7 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor Picnic Table Maintenance Tips

| Sep 25, 2023

Your business’s exterior is the first thing your guests see when they visit it. Stylish, well-kept outdoor furniture is key to making a good first impression. Consider an outdoor cafe. Comfortable benches and tables invite customers to relax as they enjoy coffee and conversation. When you make your customers feel at home, they want to come back again and again.

How long does outdoor furniture last? Well, when your furniture is getting old, it’s time to make a decision — is it time to swap your old furniture out for something new, or is it best to refurbish it? Often, replacing aging furniture is more beneficial for your business.

7 Signs You Need to Replace Your Furniture

Your furniture says a lot more about your business than you may realize. Making sure your furniture looks great is crucial. It’s also important to make sure it’s in good enough condition for your guests to use.

While you may be able to repair some of your existing furniture, other pieces may be too old and worn. These seven signs indicate that it’s time to start looking for a replacement:

1. Creaking and Groaning

When your guests take a seat, the last thing they want to hear is a loud creaking noise. Take wooden furniture, for example. Creaking wood is an issue because it’s a sign of weathering, which leads to serious damage. Wood expands and shrinks in response to changes in moisture and temperature. This change causes joints to become misaligned, resulting in a creaking sound.

Left unchecked, joint misalignment can lead to costly consequences, such as broken furniture and reputational damage. Take the time to test out your chairs and benches and listen for any abnormal noises. If it creaks, it’s time for a replacement.

2. Chipped Paint

Chipped paint is often the first sign your furniture is nearing the end of its life. Paint gaps let moisture into wood or metal frames, which can cause more serious issues such as mold and rust.

Inspect the frame first to make sure it’s in good condition. If it’s still new and seems free of damage, you may be able to apply a fresh coat of paint and keep the furniture for another season. If you notice any signs of moisture, though, you’ll need to replace it.

Here’s how to look for water damage in outdoor furniture:

  • Wood: A dark watermark or stain is a clear sign of water damage. Often, the stain leads to rot and mold, weakening the wooden frame and creating a health and safety hazard.
  • Metal: While metal doesn’t absorb water, exposed metal surfaces are prone to rust and corrosion. Look for black, red or white deposits on the metal’s surface.
  • Upholstery: Fabric can absorb environmental particles over time, leading to the growth of mold and mildew. Look for discoloration and texture changes — if it feels stiff or saggy, it’s damaged.

The more severe the damage, the less likely it is you can make any lasting repairs. Instead, it’s best to begin looking for replacements.

3. Rust and Corrosion

Rust eats away at metal and leads to structural weakness. Because rust visually damages your furniture’s appearance, it can make people think less of your brand.

While you may be able to dissolve a small rust spot using a vinegar solution, it’s best to consult a professional service. Experts have the skills and resources to restore your furniture to good condition. Depending on the extent of the damage, though, this service may cost more than you’re willing to pay per piece. If you notice excessive rust or corrosion, take this opportunity to update your outdoor furniture and save some money in the long run.

Dirt and stains

4. Dirt and Stains

You may need to replace your furniture if you notice stains on the frame and upholstery. While you might be able to remove minor stains, larger stains are more difficult to wash out. In general, it becomes harder to remove stains as your furniture ages.

You may also be able to replace the cushions to make your furniture look new again. Inspect the rest of your piece to ensure it’s in good condition if you plan to go this route.

Mold and mildew

5. Mold and Mildew

Mold is more than a simple stain. It can pose a serious health risk to your guests if not taken care of immediately. If you see mold and mildew on your cushions, it’s best to get rid of them and buy new cushions.

Look for these signs when inspecting your cushions:

  • Mold: Mold often has a fuzzy texture and can be green, yellow, brown, black, gray or white in color. You’re most likely to find mold on damp cushions and the underside of umbrellas.
  • Mildew: Unlike mold, mildew usually has a flat, downy or powdery texture. It can be white, brown, yellow or black depending on how long it’s been growing. You’re most likely to see mildew on furniture frames.

You can prevent mold and mildew from growing on your new furniture by keeping cushions clean and dry. Store furniture indoors during the off-season and cover cushions when it rains. If the cushions get wet, make sure they dry completely and keep them in sunny areas.

If you have a water fixture nearby, you might want to consider going without cushions. For example, if you have a pool on your property, placing furniture there without cushions may be the best way to prevent mildew.

Worn out upholstery

6. Worn-Out Upholstery

If you’ve been using the same furniture for a long time, it’s probably time for a replacement. Check your cushions for signs of wear and tear. Are they still comfortable? Do you see any tears, stains or fading? Do they hold their shape when you stand up?

