Your outdoor space is an essential part of your home, and you want it to look nice all year long. It’s where you come to relax and unwind after a long day at work. Moreover, it’s a perfect location to entertain guests when the weather permits. Besides, when you have nicely-furnished outdoor space, it helps raise the resale value of your home. Fortunately, with some simple tips and tricks, keeping your furniture safe and attractive is easy. Keeping your pieces in good shape doesn’t have to be a constant hassle. With a little bit of maintenance, your patio, porch, or deck can look great all year long. Not only that, but taking care of your outdoor furnishings will extend their lifespan and keep them looking great for years to come. The proper maintenance practices will also help prevent pest infestations and reduce the risk of injury from broken or splintering pieces. Here are some tips for keeping your outdoor furniture in tip-top shape so you can use it year after year.
Protect with Covers
One of the best things you can do to protect your furniture is to cover it. The sun and other weather elements can do much damage, especially when not covered. A simple cover can protect it from fading in sunlight and rain. It can also help to prevent damage by pests such as ants and termites. When choosing a cover, look for a water-resistant, breathable fabric. Light-colored covers will also help your furniture to stay cooler in the summer. Be sure to check them regularly for signs of wear and tear. And don’t forget to check underneath. You’ll also need to cover the legs, or they’ll be ruined by dirt and debris.
Inspect and Repair Any Damage Immediately
After a few seasons of use, your furniture will likely experience some normal wear and tear. You may notice rust on metal pieces, wood splintering, or vinyl or fabric stained or ripped. When you see signs, it’s important to get repairs done the soonest as possible. Otherwise, it could worsen, and you may need to replace the entire piece prematurely. Even if it isn’t severe, it becomes more extensive and expensive to rectify when left for a long. Doing this regularly will help you catch any problems earlier and get them fixed more easily and affordably.
Clean Up Food and Drink Spills Right Away
Food and drink can make a big mess on your furniture. Since you’ll likely be using your outdoor space for social gatherings, cleaning up these kinds of spills immediately is essential. If possible, use a scraping tool to remove any large food particles. Then, wipe the area down with a sponge dampened with water. When cleaning, be sure to use the right products. Avoid using soaps, detergents, and solvents that could damage your furniture. If need be, use a solution containing biodegradable cleaning agents that are gentle on your furniture while still getting it clean. Avoid using too much water.
Rotate Your Furniture Regularly
You can reduce damage by rotating your furniture regularly. This will also help you spot and address issues like fading and cracking before they become major problems. It’s best to rotate your furniture every one to two years, depending on the type of furniture and your climate. You can mark the calendar and be sure you don’t forget about it. Where you store/place your pieces can significantly affect how long they last. Avoid placing your furniture near trees, shrubs, or plants that may drop leaves and seeds. These can get stuck and cause damage over time. If possible, avoid placing it in areas with direct sunlight for long periods. Sunlight can fade your furniture and cause cracks and warping. It can also make it easier for pests to enter your furniture. Consider placing your pieces on a wooden deck, porch, or patio made from concrete or paving stones. Wooden decks and porches must be maintained regularly to avoid rotting. Concrete and paving stones are more durable but require more upkeep.
Make Sure it’s Properly Anchored
You’ll want to ensure that any pieces of furniture with legs are firmly anchored to the ground. Otherwise, strong winds could lift them and cause damage. If you have a piece with legs that are not anchored, use something like a heavy rock or brick to weigh them down. Alternatively, you could use a special type of furniture leg anchor. Check these legs periodically, as they will likely be exposed to damage.
Maintain Good Drainage Around Your Furniture
Keep your furniture away from areas where water pools. Ideally, you should have at least 6 inches of clearance between the furniture and the ground. You can also use outdoor furniture pads to protect your pieces from the ground and help keep them clean. Consider installing a drainage system if you’re having trouble controlling water in your outdoor space. You can also use a combination of drainage and waterproof tarps for optimal protection. If you live in a highly humid climate, you may want to consider applying a UV-resistant coating to the wood on your furniture. This will help protect it from damage caused by UV light exposure. You can find these coatings at most hardware or home improvement stores. You can also use UV-blocking paint as an alternative. Before applying paint, make sure it is clean and dry. If you have unfinished wood furniture, use a special outdoor primer before applying your UV-blocking paint.