Weather Treatment Of Outdoor Products
Before storing metal furniture away at the end of the season, remove seat and scatter cushions and store separately. Remove general surface dirt using warm soapy water, and rinse using a hose and non-abrasive sponge.
In coastal environments (where there is usually a high concentration of abrasive salt in the atmosphere) metal furniture should be washed down with fresh water and covered when not in use.
If a set has become scratched, use touch-up paint to protect the framework, allowing it to dry completely before storing away under cover.
Before you pack away your metal furniture for winter, make sure it’s completely dry. Also make sure you store your metal furniture in a dry, sheltered area such as a garage or shed to prevent any moisture seeping in and causing rust.
Hardwoods, such as teak, acacia and eucalyptus, are tougher than softwoods such as pine.
For teak furniture, which is resistant to moisture and fungal rot, remove general surface dirt using warm soapy water and a stiff brush, rinsing off with a hose. To remove stubborn stains, use fine sandpaper when dry. Sand with, not against, the grain.
Be aware that when left untreated outdoors, the teak will gradually mellow to a light silver/grey colour and become rougher to the touch as the surface grain lifts. Small cracks can also appear as teak adjusts to its new environment, but it won’t affect its structural integrity.
Good-quality teak should last for years without any intervention.
If you are leaving your furniture outside but covering it over, either with purpose-made covers or wrapping it up in a tarpaulin, make sure it is clean and bone-dry before you cover it up. Make sure there is ventilation for air to circulate so that if moisture gets in it can also more easily get out on a dry day.
For acacia wipe down your furniture often with a damp rag to eliminate dust and prevent dust accumulation. This will help preserve its integrity and eventually avoid drying or cracking.
Use products without silicone or ammonia products. These products contain properties that can create dryness in the wood that can eventually lead to cracking. A mild soap, warm water solution will keep your wood happy.
If your furniture is located next to a pool resulting in occasional chlorine-rich splashes, gently wash your furniture then wipe dry with a clean cloth. Also, set your furniture with enough distance from heat and avoid direct sunlight.
You can commonly find boiled linseed oil or tung oil in commercial goods as the base ingredient for oiling outdoor wood furniture for its natural drying properties. Acacia wood’s sensitivity to direct sunlight means that pigmented finishing oil is preferred over transparent, which will provide UV protection.
Clean off your furniture as soon as possible when contaminated by bird droppings and Sunscreens. They can cause permanent damage and stains, which are too hard to get rid of. Corrosion is also another factor to consider and avoid.
Try to cover your furniture when not in use for extended periods. Doing so can preserve your furniture longer and make maintenance easier, especially during the summer season. Breathable covers are the best choice since they prevent mould growth.
For eucalyptus regular cleaning using a mild soap and water solution to gently clean your furniture. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can strip away the natural oils in the wood.
Avoid direct sunlight: Excessive exposure to sunlight can cause the wood to fade and lose its natural colour. Consider placing your furniture in a shaded area or using a patio umbrella to provide some protection.
Apply a UV protectant: Use a wood-specific UV protectant to shield your furniture from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays. This will help prevent discoloration and keep the wood looking its best.
Reapply sealant as needed: Over time, the protective sealant may wear off. To maintain the natural colour and protect the wood, be sure to reapply the sealant according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Synthetic rattan furniture (natural rattan will not withstand the outdoor elements for long) is typically a very low maintenance material but give it a thorough cleaning before storing over winter.
Due to rattan’s woven nature, you might find that vacuuming the seats is more effective than simply wiping them down, and you should aim to remove all dirt and mildew from the furniture before packing it away.
Ideally, store your rattan furniture indoors in a garage or shed, or if this isn’t an option and it needs to stay outdoors, make sure it’s properly covered.
Use a non-abrasive sponge and lukewarm, detergent-free soapy water when washing rattan.
Avoid jet-washing your furniture as this can result in damage to surface areas. Rinse with fresh water and allow to dry prior to covering or storing indoors.
Clean removable cushion covers and use lukewarm water to wash by hand, then dry them thoroughly. Don’t machine-wash season-proof cushion covers as this may damage the water-resistant lining, and don’t leave loose cushions stored underneath a furniture cover for long periods of time.