Taking care of your outdoor wicker furniture when it’s not being used for long periods of time or during the long cold winter will help off-set normal degradation. Although your outdoor wicker furniture is manufactured specifically for staying outdoors, it’s still good practice and highly beneficial to take a little extra care once a year to extend your wicker furniture’s beauty and life. You should look to store your wicker furniture in a dry place away from sunlight. This can potentially pay off by extending the life of your wicker furniture by years.
Wicker Furniture Components
Outdoor wicker furniture is designed with components that allow it to be used outdoors in all weather conditions. This design includes a resin that does not fade or become brittle from years spent outdoors, to metal frames designed specifically to resist deterioration from the elements. However, nothing lasts forever. So, having a more in-depth understanding of resin wicker will help you to better preserve your furniture.
Resin Wicker Components
Resin wicker is comprised of three basic components.
- Resin Cane
- Metal Frame
- Outdoor Cushions
Resin Is Susceptible
The composition of each of these components will determine how long they will last. The most important of these is the resin. Today’s resins are good, however, many are still susceptible to a few things:
- The mix of resin ingredients that give it its strength and durability.
- The ultraviolet rays (UV) of the sun that can degrade the resin, unless enhanced by inhibitors.
- The shrinking and expanding of the resin due to varying temperatures.
If the mix of resin ingredients are inferior, such as in lower-grade resins, the resin will degrade more quickly and uncontrollably. These are typically referred to as “cheap wicker sets.” When compared to better resins, cheap wicker sets degrade quicker than those made with better quality resins. Not much can be done to prevent this either; not even storage will prevent degradation for long.
Prevent any degradation of your good quality resin wicker by storing it away from direct exposure to UV rays in a mild temperature environment. It is preferable to store your furniture inside, where the risk of shrinkage caused by deep cold conditions is reduced drastically. Storing inside will also reduce any cracking in tightly wound areas or pull outs (cane that has pulled out from the end because it was not long enough to withstand shrinking and needs to be woven back in after it gets warm again) in your wicker furniture.
Cushions should always be stored in a cool, dry, dark place where mice and other pests do not have easy access. This will limit fading and animal damage.
Storing your furniture and cushions in an attached garage or basement is your best option. If you can’t do that, storing it in a shed or covering it with a good tarp is the best alternative.
Cleaning your furniture and storing it safely for winter ensures that, when spring rolls around, your furniture will be ready to put back outside to enjoy right away.