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Our outdoor furniture collection is full of wonderful authentic wood pieces, which brings customers to often ask: can you leave a wooden table outside?
Quick answer? Yes. Long answer? Depends on the climatic conditions and finishes of the piece itself.
In this article, we'll dive into the nitty-gritty of how the elements can affect the durability of your wooden table and give you some tips and tricks on how to properly care for and maintain it.
Plus, we'll tell you all about the types of wood that are best suited for outdoor use, and the best ways to protect your table from the sun, rain, and other environmental factors. Let’s take a look!
Impact of weather and climate on wooden furniture
The weather and climate can play a significant role in the durability and longevity of wooden furniture. Wood is a natural material that is affected by changes in temperature, humidity and moisture levels.
This is like wearing clothes that are appropriate for the season; if it’s too hot or cold, the fabric and fibres can stretch, shrink, or become brittle. In the same way, wood is affected by the climate, so it’s important to keep the environment in mind when selecting furniture.
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- Heat vs. Moisture: Extreme heat and direct sunlight can cause the wood to dry out and crack. On the other hand, excessive moisture can cause the wood to warp, rot, or develop mould and mildew. In addition, UV radiation from the sun can cause the wood to fade and lose its natural colour over time.
- Rain vs. Snow: Rain and snow can also take a toll on wooden furniture. If left outside during a rainstorm or snowfall, the wood can absorb moisture and become waterlogged. Over time, this can lead to warping, cracking, or rot. Additionally, temperature changes can cause the wood to expand and contract, which can also lead to cracking or warping.
It's important to keep in mind that different types of wood have varying levels of natural resistance to the elements
Hardwoods such as teak, redwood and cedar are known for their durability and resistance to rotting, decay, and insect damage. However, they are also more expensive than other types of wood. Softwoods such as pine, spruce and fir are more affordable, but they are not as naturally resistant to the elements and may require more maintenance.
Protecting outdoor wooden tables from the elements
If you want to leave your wooden table outside, it's important to take steps to protect it from the elements to ensure its longevity. Here are a few tips:
- Picking the right wood type: Hardwoods are naturally durable and resistant to rotting, decay, and insect damage but more expensive than softwoods, which are more affordable but require more maintenance and are less resistant to the elements.
- Fun fact: Hardwoods can last 20 to 30 years with proper maintenance!
- The right sealant: The next step is to seal your table with a weather-resistant finish. This will help protect the wood from moisture, sun damage and other elements. There are a variety of finishes available, including oil-based, water-based, and polyurethane. Each has its own unique characteristics and it's good to research which one would be best for you and your table.
- Protection through placement: It's also important to place your table in a shaded area to avoid direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause wood to dry out, fade and crack. If possible, place it under a patio or awning to provide additional protection from the sun and rain.
You should also cover your table when it's not in use. This will help to keep it dry and protected from the elements. A waterproof cover is a good option to guard the table against rain, snow, and other precipitation.
- Regular Inspection: Finally, it's important to regularly inspect your table for any signs of damage or wear and tear. This will allow you to address any issues before they become bigger problems. With proper care and maintenance, you can ensure that your wooden table will last for many years, even when left outside.
it is important to consider the type of wood along with proper care and maintenance when leaving a wooden table outside. Understand the difference between hardwoods and softwoods before venturing out into the market, as it can make all the difference when it comes to resistance to decay, rot, and damage.
If you’re willing to splurge, then look at the former, while the latter is more affordable but would require more maintenance in the long run.
If you're looking for more design inspiration or ideas on what type of outdoor table would best suit your needs, garden theme etc, then have a chat with our expert design team via whatsapp or email.
If you want an in-house consult, then you can visit our showroom or make an appointment. You can also browse our collection of contemporary outdoor furniture or take a look at our interior design project portfolio for more design inspiration.
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