We’ve all been there. It’s a beautiful day, and nothing sounds better than an afternoon on the patio. You walk outside, refreshment in hand, only to be greeted by wet, dusty or broken patio furniture.
While outdoor furniture is often durable, it’s not indestructible. Damage from UV rays, extreme temperatures, inclement weather and rain are all possible threats. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to protect your patio furniture so it lasts for seasons to come.
Weatherproof for Wind, Rain or Shine
Protecting outdoor furniture from harsh weather is important to its longevity.
One way to protect your patio sets from water damage and UV rays is to apply a weatherproofing formula directly to the cushion or frame surface. Use caution, however, and follow manufacturers’ instructions carefully, as products vary based on their intended use. For metal furniture, wax keeps rust at bay and furniture looking polished.
A second way to increase the life span of your porch furniture is to use protective covers. Typically made of polyester, vinyl or canvas, quality covers are waterproof and UV-resistant. Choose styles that are fitted to your specific furniture and easy to use. If you’re on a budget, use vinyl tarps with bungee cords, rope or cinder blocks to hold in place.
Remember, winds can wreak havoc on your backyard furniture, too, causing pieces to break or tear. Use Velcro to keep your seat cushions in place or store them in a waterproof deck box when not in use. Close your umbrella and secure it with a bungee cord.
Clean in 3 Easy Steps
Regardless of how well you care for your outdoor furniture, a good cleaning is important at least once a year. The following steps provide basic guidelines for cleaning metal, plastic and wood frames as well as cushions.
Metal and Plastic
You can clean metal furniture and plastic patio furniture the same way. Aluminum, steel, wrought iron and plastic can be sprayed off or wiped down with a mild soap solution. If you spot any rust on steel or wrought iron, use sand paper or steel wool to remove it as soon as possible. Touch up the affected area with a matching paint or finish to prevent further oxidation from taking place.
Cleaning wood patio furniture takes a bit more caution. Wood furniture protected with sealant can be washed much like metal – sprayed off or wiped down with a mild soap mixture. However, use more caution and care when cleaning painted or untreated wood. Painted wood is susceptible to chipping under the force of a pressure washer, and untreated wood is likely to warp or discolor if soaked. Opt for only a damp cloth on these surfaces to avoid any damage.
Cushions and Fabric
Vacuum the entire surface area of cushions and any seams to pick up loose dirt and debris. Spot clean with a warm water and mild soap solution as needed.
Storage During the Off Season
If you live in an area with long stretches of cold weather or you don’t plan to use your deck furniture for an extended period of time, consider keeping it in storage. Make sure frames and cushions are completely dry. Cushions are especially susceptible to mildew when damp and shouldn’t be stored in plastic bags.
Storage conditions should be cool and dry as well. Elevate large pieces off the floor with wooden boards if possible to prevent water damage and keep legs clean.
In the long run, ensuring that you perform proper maintenance is much better for your patio furniture and your peace of mind. If you’re looking to buy new pieces, start with a guide to the best outdoor furniture material for your climate and enjoy outdoor comfort that is ready for you anytime.
Content provided by Hayneedle’s Editorial Team. For more tips, home inspiration and access to exclusive offers be sure to visit hayneedle.com.
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