Outdoor Furniture Types & Styles | Maintenance
The outdoor area of your house is the perfect place to throw parties and arrange social gatherings such as birthdays or dinners. This is one reason why people spend big on outdoor furniture - because of its varied functionality. Outdoor furniture adds to the overall aesthetics of your house and makes for a convenient lounging space.
Many people think that companies manufacture outdoor furniture to withstand all kinds of weather conditions. This is true but only to some extent; no furniture company is confident enough to give a lifetime guarantee for their products. This means that like all material things, your outdoor furniture needs significant care and maintenance in order to retain its original state.
There are various varieties of outdoor furniture, and all of them have unique maintenance requirements. We have compiled a list of our top tips for each category so that you can ensure your furniture lasts longer than average. But before getting into that, let’s look at some general things you can do to keep your furniture looking its best.
Some Basic Protective Measures For Your Outdoor Furniture
Instead of finding ways to fix the damage once it has occurred, it is better to invest your time and resources in some protective measures so that you can prevent damage from occurring in the first place. Following are a few tips that can help you keep your furniture in prime condition year-round:
● Invest in an umbrella:
Lawn umbrellas are a great way to protect your furniture from sun rays and rain. They do not need much in terms of preservation, but their joints need to be oiled regularly for proper functioning.
● Buy table tops:
Tabletops are convenient as they can help you avoid drink spills and cup marks on the table. These marks can spoil the beauty of your furniture and are hard to get rid of if left unattended for too long.
● Trust Awnings:
Awnings are an essential tool to protect buildings from the harsh weather. They have been a common commodity to protect windows, shelter cars and provide shade to pathways.
We recommend using Empire Window Furnishings Folding Arm Awnings as they are a unique spin on the traditional shelters. They are convenient to use and easy to clean because of their operational design.
Tips For Maintaining Different Kinds of Outdoor Furniture
1. Wood Furniture
Ensuring that your wood furniture has an exterior-grade varnish is the first step towards a better cleaning regime. You will need some soap, water, a sponge and a cloth to clean the dust and any other stain from its exterior. Note that oil-based cleansers are the best choice for cleaning wooden furniture as it cannot withstand the harsher treatment of chemicals. Liquid soaps are not suitable for this purpose as they tend to be loaded with chemicals.
Do not use a high-pressure hose to wash off the dirty soapy water as it can cause mildew and mold to appear. Additionally, never let dust, liquid stains, bird droppings and anything else sit on varnished or non-varnished furniture for too long – clean it off as fast as you can.
2. Teak Furniture
Teak is a kind of wood furniture that is convenient to maintain because of its durability and weather-resistant nature. All you need to do is dust or wash it regularly, whenever its condition calls for it. If you want to retain its original state, invest in a suitable UV inhibitor that can withstand the scorching heat of the sun in summers.
Furthermore, applying linseed oil on the exterior of teak furniture three to four times per year can do wonders for its upkeep. If your teak furniture is beyond the maintenance stage, then you can try repairing its weathered state by rubbing it with sandpaper first and then applying linseed oil.
3. Canvas Furniture/Upholstered Furniture
The fabric used in the making of upholstered furniture is water and mildew resistant, but even then, it needs regular washing in order to maintain its appearance. All you need to do is remove the upholstery and wash it in the washing machine at a gentle pace. Just make sure not to dry it in the machine dryer as it can cause the fabric to fade and decay. Most upholstered furniture is made of a material that is robust in nature. But even then, you should wash it at a slower speed in the machine for the best results.
If you cannot remove the fabric of your furniture, then use soft-bristled brushes to brush off pollen and dust. Bird droppings and drink spills can be a bit stubborn to remove from canvas and synthetic fabric, especially if the cloth absorbs the color. The best policy in these situations is to act instantly and clean the stain on the spot.
4. Metal Furniture
Metal furniture has plenty of variety to offer in terms of material production. Steel, iron, and aluminum are the most popular types of metal furniture that you'll come across. Each of these metals needs to be treated distinctly because of their different properties. But know that all of them are treated to be rust-resistant by the manufacturer.
You can use soapy water to clean metal furniture but remember to dry it thoroughly or else the joints will start rusting. If you don't think the rust-resistant layer on your furniture is reliable, you can apply paste wax and naval jelly on it as an extra layer of protection.
Even after all this if you still find your furniture corroding, it is a good idea to use sandpaper to get rid off the scratches immediately. Your procrastination in taking care of such issues can cause significant damage to your furniture, which can only be fixed through costly repairs.
5. Plastic Furniture
Compared to most outdoor furniture types, plastic furniture is convenient to clean and maintain. All you need to do is wash off the dirt with a hose and leave the furniture to dry in the sun. The only thing that you need to pay attention to is its location during the winter season. Cold and moisture in the environment can cause the plastic to belittle and start chipping. For this reason, most people prefer to put away their plastic furniture in the winter season, in order to avoid having to worry about its upkeep altogether.
If you spot any stain or blight on the plastic, you can get hold of the bleach and blight remediation formulas available in the market to treat it. Remember to use warm water with bleach for cleaning and dilution purposes.
6. Wicker Furniture
Before proceeding with maintenance, you must figure out if your wicker furniture is natural or synthesized. Natural wicker is more prone to chipping and decay compared to its commercial counterpart. Both types of wickers can be washed with water and soap, but the natural wicker needs gentler treatment.
The Bottom Line:
No matter what type of outdoor furniture you decide to use for your space, the basic rules of maintenance are the same for all of them. In conclusion, avoid leaving your furniture out in harsh weather, avoid intense scrubbing and use of chemical-based detergents and use protective covers for your furniture as a safety measure. Follow these few simple steps and you are sure to extend the life of your furniture significantly.