extra charm to your relaxation spot, not to mention that it looks great outdoors and is long-lasting. But it is also sensitive to the elements and requires careful and proper protection to avoid damage. Firstly, use the appropriate protective layer in relation to the weather conditions, for too much sun or too much rain, for example. Paint is more than aesthetics and can be great protection against the elements penetrating the wood and making it rot. The other thing is varnish, which is great for outdoor furniture and there’s a broad variety to choose from. The only catch is it has to be reapplied regularly, depending on the weather conditions, every year or every few years.
Keep an extra eye on fabric
When it comes to upholstery and cushions, it may seem like too complicated and demanding but if you take care of it from the start you don’t have to sweat over it so much. The best thing you can do is to remove the cushions every night or at the first sign of rain. If the rest of the furniture is made of non-removable fabric, cover it up with watertight covers. If you’ve decided to wash it, then read carefully the manufacturer’s instructions.
It may sound silly, but it’s actually popular to leave the furniture outside during winter and then enjoy the festivities and snowy days sitting outside with a blanket over your shoulders and a nice cup of hot cocoa warming your hands. This bliss requires a bit more care from you and planning. It would be best to know you’ll be using your furniture for this right from the start so you can pick the one made of the best materials for harsh winter weather. But even if you just got this idea, it’s not too late.
You can do this one by yourself, but since it is a bit complicated and requires a certain expertise in construction and remodeling, you may want to hire professionals, like Correct Constructions. This way you’ll make sure your furniture survives winter and is good as new for warm summer evenings and lemonade.
Clean it regularly
You may need to not only wash your furniture but also clean the space it occupies. Since the furniture stays outdoors it’s exposed to dirt and dust constantly so regular vacuuming or sweeping can help. Also, depending on the type of furniture, you must dust and wash it. Remove the mildew with a specially mixed solution of bleach and water, for example. Glass looks great on that table, but in order to keep that look, you’ll need to wash it every day since it will develop spots from dew and rain. Also, pressure washing is ideal for deep cleaning of fabric and will take care of the most persistent dirt.
Metal needs polishing, too
Metal furniture may seem like the most enduring, and in a way it is, but not without a few cleaning tricks. The most important thing to take care of is rust. The moment you spot it, scrub it carefully with a wire brush. Wash the rest of the furniture with a sponge and cleaning solution. In the end, rinse well with water or wipe it down, and when it’s dry apply a layer of protective coating.
In the end
Though it may seem like a lot of work, you’ll be pleased with yourself for taking that extra effort to protect your outdoor furniture. Especially when you decide to have some alone time and read that book you started outside in the comfortable afternoon. Or want to host that barbecue for friends in the summer evenings. We bet you can’t wait for that hot cocoa in the winter, now that all your furniture is taken care of.