What About Rust?
by Household Essentials • September 11, 2017
The bane of all things metal.
The fact is: ALL METAL WILL RESPOND TO WEATHER.
Steel will rust. Aluminum will corrode. There are treatments and processes that can slow this process, but when metal gets exposed to the elements, it will--eventually--be affected.
So what does that mean for stuff made for outdoors?
It means it has a lifespan.
MetalsMetals for outdoor use often are "galvanized" or otherwise coated to protect their surfaces from direct exposure to the elements. Sometimes, simply painting or sealing metal can do the trick. This works because the coating seals out water and provides a barrier to both water and sun.
Most treatments last anywhere from 3-10 years, depending on the quality and degree of maintenance. Regardless, once the coating wears through or chips, the metal will start to react. This isn't a defect. It's just what happens.
PlasticsPlastic don't face the same kind of wear that metals do. They tend to do very well against water! Sun and temperature, however, not so much. Keep plastics in good condition longer by keeping them out of direct sun as much as possible. Bring them inside during extreme cold and heat, too.
Plastics reach the end of their lifespan when the become brittle. Once plastics start to crack or chip, it's time to replace.
WickerWicker can be made from natural fibers or synthetic fibers. Natural fibers will hold up for many years--dried grasses and leaves are remarkably resilient! Protect them from water exposure and direct sun, and you'll get the most wear from your wicker.
Synthetics are essentially plastic, so treat synthetic wicker just like you would plastic.
Most materials break down eventually. But with the right care, you can get a lot of great years out of the things you buy! And when they are worn out, replace!