How to Choose the Right Hard-Wearing Outdoor Furniture For The Irish Climate
Choosing outdoor furniture for the Irish climate comes with its challenges. Frequent rainfall, freezing winds, sleet and even hail, are some weather events you could get during an average day during the Irish summer between those rare bouts of sunshine.
Once you’ve chosen the garden furniture that can withstand this barrage from the Atlantic, it will also be necessary to guard it against the elements through regular maintenance. The damp, humid, or frosty storage conditions during the winter months will also take its toll, especially if compelled to leave your furniture outside all year round.
Aluminum-Based Garden Furniture
Aluminum- based outdoor furniture is popular as it is a lightweight and durable material. It is rust-resistant and easy to maintain.
You might also spot aluminium garden furniture that has been treated with a powder-coated finish to protect it from the elements. Here’s an example:
Athens Sofa Set
The Athens Sofa Set is a beautiful rattan set which has a sturdy aluminum frame. For durability and safety it also includes weather resistant and fire retardant, 8cm spun polyester cushions. The table top is also made with a polywood.
Aluminum Framed Egg Chair
You can also find this lightweight yet strong durable materials used in the latest trendiest outdoor furniture accessory- the Hanging Egg Chair . Egg chairs used to be made from natural rattan but now they can be woven using synthetic wicker/rattan and suspended in an aluminum/steel frame. They can boast a max loading weight of 120kg.
Protect Your Furniture And Your Family with Parasols
In addition to seating, you could also protect your furniture with a wide spanning parasol during intermittent showers. Consider a cantilevered style parasol in a 2.5-3mm or larger width to give you some decent coverage.
Here’s an example:
3M Overhang Parasol
This overhang parasol is ideal for a large area or for shading a lounge set. It will provide both you and your furniture with UV protection. The showerproof fabric is also ideal for Irish summers.
Polywood Based Outdoor Furniture
POLYWOOD is a faux wood material used in durable outdoor or garden furniture sets. It is prized for its strength, durability, and resistance to moisture, insects, and UV rays making it the ideal finishing or surface material.
It is resistant to mold and mildew, and won't splinter or crack like traditional wood. Neither does it require any painting, staining, or waterproofing, making it.
It is made from HDPE which is short for “high-density polyethylene”.
This means it is made of a durable plastic that's widely used to make milk jugs, laundry detergent containers, bottle caps, etc. It can be recycled from millions of landfill-bound and ocean-bound plastic containers every year and transformed into a genuine POLYWOOD lumber lookalike.
Here’s an example:
Polywood Rattan Dining Set
The Polywood 6 Seater Rattan Dining Set is made up of rattan chairs that are hard wearing and a durable polywood table that is very easy to clean and maintain. It also includes a large rectangular parasol for added shade. Parasol dimensions are (H) 235 x (W) 200 x 300cm
Stainless Steel Outdoor Furniture
Stainless steel has come a long way from the shiny metallic cheap looking table and chair cafe seats we associate with beach side cafes. Nevertheless this material is a strong and durable material that is resistant to rust and corrosion. It is easy to clean and maintain, making it a popular choice for outdoor furniture.
Nowadays it can be powder coated for a nicer finish and better protection. Here’s another example:
Parisian Balcony Set Stripe
This set 2 seat and coffee table set is made from powder coated steel and a breathable textilene fabric forms the seat. The result is a comfortable, sturdy and stable set.
Woven Garden Furniture Made Of Resin Wicker
Instead of using natural wicker, it is common to see outdoor furniture made for this climate using resin wicker - a synthetic material that is made to look like natural wicker.
It is a perfect substitute for the demands of an Irish garden as it is resistant to moisture, is showerproof and can sustain UV rays, and temperature changes. Here’s an example:
Madeira Seven Seat Dining and Lounge Set
The Madeira Seven Seat Dining and Lounge Set. This set seats up to seven people, with plush cushions on each seat for added comfort The set comprises a three seater sofa, two armchairs and two stools, along with a large glass table suitable for dining. Dining Table Size: 60cm x 124cm. Here you can see a black rattan finish with grey cushions.
Sorrento Dining Set with Parasol
The Sorrento dining sets are an ideal weatherproof option for any outdoor space with plenty of room for family and friends to gather. It also boasts textilene chairs - which are hardwearing and fast drying, making these perfect for a normally wet Irish summer! Although there is parasol included, the base is not included.
Multibox Rattan Storage Box
The Toomax Multibox Rattan Storage Box is a great example of a multipurpose solution not just as a form of weather resistant incidental seating. It can also help you store away furniture covering and conversely when it rains, you can put in soft furnishings such as blankets and cushions for added protection from the elements in a hurry.
Cast Iron Outdoor Furniture
Cast iron is a super heavy and sturdy material that is known for its durability, stability and classic look. It can be painted or finished to protect it from the elements.
It is often used to provide a fire resistant material base that is heavier enough not to be blown away by strong winds.
We also associate Cast Iron with Barbeque Sets and Braziers that can serve as an ideal party accessory to any patio or outdoor living area.
Hardwood Outdoor Furniture
Hardwoods are a popular choice for wooden outdoor furniture for many reasons. It is a naturally dense species of wood that is resistant to water, decay, and insects. This is because it has a high oil content that will keep it naturally moistures and durably good-looking.
It can, however, be costly, and when you factor in the air miles from importing this from tropical habitats, it may not be the most sustainable option for some.
Hardwood, by its very dense nature, can be heavy and hard to move in and out quickly every time the weather changes, so take this into account.
How to Take Care of Hardwood Outdoor Furniture
- Regular Cleaning: All you need is a soft-bristled brush or cloth combined with some mild soap for frequent use. Use this method for day to day cleaning to remove dirt, grime, and other debris on the wood surface
- Weather Proofing & Protection : Hardwood is naturally resistant to moisture but it will still need protection against the Irish elements. Source furniture covers especially if you cannot move your outdoor furniture anywhere else during rainy or snowy seasons. But if you have space do store this form of outdoor furniture during winter months
- Apply oil or sealer: Oil or sealer can help protect the wood from moisture and the elements. Teak oil, for example, can help maintain the natural colour of the wood while providing a protective layer
- Sanding & Sealing: You'll Begin to see a greyish patina on your hardwood furniture over time. To sustain the original colour of the wood, you should sand it down and apply a new coat of wood oil or sealer. This locks in moisture too
- Avoid Harsh Chemicals: As this is a natural material you should avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners which can damage the wood. Mild soap and water is all you need, or use a specially designed cleaning product for hardwood
- Repairing Damage: you should regularly inspect your hardwood or teak garden furniture for cracks or splits in the wood. Address any issues with a sealant or consult a joiner for specialist treatments and interventions to fix any gaping holes or cuts
General Maintenance Of Your Outdoor Furniture
Regardless of the materials, you could extend the life of your outdoor furniture, by
- Cleaning it regularly
- Do not leave it outdoors without protection
- Use furniture covers where possible especially if it is remaining outdoors during winter weather