Even though outdoor patio furniture is durable, since it is left outside with prolonged exposure to sunlight, wind, rain, and perhaps snow, it is prone to damage no matter how durable you think the materials are.
Proper care can maintain your outdoor furniture and that is well worth the effort and usually affordable cost if you follow some simple steps such as the following:
1. Storage –- Ideally, it’s best to store any type of such furniture, whether plastic, metal, or wood, indoors during harsh weather and be sure it is free of any debris. If you have foldable furniture, you can store it in a garage or shed.
2. Types of construction – If it is wood furniture, make sure it is completely dry before storing so it won’t mildew, turn black, or warp. Metal furniture may rust if stored while wet or damp. Cushions and fabrics, even if made for outdoor use, should be stored inside in air-tight bags.
3. Weather-proof covers –- If inside storage is not possible, at least use poly/vinyl tarps that are weighted down or secured with straps. Preferably, use special furniture covers to maintain the good qualities of the furniture and keep it looking great and new when uncovered. The covers are available in every size, shape, style, and color that will extend the life of the furniture with protection from the elements. Just be sure to measure the pieces before buying to ensure the right fit. The covers are put top to bottom over the furniture and may zip or tie at the bottom with a drawstring. If they fit snugly, they don’t need to be fastened down and you can just leave them loose.
4. Regular maintenance –- Check the manufacturer’s directions or website for details on what maintenance is required. Acrylic cushions should usually be spot cleaned with a sponge, water, and mild soap and must be completely dry before storing. You can alternatively use a solution of two cups detergent, one cup bleach, and one gallon of water to clean. Spray it on, soak for 30 minutes, and scrub with a rag or sponge. Hammocks and cloth chairs can be machine-washed on the gentle cycle. Stretch them back over their frames to accomplish the right fit, and make sure the fabric is dry before storing.
5. Warranty –- A huge and expensive mistake that homeowners make is throwing away their receipt and warranty card. They also think they have to throw out the furniture instead of being able to make simple repairs using parts covered under the warranty. If the furniture does not hold up according to the ‘wear and tear’ promise that is contained within the warranty period, contact the manufacturer, and you may be able to even get a brand new set!