Easy Fixes for Patio Issues

June 30, 2015

A beautiful patio is a garden oasis during the warmer months. Be sure to keep your outdoor furniture looking its best with these simple tips and tricks so you can enjoy outdoor living.

Easy Fixes for Patio Issues

My patio heater won’t start

Check the components of the gas supply

Make sure your gas tank is not empty, and that the gas supply is switched on.

  • Check that the pipe into the regulator is tightly attached — use an adjustable spanner to turn the nut on the compression fitting clockwise slightly to eliminate any leaks.
  • Give the regulator a sharp tap — this can sometimes free a mechanism that has got stuck.

If the heater still won't start, check the igniter.

  • You should be able to see a spark from this unit when you press the ignition button. This spark ignites the pilot light, which, in turn, ignites the main flow of gas in the burners. A few strokes from an old toothbrush will help to clear any debris from the surface of the igniter.
  • Make sure to hold the ignition button down for a minute or so, especially if you haven't used the heater for a while — the gas pipe is probably full of air, which will need to be purged from the system before the gas reaches the burners.

The plastic chairs are stained

Restore them with bleach solution

The plastics used to manufacture outdoor chairs are slightly porous and will eventually become discoloured by the elements.

You can remove some stains by washing them with a 1:3 mixture of bleach and warm water, or a strong solution of white vinegar. Be sure to protect your hands with rubber gloves.

Allow the plastic to dry, then treat it with car wax for long-term protection.

My metal chairs are rusty

Sand, paint and wax for a good finish

Try to catch corrosion early by inspecting your garden furniture at least once a season. Look carefully around welded joints where rust is most likely to take hold.

Use sandpaper to smooth out any blistered areas, then apply a coat of anti-corrosion paint or car touch-up paint. When the paint is dry, top it with a layer of car wax.

Make garden furniture last

A little maintenance goes a long way

  • Hardwood tables and chairs only need an occasional scrub with soapy water; there's no need to oil them.
  • Tighten any loose bolts and screws on metal furniture and oil all moving parts, including glides, hinges and joints.
  • Most woven outdoor furniture is made from synthetic, rather than real, wicker and can be cleaned with a pressure hose on a low setting.
  • Dry garden umbrellas fully before folding them down, and make sure they are safely stowed in windy conditions.
  • Protect your garden furniture during the winter months by storing it in the garage or covering it with weatherproof covers.
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