The late winter and early spring bring some of the best weather for relaxing outside and enjoying your patio or garden before the triple-digit temperatures engulf us here in Phoenix, AZ. This year we’ve already had some pleasant days in the 70’s and 80’s, interrupted by a few brief cold snaps.
In the bright sunlight of March, you might be noticing signs that your older patio furniture needs some help, but how do you know whether your outdoor furniture can be repaired or if it’s time to completely replace it. And which repairs can you do yourself?
Keep reading for 3 signs that it’s time to repair or replace your patio furniture.
1. Dirt and stains
If you’re noticing your once pristine cushions are starting to look a little dingy or stained from the dust of past monsoon seasons or spilled food and drink from last year’s pool party, it might not be time to replace them.
Repair: If it’s just dirt and minor staining, it’s possible that with a bit of cleaning, you can save your favorite patio pillows and cushions. First, remove any dust and leaves with a soft brush. Next, if your cushions have covers that are machine washable, you can just toss them into the wash, following all manufacturer instructions for care, including whether they need to hang dry or are dryer safe. If they can’t be cleaned that way, you can use a mild dishwashing liquid and a sponge to clean your furniture. Last, towel dry with a soft towel. Avoid cleaning your cushions with a hose or by power washer as that could damage them or mean they won’t dry quickly and cause mildew or mold.
Replace: If your cushions are badly stained or you’ve tried other cleaning methods to no avail, it’s obviously time to replace them. The good news is that with steel patio furniture, you can easily change out old or worn cushions and pillows for new ones.
Prevention: To help ensure your patio cushions and outdoor furniture lasts, consider covering them during the off-season or store them indoors. That way you can avoid any surprise stains next year.
2. Rust and Chipping Paint
Depending on the age of your steel patio furniture or whether it was powder coated or painted, your outdoor chairs and loveseats might be showing some signs of rust and discoloration. Does this mean you need to replace it?
Repair: While you can find DIY rust and paint repair ideas online, we don’t recommend you remove rust yourself or paint over rusted furniture. Instead, have a professional remove the rust and powder coat your steel outdoor pieces in the color of your choice to protect them from future rust, peeling, and scratches.
Replace: Not all rust can be repaired. If your patio furniture has a heavy amount of rust, it’s not possible to restore it and it’s probably best to replace your furniture rather than settle for a partially restored piece or trying to sand and paint it yourself.
Prevention: Again, covering your furniture during the times you’re not using it is a good idea. Also, powder coated furniture is more rust resistant than painted steel furniture. By focusing on prevention, you can keep your outdoor items in good condition for years to come.
3. Mold or Mildew
Not everyone lives in Phoenix fulltime, and if you’re a seasonal Arizonan, it’s never fun to come back to patio cushions that are moldy or covered in smelly mildew. With a little gentle TLC, this problem can often be remedied.
Repair: Use vinegar to remove mold and mildew along with a sponge or soft brush. Avoid over saturating your cushions or the problem can return. Follow the same steps for drying as the steps for cleaning your cushions.
Replace: If the smell is too strong for you to stomach or the mold and mildew are too severe, then it’s time to replace your patio pillows and cushions. Think of it as an opportunity to update your patio furniture with the latest cushion colors.
Prevention: Keep your patio cushions clean and dry by making sure you and your guests put a towel down before applying insect repellent or sunscreen as well as after exiting your pool. Also always remove plant debris and dust regularly and bring furniture undercover during monsoon rains and the off-season.
It’s not hard to tell whether or not your patio furniture needs help or not. However, there’s no reason to get rid of patio furniture that can be dusted, cleaned, restored or re-powder coated. Indeed, there will be times when you can’t repair a problem yourself. In that case, consult a professional for help or replace your outdoor items with new, updated patio furniture. Follow our guide on the 3 signs it’s time to repair or replace your patio furniture as well as how to prevent common problems and your patio furniture will stay in great condition longer.
What do you think? Do you have secrets for keeping your patio furniture in great condition? Leave them in the comments section below.
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This post was written by Writer