Buying patio furniture is easy, but keeping it in good condition can be a challenge. Even the most weather-resistant patio furniture will eventually be worn down.
Luckily there are several ways you can extend the life of your patio furniture:
1. Choose furniture that’s easy to maintain
Not all furniture is created equal, and it’s not always about price. Some materials—and designs—are better equipped to withstand the elements.
Hardwoods, synthetic wicker, and metal can all be used to make sturdy outdoor furniture. Some high end plastics can also do well outdoors, but budget-friendly plastic furniture usually needs to be stored outside.
Any cushions should come with waterproof slip covers that can be washed in your laundry machine.
2. Clean it regularly
Dust and dirt can do much more than ruin the look of your furniture. Dirty spaces, especially small cracks where cushions and chairs or seats and chair legs intersect, can also be a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria and bugs.
Pay special attention to any cleaning instructions that come with your furniture, and stay away from generic power washers. These are often too harsh and they can chip the paint or even cause structural damage.
Wicker furniture should be washed with special care, using a large sponge similar to the ones used for car washing.
3. Store your furniture during the winter
Some outdoor furniture is tough enough to survive even the roughest Canadian winter, but most isn’t. When the first frost hits, move your patio furniture to a shed or garage to keep it safe from the worst of the elements.
Patio furniture may also need to be moved indoors, or at the very least covered with a tarp, in advance of bad storms. Cushions should also be removed ahead of storms, or secured to your furniture so they don’t fly away (Velcro straps are a great way to do this).
4. Use a pressure washer
Storing your furniture indoors during winter will protect it from the elements, but you still need to worry about dust. Sheds and garages, often the best places to store patio furniture during the winter, tend to be especially dusty. A quick pressure wash when you pull them out will eliminate the dust quickly so you can enjoy your patio furniture immediately.
Most patio furniture should be washed with the pressure washer on its lowest setting. Some materials, such as wrought iron, may need a slightly higher setting for best effect. If you’re not sure, look up the appropriate setting for your specific materials.
5. Apply paste wax to prevent rust
Most metal patio furniture is specifically designed to be rust resistant, but it’s not actually rust proof. And with consistent exposure to the elements, your patio furniture is particularly vulnerable to rust.
On the bright side, preventing rust is pretty easy. All you need to do is coat the metal parts of your furniture in paste wax (most car wax is actually just paste wax marketed to cars because it’s so effective). Ideally you should apply the first coat immediately after purchasing your patio furniture. You should then apply another coat any time you wash the patio furniture.
Your patio furniture is a worthwhile investment, and it’s important to protect that investment with proper care. Be proactive about maintaining it and you’ll be able to enjoy your patio furniture for many years to come.