Most types of garden furniture will require some maintenance to prolong its life – usually the best time to do this is at the end of the summer season when you are guaranteed dry weather.
Depending on what type of garden furniture you own will also dictate when you need to maintain it.
Simply clean it regularly with soap and warm water, you will probably need to do this more often if the furniture is light in colour.
It is preferable to store plastic garden furniture where there is protection from frost during the winter i.e. in a shed or garage. Be aware that very strong sun can also break down plastic garden furniture causing it to become brittle over time.
Hardwood garden furniture will usually last the longest and therefore tends to be more expensive to purchase. The most common hardwood garden furniture is made from teak which contains a high level of natural oils. Because of this hardwood garden furniture can normally be left outside during the winter season.
Once a year you will need to clean the hardwood furniture using a scrubbing brush and soapy water – this will remove any algae that may have built up over the damp and colder weather.
Naturally teak will change colour from a soft golden brown to a silver-grey when it becomes weathered.
The most common type of softwood garden furniture is made from treated pine and is fairly inexpensive to buy.
To prolong its lifetime you can apply a wood stain or even paint containing preservative aimed at garden furniture, which will seal the wood and protect it further from the elements.
It is advisable to wash down surfaces regularly with a wood cleaning product.
The main issue with garden furniture can be rust – this will even appear in plastic coated metal where cracks appear in the plastic.
This can be prevented by using rust-repelling paint after removing the loose rust.
Check any joints that may need oiling and aim to repaint metal garden furniture every couple of years to maintain a barrier against the weather.