If they seem a little worse for wear, it’s time to look into new cushions. Here are some tips to help you find the right upholstery:

  • Choose a timeless style: While trends may come and go, some pieces are always in style. Look for cushions in colors and shapes you can use for many seasons to come.
  • Consider the surroundings: Take a look at your outdoor space to figure out what kind of mood you want to create. Do you have any plants or landscaping? What kinds of structures are nearby, if any? Consider how your cushions can contrast or match the surrounding environment.
  • Prioritize versatility: Choose upholstery that fits many aesthetics to ensure everything fits together. Then, if you need to replace any more pieces in the future, you can ensure they’ll match the look you want to achieve.
  • Choose durable materials: While comfort should come first, durability should come second. Materials like acrylic, olefin and polyester are excellent options for easily cleanable, long-lasting and stain-resistant upholstery.
  • Test for comfort: If you think the material is uncomfortable, so will your customers. Ask for fabric samples to make sure you don’t choose anything too scratchy or stiff.

Upholstery is the primary focal point of any furniture set. If you choose to buy cushions, make sure to choose on-trend patterns and durable fabrics.

Outdated design

7. Outdated Design

You want to make sure your business looks fresh and modern, especially when compared to your surroundings. If new businesses are opening in your area, you may need an exterior refresh to stay competitive. Consider how you can stand out from the rest by looking at your new neighbors’ styles. If they’re going for trendy pieces, for example, you might want to go with something more timeless.

Ultimately, if your furniture looks dated, it may be time to replace it even if it’s in good condition. Maximize the value of your space by opting for new, stylish pieces that fit your brand.

How Long Does Commercial Outdoor Furniture Last?

High-quality furniture can last decades if you follow a regular maintenance routine. You should be able to get good use out of it until the elements wear it down. That life span depends on several factors:

1. Furniture Quality

Like with many other products, high-quality furniture lasts longer than cheap options. Although you may pay more upfront, you’ll save more over time since you’ll need to replace it less often.

That said, cost doesn’t always reflect an item’s quality. There are many high-quality furniture options available at affordable prices. Keep an open mind when evaluating factors like material and manufacturing processes — you might find excellent pieces for much less than you’d expect.

2. Material

Frame material is extremely important in determining how well a piece of furniture holds up. Some materials last longer than others, but this also depends heavily on how well you maintain your furniture.

Here’s how long the most popular outdoor furniture materials typically last on average:

  • Wrought iron: Wrought iron is a classic choice, allowing you to choose decorative designs that hold up over time. It can last 25 years or more.
  • Teakwood: Teak is one of the most durable materials you can choose for outdoor furniture, lasting up to 25 years or more with the proper care. It’s naturally weather-resistant and requires minimal maintenance.
  • Cast aluminum: Aluminum is lightweight and corrosion-resistant, making it a great choice for outdoor seating. It can last 15 years or more.
  • Powder-coated steel: Most steel-based outdoor furniture is powder-coated, which gives it a corrosion-resistant finish that’s available in many colors. It can last 20 years or more in the right conditions.
  • Plastic: Although plastic is cheap, lightweight and customizable, it’s not long-lasting. Plastic outdoor furniture often lasts only a few years before needing to be replaced.

You’ll want to choose a material that suits your local climate and your business. For example, powder-coated steel’s durability and versatility make it great for different types of businesses, from cafes to family entertainment centers.

3. Climate

Some environments are harsher on outdoor furniture than others. In general, the more extreme your surrounding climate is, the more often you’ll have to replace your furniture.

While some materials can stand up to extreme environments better than others, it’s still best to stick to a regular maintenance routine and frequently inspect your furniture to make sure everything is still in good condition.

4. Upkeep

Choosing furniture that’s easy to clean and care for is key to getting the most value out of it. Maintaining simple, high-quality furniture is much easier than caring for cheap or complex pieces, which you’ll need to replace often.

Your furniture’s maintenance needs will also vary depending on the material you choose. Teak, for example, requires minimal upkeep, while maintaining other types of wood is more labor-intensive.

Always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations for the best results. These instructions should be easily accessible online through your furniture manufacturer’s website.

Refurbishing Furniture vs Buying New Furniture

Refurbishing Furniture vs. Buying New Furniture

If your furniture is in poor condition, you might consider repairing it rather than replacing it. There are pros and cons to each option, so the right choice for your business depends heavily on your specific needs.

