The harsh rays of the sun can damage furniture just as much as they damage our own skin. If you’ve ever exposed upholstered seats or wooden tables to long-term sunlight, you’ve probably already seen the way sun effects furniture – fabrics fade and sun rings form around the items on a table.
Sunlight loves to eat away at colour. We’ve all seen book jackets fade in the sun, the spines lighter than the front and back covers. Sun damage – combined with moisture damage – can harm the longevity of your furniture.
Outdoor furniture is especially at risk of damage, exposed as it is to the elements. Moisture and sunlight wear away at the material of outdoor furniture. Sometimes it simply affects the aesthetic look of the furniture, but it can also weaken the structurally integrity of your outdoor sets – especially if they are made of plastic or wood. It’s nice to have that pergola or verandah to sit on, but it may be worthwhile protecting your furniture with some good shade blinds as well.
Wooden products in particular are often prized pieces of furniture and can sometimes be quite costly. You want to take care extra care with them, since sun and moisture damage can be difficult to fix or even irreparable.
Sunlight can affect the colour and texture of wood. Some woods darken as a result of sun exposure while others lighten. Wooden varnishes can turn yellow and cloudy, finally cracking and peeling if they are laid bare to the sun for too long.
Water damage can likewise destroy wooden furniture. If moisture is trapped beneath a finish, it can cause milky water stains, water rings and possibly even rot. It can warp the surface and weaken the overall structure.
Water sealants and ultraviolet light-resistant barriers are available to protect your wood from the sun, but excessive exposure can still wear away at the coatings and damage the wood – the best remedy to any possible weathering is to keep wooden furniture shaded as much as possible.
Upholstery and other fabrics
The fabrics that you use on upholstered furniture or to cover a surface are also greatly affected by exposure to excessive sunlight and moisture. You’ll want to choose carefully which fabrics to use for your outdoor furniture.
Some fabrics weather more slowly than others; for example, cotton and wool blended with acrylic, polyester and nylon are less likely to fade. Linen and silk on the other hand fade fast. Fabrics with darker colours fade more rapidly than those with lighter colours.
Leather is especially susceptible to sun exposure. It fades, stiffens and cracks when exposed to too much heat and moisture. Once leather has dried out, it is irrecoverable.
Water damage can also ruin a good piece of upholstered furniture. If fabrics gather and trap mildew or rain, the moisture damage can cause mould, stains and watermarks.
For outdoor upholstery, you can apply repellents or protectors to protect against stains and mildew; however these need to be reapplied at the start of every season. As with wood, the best way to protect your fabric is to avoid too much exposure to damaging UV rays or rain.
What good is having a pergola or verandah if you can’t put furniture on it? It’s best to take preventive measures to ensure it doesn’t come to this.
The most effective preventive measure is keeping your furniture out of direct sunlight. That’s where shade blinds come in handy. Shade blinds provide shade not just to your guests but also to your furniture. They are designed using an open weave that leaves fine pinholes in the material that filter the heat and light and blocks rain.
Shade blinds are the perfect way to protect your outdoors furniture, making sure that you can enjoy the outdoors in comfort and style while not compromising on the aesthetic and structural quality of your furniture.
Ready to Renovate?
At Australian Outdoor Living, we are the outdoor blinds experts. Read on to:
- Seek shade and protection with our range of shade blinds
- Find out more about our full range of external and outdoor blinds
- Keep the rain & wind out with our selection of cafe blinds
- Speak to a consultant and arrange a free measure and quote