Patio furniture is one of your best friends during summer and early fall, serving as pieces of personal luxury that allow you to relax with family and friends. It only makes sense you treat them like kin, too.
Unlike some clan members, patio furniture isn’t too fussy – it just needs some attention and TLC – nothing fancy. Keep reading for easy tips to keep that patio furniture happy, healthy, and looking like new.
Being outside, your patio furniture is always exposed to wind, rain, sun, dust … oh, and bird droppings. Fear not, we have some quick remedies you can try to guard your outdoor furniture.
It seems simple enough, and you are probably already doing it, but keeping your patio furniture clean is one of the best ways of giving it a long life and protecting it against the elements. Depending on the furniture material, you can either use a special cleaning mix, or wipe it off with a soft cloth dipped in a mix of dish soap and warm water. Do this once a week, or right after a rainy day, and it will keep the furniture shiny and new. Make sure to check your manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning schedules and materials to use.
Keeping patio furniture wrapped shields it from harsh weather conditions and keeps that bird droppings from making contact. So make sure you tuck the outdoor items in under their covers for the night or if you see dark clouds approaching. Additionally, you can keep them under an extended awning, so they’re under a shade even if you miss covering them.
It may seem difficult to block wind from harming your patio furniture, but there’s a natural solution. Plant a row of bushes around your patio to create a break in the wind onslaught. You can choose one that has brightly coloured flowers that look nice when you’re using that furniture during summer.
Easy-to-use clamps add an extra layer of protection from wind by holding down outdoor furniture. These anchors can be quickly unhooked when you need to move the furniture. But make sure you pin the pieces back in place once you’re done using them. You can also use the same anchors points to lock down the furniture so thieves don’t get to it, but more on that later.
This may seem a bit extreme, but wind can be pretty strong. That’s why you may need a stronger solution. Keeping your furniture weighed down by using sandbags is an easy way of preventing it from knocking around your backyard during a windstorm.
Just as you coat yourself in sunscreen when you step out into the summer sun, you can coat your outdoor furniture, too. Use a store-bought protector to layer metal or plastic furniture. A good ol’ coat of paint for wooden furniture will do the trick. And you can change colours every other year to give it a fresh look.
Spiders love to crawl under wicker furniture or weave a web around your wooden patio pieces. It’s cosy and it’s one of the best places to build nests. But as much as it’s nature’s paradise, you want to keep your patio furniture protected and cobweb free.
We have some effortless ways of keeping these creatures at bay.
Use Strong Scent Sprays
Most critters are disgusted by strong smells. Both orange peels and cedar chips exude strong smells that help keep spiders away. If you don’t want to leave orange peels lying around the patio, you can rub them or other citrus peels on the furniture.
There’s another simple solution that you may have lying around: essential oils. Find that peppermint or tea tree oil, mix it in water and spray on your patio furniture regularly. Peppermint has the additional benefit of keeping away other unwanted pests, like mice. The good thing about using essential oils is that they not only keep away spiders but they also smell pleasant to humans.
If you want a stronger solution, you can mix a cup of apple cider vinegar with a cup of pepper to create a spray-on solution. It may not smell as nicely, but it works just as well.
Patio furniture is usually considered low-hanging fruit because it’s a high value item that’s easy to grab. The lightness of the furniture and the ability to be able to just toss it over the fence make it easy targets. All the thief has to do is reach over your side door and flip that clasp open and walk in to grab a piece and run off with it.
Lock Backyard Doors
You can stop theft by adding a lock to any side-lane access doors that lead into your backyard. Oh, and make it part of your nightly routine to check that all doors are locked. Thieves don’t get in and your furniture stays in place.
Use a Steel Cable
Steel ropes are easily available at any hardware store and can be used to tie down furniture to a nearby anchor. It’s just like locking up your bike when you go for a ride. It’s a simple investment in keeping your outdoor furniture safe. Tug as they may, thieves won’t be able to get away with your patio items anytime soon.
Install Security Cameras
This is a no sweat way of keeping your furniture secure. Security cameras are easily available, mostly just a click away, and can be an effective way of curbing furniture theft. Make sure you place the camera in a visible spot. Although it seems counterintuitive, but doing so gives the burglar pause and adds to their worry about getting away quietly.
A nifty feature to extend camera security can be motion-activated lights. Bright lights will startle the robber, leading them to think someone is about to step outside any second. You can enhance the effect by considering flashing lights. As an additional level, you can also add a loud noise to the whole package. Some creative people have also used motion-activated water spray machines to keep thieves at bay. It’s a nasty surprise when all you’re expecting is a flash of light.
Post Signage about Guard Dog
A low-level barrier you can add to your patio furniture line of defense is signage that indicates the presence of your guard dog. You can boost this feature by adding a motion-activated barking track that can frighten the thieves away, and Fido won’t even have to do a thing. Oh, and for full effect, leave a big food bowl and a thick leash lying around to give the impression of a massive guard dog.
Make Your Fence Taller
The general MO thieves use is to jump over your fence and then throw furniture over to the other side. But if the fence is so tall that they can’t jump over it, your furniture stays put. This solution could be a bit pricey, but it’s worth the money. Adding a row of thorny bushes along the inside of the fence puts an extra hindrance in the way of anyone trying to jump into your backyard.
Create a Neighbourhood Watch
Another way of making sure your patio furniture is well protected is to create a neighbourhood watch. That means, anytime a neighbour notices something suspicious in their own backyard or in someone else’s, they can sound the virtual alarm and alert everyone to beware. This works out as a friendly solution for better neighbour relations and keeping furniture from being taken. Nobody has to run after any thieves, but they can help out by sharing information so measures can be taken or enhanced. It’s a win-win solution for everyone.
Lock Away that Furniture
It may be overkill, but it’s likely the best way of ensuring thieves can’t get to your patio furniture. It’s good to get into a habit of stowing away your pillows into a box or in the mudroom, but think about extending that care to valuable patio furniture as well by putting it away at night or if you’re going away on vacation.
Mark Your Furniture
This is a protection feature that lasts beyond the loss. Taking a UV pen to mark your furniture makes it easier to identify after it’s taken. Visible only under special light, this undetectable method makes it easier for you to go in and pinpoint your pieces if the police recovers any items.
Keep a List and Insure it
Add this extra feature to ensure you can quickly recover from the loss. Make a full list of all the outdoor furniture you own, noting the complete retail value. Call up your insurance company and tell them about this addition to your assets. It will likely have no effect on your insurance cost, but it might help with damage recovery.