Outdoor furniture can be an investment. It’s often not inexpensive, and you want to get as much possible use out of everything you buy. Of course, the outdoors can wreak havoc on any furniture, but you can extend the life of the items on your deck or patio.

Choose the Right Materials

When you’re initially purchasing outdoor furniture and other  items, you want to ensure you’re selecting the best materials that are going to be able to withstand humidity and rain. For example, look for weatherproof concrete composite and galvanized steel.

Synthetic wicker and teak are also good options.

Acacia can be a good outdoor material, but it will require more maintenance than items made of metal.

Getting high-quality materials can be more money upfront, but the decision will pay for itself in longevity.

When you’re shopping for upholstered items like cushions and pillows, one of the best materials is Sunbrella, which is fade-resistant and designed for outdoor use. Make sure any cushion is intended for outdoor use specifically.

Even if you have outdoor cushions and pillows, you should move items inside or put them in a waterproof storage container if it’s going to rain.

Get Covers

So often, people underestimate the importance of covering your outdoor furniture. The best rule of thumb is to keep it protected whenever you aren’t using it.

If you don’t necessarily want to ruin the look of your outdoor areas by having your furniture covered all the time, you might want to at least make sure you cover them before it’s supposed to rain or storm, and if you aren’t going to use them for an extended period of time.

Choose a water-resistant cover that has UV protection.

High-quality covers usually feature double-stitched construction. You want to make sure your cover will allow for enough airflow because otherwise, mildew and mold can become a problem.

When choosing covers, measure all of your items to ensure the fit is neither too loose nor too tight.

Use a Sun and Water Shield

For your pillows, cushions, and umbrellas, a sun and water spray-on shield can give them even more protection. The sprays will dry without odor and help upholstered items repel water. These sprays should also prevent fading and yellowing.

Seal Wood

For your outdoor furniture made of wood, seal it with polyurethane. Polyurethane helps protect the wood from the sun, making your wood look more naturally beautiful.

Choose a polyurethane with UV blockers.

For your aluminum and metal furniture, cover it with paste wax. It’s like sunscreen for your furniture.

A coat of outdoor furniture protectant can be good for plastic items.

Keep It Clean

Regularly cleaning your outdoor furniture is important for making it last longer. You should, at a minimum, wipe everything down with soapy water on a fairly regular basis.

If you have wood furniture, use an oil cleaner that penetrates.

If you have wicker, you should spray it down and then use a soft brush with soap to clean the nooks and crannies. Let it dry in the sun.

Your cushions need to be cleaned as well.

Finally, if you have an option to store your outdoor furniture out of the elements during the winter, do it. During winters, especially if they’re harsh where you are, it’s going to be tough to keep your outdoor furniture in good condition.