Refurbishing Old Pieces

Refurbishing or refinishing older furniture is an option you may choose if it’s still in good or fair condition. Here are some of the benefits of repairing your existing furniture:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Refurbishing allows you to change your look without breaking the bank — simply swapping out the cushions can make a big difference in your exterior’s appearance.
  • Sustainability: Repairing furniture that’s still in good condition helps minimize waste. You keep your furniture out of the landfill for longer and conserve resources that would have gone to building new furniture.
  • Familiarity: If your existing furniture is comfortable and in good condition, it might be better to stick with what you have. Newer furniture is often easy to restore, and it ensures you’ll get the maximum value for your investment.

Some of the cons of choosing to refurbish include:

  • Low quality: Before you choose to refurbish any of your furniture, take a moment to consider whether it’s worth the investment. Often, restoring cheap furniture is more expensive than buying new, higher-quality pieces because they’ll need more repairs over time.
  • Long lead times: Furniture restoration can take a long time, so you may be without your furniture for several weeks before you can get it back. Depending on how much furniture you have, this may not be a serious issue. However, guests may have a negative experience if there isn’t enough furniture for them to use.
  • Lack of effectiveness: Pieces that have seen excessive wear and tear may be too damaged to restore to great or like-new condition. If it looks like it’s too far gone, it likely is.

Whatever option you’re considering, it’s important to remember there comes a time when old furniture passes the point of no return. At this point, the best thing you can do is replace your furniture with something new.

Buying New

If your furniture is outdated or too worn to revive, it’s likely time to replace it. The benefits of upgrading your outdoor furniture include:

  • Improved customer satisfaction: Your guests have high expectations, and visibly old furniture can make it difficult to provide the experience they expect. Buying new furniture gives you an opportunity to update your outdoor space and impress both regular and new customers.
  • Rebranding opportunity: If you’re considering changing your look to achieve new business goals, new outdoor furniture is a great place to start. Many sellers offer customization options so you can choose furniture that best represents your business.
  • New warranty: When you buy new furniture, you get a new warranty. If something goes wrong and a new piece breaks, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your manufacturer has your back.
  • Increased comfort: Many newer furniture lines prioritize comfort and ergonomics in their design, which can make guests feel more at home when visiting your business.
  • Greatest choice: Buying new furniture directly from the manufacturer allows you to choose pieces that perfectly match your existing decorations and brand.

There are a couple of cons to buying new furniture you should note:

  • Upfront cost: It’s well-known that buying new furniture has a higher upfront cost than refurbishing it or buying it used. However, you’ll get more use out of new pieces, so the return on investment is much greater.
  • Assembly: Many furniture manufacturers ship products broken down into parts, so you may have to put your new furniture together yourself or hire a professional service. However, some companies offer assembly as an extra for an additional fee.

How to Get the Most out of New Outdoor Furniture

Naturally, when you purchase new commercial outdoor furniture, you want to get the most value possible. Here are some tips for making your new investment last:

  • Choose the right material: In addition to changing the look of a piece, the frame material you choose directly impacts how long your furniture will last. You’ll want to choose a frame material that’s lightweight and movable yet sturdy and weather-resistant. While higher-quality materials may cost more upfront, they’re likely to last longer, saving you money in the long run.
  • Apply protective coatings: A high-quality protective coating, such as powder coating, shields your furniture against damage from animals and the elements. As a result, coated furniture usually lasts longer than uncoated furniture.
  • Invest in protective coverings: A weather-resistant covering can help you protect your furniture when bad weather strikes. Look for a breathable, water-resistant fabric that provides UV protection for the best value.
  • Consider furniture care: Long maintenance breaks during the day can negatively impact the guest experience. Choose items that are easy to clean and care for so your team can keep business flowing.
  • Prioritize comfort: Outdoor furniture enhances the guest experience by providing them with a place to kick back and relax, whether they’re sitting down to dinner or enjoying an afternoon outside. Look for chairs and benches with armrests and back support to provide maximum comfort.

The best way to get the most benefits out of your new furniture is to choose commercial outdoor furniture from a manufacturer that prioritizes comfort and quality. Investing in the best-quality furniture from the start ensures it’ll last you a long time, offer easy maintenance and please your guests.

Browse Outdoor Furniture From Wabash valley Site Furnishings

Your customers are the most important thing to remember when buying new furniture. Choosing classic pieces that create a comfortable environment can entice them to spend more time at your business, whether they’re sipping a coffee or chatting with friends.

At Wabash Valley Site Furnishings, we strive to provide the highest-quality products for various industries at a reasonable price point. Browse our selection of commercial outdoor furniture today to find the best pieces for your unique style. When you find an item you like, you can customize and order directly from our site.

Use our online contact form to reach out to us with any questions.