In order to make the most out of your outdoor furniture and to keep it looking great for as long as possible, you will need to take some extra steps to ensure that it is well cared for. This is particularly the case if you are living in a four-season climate where, for a large portion of the year, you will not be using it. Outdoor furniture may be made from wood, metal or even plastic as is the case with many cheaper sets. The way you care for it will depend largely on what it is made of. Consider the following tips for extending the life of your outdoor furnishings.
Protecting Outdoor Furniture during Winter
There is no point in keeping your furniture outdoors during the months when you're not going to be using it. All that this will do is greatly increase the wear and tear and shorten its lifespan by many years. As soon as the time of the year comes when you know you're not going to be getting any more use out of it for some time, you should place it undercover. If you have some spare space in a dry outbuilding, then use it for storing your furniture. If not, stack it up somewhere out of the way and ensure that it is properly covered by suitable plastic or canvas sheeting. Keeping it out of the winter weather is a must since rain and snow will cause wear and tear very quickly. It is also a good idea to have some covers available so that you can cover it during the summer months at night and whenever it rains. Again, this will also greatly extend its life.
Revitalizing Your Outdoor Furniture
Wood weathers naturally and this does, in itself, lend to its character. Nonetheless, it is important to take steps to prevent rot. You should get into the habit of caring for your furniture every year when you take it out of storage. Thoroughly clean it with soap and water and treat it with varnish, stain or paint as necessary. It may need a couple of coats applied 24 hours apart. In order to prepare the surface, ensure that it is as clean and smooth as possible. Before treating the wood, be sure to check for any loose bolts and replace any as required.
Metal furniture, typically made either from steel, aluminum or iron, is normally much easier to maintain. Just keep a look out for rust with certain types of metal furniture and, if you find any, sand it down and apply some rust-resistant paint. Outdoor furniture made from plastic or resin is even easier to maintain. Looking after such furniture is simply a matter of keeping it clean although it is still a good idea to keep it undercover when you are not using it.