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Can I leave my teak bench or furniture outside? Will cast iron garden products rust? What will happen to my bronze fountain or statue if I leave it outside? All of these are common questions, along with many others you may have. You can find answers to many of these questions below. If the answer is not there, please contact us directly and we will find the answer for you!
Caring For Marble and Stone
Protecting Marble and Stone
Perhaps the number-one enemy of all stone garden pieces is ice. A winter freeze alternating with thaws can crack or crumble any kind of stone. Before the first frost, all containers that can hold water, such as urns, birdbaths, and fountains, should be drained. Turn them over, or bring them inside, if possible.
Statues are less susceptible to ice than urns, yet water can get into cracks. Wrap your statues in a breathable waterproof covering.
You also want to get your statues, and even benches, off the ground to prevent snow and ice from damaging their bases. Build a level footing made of brick or cinder blocks to elevate your treasured statue or furniture and prevent frost heaves from toppling them over.
Marble and Stone Fountains
For fountains, empty the pools and remove all pumps, rubber stoppers and drain pipes. Cover or wrap the planter with burlap or another absorbent material, then cover it with a tarp or other water repellant covering. This will help to prevent moisture from building in the bowls.
Caring For Cast Iron
Preventing rust on iron
With products made of iron—whether fences, urns or garden accents—water, rather than ice, is the enemy. To help prevent rust and keep your iron looking great, we recommend coating your cast iron products with a light coat of Tremclad or Rust Coat paint each spring. You may also apply a clear coat over top of the paint to give an extra barrier between the iron and the elements. If you are placing your cast iron products on top of concrete, stone or brick, we recommend placing a rubber pad in between the iron and the stone to prevent rust from staining the surface.
Caring for teak
Sealing and preserving
Teak does not need to be protected. It is a unique wood that if left in its natural state, is virtually maintenance-free. Teak can be left outside year round, surviving even the most extreme weather conditions. Therefore, teak is often considered the gold standard for outdoor furniture.
Over time, untreated teak furniture which is exposed to the sun will patina and turn a silvery, grey color. This process is cosmetic and does not harm the strength or quality of the wood.
Teak sealer is often recommended to preserve the natural honey colour or to darken the colour of the wood. Teak sealer contains UV protection to keep the sun from greying the furniture as well as a fungicide to prevent the growth of mould and mildew on the surface of your furniture. Teak sealers can be applied to new teak or old teak furniture after it has been cleaned.
To clean weathered teak, use a two part cleaner consisting of a step involving a base such as caustic soda and a step involving an acid, such as phosphoric acid. There are many great teak cleaning products available to assist you with this. Using a hose, wet the wood thoroughly. Open the applicator lid of the first cleaner. It is best to work on a small area at a time, overlapping each area and working from top to bottom, not allowing the cleaner to dry on the wood. If the base is scrubbed with a dish-washing abrasive sponge or a soft bristle brush, the wood will turn a deep brown colour. Rinse thoroughly, then apply a teak brightener to the same area and scrub in the same fashion, the wood will then turn much lighter. Finally rinse the area thoroughly with water, the teak should appear obviously lighter and cleaner, if any stains remain repeat the process. The wood will lighten further as it dries. Once the grey pigmentation and stains are gone and the furniture piece is dry, you can apply a coat of sealer to keep it looking great. After the first application, teak sealer should be reapplied every year by cleaning the wood with mild detergent and water and spraying and rubbing in a coat only on the surfaces that get sun.
Caring for Bronze
What to expect
Any metal sculpture, whether it is bronze or another metal, will likely change in appearance over time. Bronze will naturally develop a patina on the surface and a number of factors can affect the way a bronze sculpture ages. Environmental factors like humidity, sunlight, contact with water, or acid rain can alter the look of your bronze. Many people enjoy the natural changes that occur on their bronze pieces, however, if you would prefer your bronze to continue looking new, some simple maintenance can achieve this.
How to maintain your Bronze
You can keep your sculpture clean using a soft cloth or soft-bristle brush. NEVER use a chemical cleaner or metal polish on your sculpture. Doing so will damage the finish, often severely. You can use a very small amount of mild soapy water to clean areas that do not come clean from dusting.
For additional protection, after cleaning your sculpture, place it in the sun for a few hours (or carefully heat it with a hairdryer) and apply a thin layer of Tre-wax using a soft natural-bristle brush. After the wax has dried to a haze, buff your sculpture with a soft clean cloth. This will help to keep the bronze looking like new for a longer period of time.