We give garden furniture a hard time. From spilled drinks and messy barbecues to splashes of water while fooling around in the pool, garden furniture gets to work a lot while we play. And then when winter comes, we forget the deckchairs, tables and chairs out in the wind and rain.
In winter, store the furniture somewhere indoors or in a dry place
It’s true that garden furniture is sturdy and can withstand the stress of summer. However, that doesn’t mean that it is indestructible. And that’s why we need to spend a couple of Saturday mornings carrying out some maintenance work to ensure that our garden furniture lasts for more summers to come.
Care and maintenance of garden furniture depends on the materials used: fabric, resin, steel, wood, plastic and wicker all have different degrees of strength and durability. While garden furniture made of metal and plastic requires little maintenance, wooden and wicker models need additional tender loving care.
Whatever maintenance you carry out, it’s important to clean your garden furniture at least once a month and to do your maintenance when the furniture is dry.
Garden furniture made of plastic is very easy to clean and maintain. If you don’t have much time to dedicate to cleaning duties, just wash your plastic garden furniture with soap and water. The same applies to aluminium furniture. You can also hose off any dirt, dust and grime. Then wipe it off with a clean cloth or leave it out in the sun to dry.
In winter, store the furniture somewhere indoors or in a dry place. Even though it’s very durable, plastic furniture can become brittle if left out in the rain and warp if it is exposed to strong sunshine.
Damp, shade, moisture and strong sunshine can quickly eliminate your investment in wooden garden furniture.
You need to take good care of your wooden furniture. When not using it, cover it with a tarpaulin and avoid exposing it to pesticides and pool chemicals. If your furniture is varnished, you can wash it with soap and water, rinse it well and leave it to dry in the sun.
There are two types of wood: hardwood and softwood. Hardwood garden furniture is typically made of teak, iroko and eucalyptus: these woods contain high levels of natural oils, which makes them particularly resistant to all kinds of weather.
However, it’s still best to keep the furniture off wet ground as this helps prevent rotting. You can also apply protective varnish to help the furniture last longer.
Softwood garden furniture is cheaper than that made of hardwood. However, you need to take greater care of it. To keep it in good condition, treat it with a wood stain, especially in those areas that collect water or those that are in contact with damp soil.
Garden furniture made of wicker has a particular character and gives your outdoor space a Mediterranean, rustic charm. However, it’s also tricky to maintain, especially given its texture. To clean wicker garden furniture well, use a handheld broom and a hose or pressure washer. Always make sure that it is completely dry before storing for the winter. You can also apply wax, especially to the frames, to keep the furniture shiny and water-resistant.
The greatest enemy of metal garden furniture is rust: make sure that when you wash your garden furniture, you allow it to dry completely. Moreover, if the furniture has any bumps or cracks, treat it with rust-preventing paint. If the furniture has moving joints, it’s best to oil them after a long, hard summer. Repaint the furniture every couple of year to ensure that you strengthen the barrier against harsh weather.
This is the easiest garden furniture to take care of because resin is very durable and water-resistant. Wash it with water and use a gentle abrasive if there are any stubborn dirt marks or scuff marks. To remove mildew, use water mixed with some bleach and detergent.
While garden furniture is typically made of hard materials, you can further embellish your outdoor space using soft furnishings. These can include cushions, hammocks and bean bags. While these are usually made of strong materials such as canvas and acrylic, cloth can wear out and you need to take good care of it.
When buying soft furnishings for your outdoor space, make sure that it is machine washable. When you wash fabric, do so on a gentle cycle and stretch it out over the frame before it is dry: this will help avoid shrinkage. Always store fabric items indoors during winter.
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