Indigenous to the monsoon forests of Southeastern Asia, teak is hearty enough to withstand warm and humid climates. The Class 1 hardwood is very heavy, but what are really special are the natural resin oils the tree produces. These oils protect it from insects, rotting, warping and cracking, in essence working as a synthetic sealant.
However, to say that teak requires zero maintenance would be incorrect. Teak deep seating requires much less upkeep than other types of hard and softwood, but some measure of care should be taken. For instance, outdoor furniture can be oiled up to a few times a year to help bolster the natural oils. Indoor teak deep seating requires less oil because the wood will retain more of its natural oils when not exposed to the elements. Also, leaving teak untreated will cause the wood to fade into a natural patina gray, though this in itself is not harmful to furniture. Not only do sealants keep this from happening, but it also darkens the shade of the wood. In general, the darker the stain, the more protection from the sun can is achieved. Two coats of sealant are usually adequate for most teak deep seating, but be sure to let each coat dry before applying another. For mild stains, a soap and water mixture should work, and for harder stains and mildew buildup, try water and bleach. The best thing to do when youíre not using your wood patio furniture is to either cover it with waterproof tarps or bring it all indoors.
One recognizable characteristic that sets apart teak deep seating from other teak furniture are the cushions that go along with the wooden seats. These cushions are made from durable waterproof, tear-proof and spill-proof material thatís meant to hold up well outdoors and in any kind of weather. Typically, cleanup is a breeze. Simply wipe off spills with a damp rag. Once again, for stronger stains that have set in, soap and/or bleach mixed with water is recommended. Also, like the seats themselves, cushions should be brought indoors when theyíre not being used. For one, theyíre easier to store because they take up less room than an entire chair or lounger, and second, it will keep them looking like new for years to come.
Teak deep seating can be tricky to navigate if not approached in the right way. Not enough care, and the wood will fade and break down over time, especially when kept outdoors year-round. On the other hand, too much care (or in this case, over-oiling) will cause the wood to turn black. But if a happy balance can be achieved, youíll never need to buy another set of patio furniture again.
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Article Added on Thursday, July 16, 2009
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