Getting Ready for Spring and Outdoor Living
Posted on 03/30/2018 at 05:10 PM by Wendy Muench
Spring has arrived and it's time to put together your perfect outdoor living area. Outdoor furniture can be easy-care if you use the proper products and techniques. Most patios or porches utilize specific types of materials suited for outdoor use. Powder coated steel, aluminum, teak or Robinia wood and plastic (resin) are all great for outdoor use. Porches and Covered patios can utilize natural wicker and furniture painted with outdoor paint. Outdoor fabrics are specially designed acrylic fabrics which hold up well to sun and other elements.
Fermob’s powder-coated steel and aluminum furniture is perfect for outdoor use. Many items are folding for ease of storage in winter months. It is a durable, resilient material for outdoor furniture but must be finished with a powder coating (much like an automobile finish.) This is classic imported furniture made in France. It is rust resistant, but minor dings or scratches should be touched up to maintain the integrity of the metal underneath. Be sure and use a nonabrasive cloth when wiping the furniture to avoid scratches.
Haste Garden’s Robinia furniture is similar to teak. Both are hardwoods with a high oil content and a tight grain, making it naturally water-resistant even when unfinished. Teak has been used in boatbuilding for centuries, and Robinia is known for its use in bridges. Both species of wood are resistant insects. To maintain the beauty of these hardwoods, they must be cleaned and oiled yearly. If left to nature, they will turn a rich grey patina. Use a soft-bristle brush and a teak cleaner to remove dirt and mold.).
Wicker enjoys the humidity of summer, but should only be used for interior applications or on a covered patio or porch. It needs light brushing or vacuuming to last for years.
Outdoor wicker is a good substitute for natural wicker if you want to use it in the open air. It is made of resilient resin which has the look of wicker. Be sure to specify outdoor cushions and a suitable fabric such as Sunbrella or Outdura brands. Resin wicker requires little maintenance, just wash off with a mild soap to prevent a build-up of dust and dirt in the crevices.
To keep outdoor fabrics looking clean, store cushions inside when not in use. Spot clean or brush off dirt. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for best results.