Preserve your Outdoor Furniture this Spring

Apr 18, 2018 | Outdoor Living

The weather this time of year is especially unpredictable—welcome to spring in Maryland!  One day you’re having a barbecue to enjoy the warmth, and the next it’s practically snowing.  However, these fluctuations don’t mean you have to move your outdoor furniture back and forth every week.  Just take some steps to protect it, and you’ll weather April just fine.

  1. Plan for your location.

Ideally, you can start protecting your furniture before you even own it.  You just need to think about the type of environment it’ll be exposed to consistently.  Someone who lives in New Mexico can entertain a wider variety of options without worrying about their water resistance, for example.  While individuals in Florida may want to prepare their outdoor furniture with water sealants and/or rust repellants.  Being realistic will help you prepare for your budget and maintenance schedule upfront.

  1. Invest in appropriate covers.

Now, they make study, all-weather covers to fit specific pieces of furniture.  You can buy ones suited for your table, your chairs—even an outdoor heater or umbrella!  In a pinch, you can also use general tarpaulins to cover up your most vulnerable items.  Just make sure you have the necessary materials to secure them, too, because strong winds can accompany strong rain.    

  1. Treat wooden surfaces.

Often, wooden furniture is the most vulnerable to the elements.  So, if you choose this type, you’ll have to take extra care in advance of wet weather.  Fortunately, you have a lot of options to choose from for this step.  The strongest protection will come from paint, but that means you’ll also lose the look of the wood (which is why most people buy it in the first place).  Instead, you could try a durable varnish, made specifically for outdoor use.  It may stain the wood slightly, but it will preserve the natural grain of the material.  Ultimately, you can pick the one you prefer and then change it again in a few years, since it’ll need to be reapplied rather frequently.  Oils and sealants operate similarly, but (usually) without the discoloration.

  1. Switch placement.

If you have an overhang or an awning, you can position your furniture strategically to block damage from the weather—rain or shine.  In the absence of this, there are still things you can do to help.  Did you know that items at the edge of your deck or patio tend to weather more?  Try to move your furniture toward the middle, or against the house, if you know rain is coming.  You may also just want to bring the pillows and cushions inside to preserve their condition.  Make the most of your outdoor furniture by taking basic precautions this time of year!