Strong, durable and naturally resistant to termites, teak is an ideal wood for outdoor furniture. This naturally dense hardwood is protected by its high oil content, not only from pests but also from mould, damp and the damaging effect of sunlight. Teak furniture needs very little maintenance, but a small amount of regular maintenance will help keep it in good condition. Here are just a few tips on taking good care of your outdoor teak furniture.
Don't be alarmed by colour changes
Over time, teak furniture naturally changes its colour as it is exposed to the sun. The oil in the outer layer of wood gradually evaporates, weathering the wood to a silvery-grey colour. This weathering is perfectly natural and will not damage the wood. Silvering is a harmless part of teak's normal ageing.
If you do wish to keep the original rich, honey-like colour of the wood, you can minimise the damage of the sun by protecting the wood with a layer of teak sealer. Note that that's teak sealer, not teak oil.
Even sun-weathered teak still contains plenty of oil and doesn't need any added. While a coat of teak oil may temporarily restore your furniture's colour, the oil will simply evaporate just like the natural oils in the wood did, leaving you back where you started. Directly-applied teak oil can even create an ideal environment for fungal growth. Apply multiple thin coats of teak sealer with a sponge or pressure sprayer, allowing each coat to dry fully before putting on the next one.
Most teak sealers are "natural," leaving the wood in its original colour, but a few have added stains or colours. These are usually intended for indoor teak such as cabinets, to help them coordinate with other wood in the home. For outdoor furniture, natural tones are more common.
Although teak is a highly robust hardwood, it can still benefit from gentle, regular cleaning. Wipe off any dirt or dust with a soft cloth or soft-bristled brush. For more persistent stains, wash the teak with mild soapy water. Don't overuse chemical cleansers, which can dry out the wood prematurely. Absorb spills such as wine or coffee quickly, then clean the area with soapy water. If you're going to apply teak sealer to your furniture, thoroughly clean it first to make sure that it's free of dust, dirt and particulates.
Keep it covered
Teak can remain outside in all weathers, but if you're not going to be using it over a long period it's still wise to cover it up. Be sure to use a breathable cover for your furniture; impermeable covers can lead to moisture condensing on the underside of the cover and causing damage to the wood.
For more tips and assistance, contact companies like The Teak Place.