Water staining and dirt are obvious enemies to your patio furniture, but the sun is actually the most insidious destroyer of your beautiful investment. Just like the sun’s rays cause damage to your skin, so too does it cause damage to anything left outside for too long.
Here are some handy tips to help keep your patio furniture looking good.
Take it inside
The best thing you can do for your furniture is to take it inside when the summer season is over. This reduces the amount of UV that falls onto it. This one step can extend the lifespan of your furniture dramatically. Clean the furniture well before storage and cover it with a cloth. That will keep it fresh.
Use an umbrella
Fabric umbrellas can do more than keep you cool, it can also keep the sun off of your patio chairs. If all you have is a simple chair and table set, use the umbrella as a sun shade. Just remember to take it down if it gets windy so it doesn’t blow away.
Try a patio cover
If an umbrella isn’t suitable for your patio setup, or if you have a very large patio, you may want to consider getting a patio cover. This is a semi-permanent awning that sits on your patio, similar to a carport cover. To avoid sun damage to your furniture, use a patio cover that is opaque. Glass ones will still let UV rays through, though they will protect from water damage.
Consider special fabrics
All fabrics will eventually break down if left in the sun for long enough, but there are special fabrics that are designed to resist UV damage. One popular brand is Sunbrella. By using these fabrics and following these other tips, your furniture can last upwards of 10 years before you even need to think about replacing it!
Use UV protection sprays
If you don’t have the option of shading or using a UV-resistant fabric, you can try a UV protection spray. These sprays are much like sunscreen for your patio furniture. Your patio furniture dealer should carry some variety of these sprays. Ask them for details on how to apply it properly and how often it needs to be reapplied.
Inspect for wear
Fabric fading is the most obvious form of UV damage, but the sun can also cause plastic and woods to weaken over time. At least twice a year you should inspect items made of plastic, wood, and wicker for weakness. This can help prevent an accident. For more solid wood pieces, make sure that sun hasn’t reduced any stain protection by splashing some water on it. It should still be beaded 15 minutes later. If the wood has soaked the water in, it’s time to add more stain.
It’s not difficult to protect your furniture long enough for you to get full enjoyment before replacement. Follow these tips and your furniture will look good throughout its entire life.