In just a span of two months of outdoor use, furniture and cushions may already show signs of ageing and mildew, depending on how much exposure they have to the natural elements. Signs like fading upholstery, wobbly legs, warped surfaces, and smelly cushions are indicators it may be best to replace them as soon as possible as these can be risks to safety and health.
Here are some examples of furniture and cushions that are clearly not made for the outdoors and how you can deal with them:
If the cushion inside is wrapped in plastic, chances are, the manufacturer wanted to protect the indoor foam from getting wet. However, moisture will still most likely seep through and cause mildew.
What to do: Unwrap the cushions and inspect. Give it a wash and dry. If they can be re-used, position them in areas that are fully covered.
Wooden furniture for the outdoors are usually treated. If your tabletop warps, it is not meant to be put outdoors. This also applies to wooden veneers.
What to do: Some wooden furniture can be repaired (replace the tabletop with outdoor quality material, when possible) but in some cases, they would have to go to the bin.
When your outdoor couch looks this way, would you want to sit on it?
What to do: Depending on the fabric, you can use bleach to clean the stains. Fabrics that are 100 per cent solution-dyed acrylics are bleach-safe.
It is not enough to go for outdoor quality fabrics and foams. It is also important to check if the threads and zippers used are meant for outdoor use.
What to do: You can have the seams re-stitched if they start fraying, as well as get the zippers replaced with marine-grade ones if necessary. This all depends on the state of the cover as it may very well be more cost effective to just buy new covers with outdoor-quality specifications.
To illustrate this point, these sun lounger cushions all started with the same hue. After a year, they are now in varying shades of blue.
What to do: As colour is purely aesthetic, you do not need to change if it does not bother you.
How are your outdoor furniture and cushions looking? Do they show any of these signs? Let us know in the Comments.