Protect Outdoor Patio Furniture
Outdoor patio furniture can be expensive! If you've taken the time to carefully select complementary pieces, then you definitely want them to last as long as possible.
Furniture covers will help protect your furniture from rain, dust, and sunlight - all of which can be damaging. Rain can cause rust and mildew, dust can get into crevices and cause damage, and sunlight can dry out any wood furniture pieces. Furniture covers won't always protect during wind, so be sure to keep an eye on it during high winds.
If you really don't want to use covers on a particular day, if the winds aren't too high, you can open up the umbrella to protect your furniture from too much sun.
Using cushions on iron or wicker furniture is a MUST as they are not comfortable without them. However, if you do not properly care for the cushions, then they will fade and even rip quickly! You should clean the cushions often with water and mild soap, bring them in during rain if you have a chance to, and replace them when necessary. Some people swear by fabric protector spray, so that's an option as well.
If the weather is windy, be sure your cushions are secured with ties or Velcro. If you have a pool, you wouldn't want your cushions soaking in chlorine!
How often do you clean your patio furniture? It's recommended to do so every two weeks or so to prevent the buildup of dust and dirt, which can be damaging. There are different ways to clean your furniture depending on what it's made of. For aluminum, vinyl, or plastic, use hot soapy water, rinse with the hose, then let dry. For wooden furniture, NEVER use soap -- simply spray it down with the hose, scrub with a clean sponge, and rinse again.
Do you live in an area with long off-seasons and harsh weather? Consider storing your furniture during those seasons to really protect it and help it last longer. You can find a unit near you here.