It may seem obvious that outdoor furniture should stand up to the weather. After all, you don’t want the hard job of carrying it out and back in every time it is to be used. And unless it can stay outside all the time, you will end up not wanting to use it at all because the job is so onerous. If the furniture is to be located on a grassy area it is even more important that it is weatherproof.
When something heavy is left on grass it will sink in and reach the soil underneath, which is often quite damp. This will rot the legs of most timber furniture, because even if it is painted, that constant wear on the base of the legs will soon penetrate the paint and the moisture will seep up into the inside of the wood. The end result will be the paint is compromised and the timber will rot from the ground up.
At least, this is what happens with softwoods, especially anything left untreated. However, certain hardwoods will stay strong and in their natural state for many years even though they are outside in the weather. Think of all those heavy beams used for piers or boat masts. They get wet all the time, but they last for many years. Boat wood furniture is therefore ideal for any external design or renovation that needs furniture.
But it’s not only wet weather such furniture needs to stand up to. Sunny weather with all those UV rays beating down can have a detrimental effect on many different types of materials. Left untreated, it usually turns the colour of natural timber to a silvery grey, while it tends to bleach the colours out of many other materials. Even aluminium ends up losing its first pristine shine when left exposed to the elements.
Frost and snow are two other weather elements that should be taken into consideration. The freezing effect of both can have a detrimental effect on many materials as they constantly freeze and thaw.
If your outdoor furniture is for relaxing on by the pool you have to also take into account the bleaching effect of the pool water which contains chlorine and possibly salt. When this is splashed onto furniture or the cushions that cover it, bleaching is likely to occur. It’s a good idea to start off with light coloured fabrics so this won’t be so noticeable. UV resistant finishes on all your alfresco furniture and furnishings will ensure they last longer and look better.
Before purchasing furniture that will get outside use, always look at the manufacturer’s instructions on care and on what kind of finish is used on it. By choosing the most suitable furniture for the weather and your location, you will make the wisest investment.