If you think back to your childhood, you’ll probably remember several events involving a swing in your playtime: it could be in the park, in your public playground or in your backyard made out of an old tire. Swings are a timeless classic and you can relive your fondest childhood memories with a porch swing.
There are different types of porch swings and furniture designers are now coming up with different styles to match their buyer’s preferences. Wooden porch swings, however, still remain the most popular pick because it gives patios and porches an undeniable rustic vibe. Buying and installing it is one part of owning a porch swing, maintaining it is a different story. In order to prevent accidents, as well as to prolong its aesthetic, you need to do regular maintenance and cleaning works on your porch swing.
Wobbly or Tilted Swings - Overtime a porch swing may become wobbly or unbalanced. This could either be a result of poor installation or when weight is not evenly distributed when used. Check for loose bolts, screws, and fasteners. Tighten as needed. If the thread is loose, it’s time to look for replacement parts. Try to go back to the place where you bought your porch swing to see if they have the replacements you need. If they don’t have it, they will likely point you to a place that sells those parts.
Check the chains too. Replace as soon as you see any sign of damage on one of its links. Most hardware stores carry replacement hangers for porch swings. You also need to check for hooks, bolts, and other hardware that might need tightening or replacement. Ask your hardware for the appropriate tools to use when installing or replacing parts. Prior to installation or chain replacement, count the number of links to get the best fit for your swing.
Tip: When buying a porch swing, check the load capacity so you can determine which is right for you and your family.
Most hardwoods like cedar and teak are very durable and weather-resistant and while that is the case, it still needs regular maintenance if you want to prolong its color and keep it looking as good as new.
Removing Cracks and Splinters - Overtime, wooden furniture can have raised grains, splinters, and cracks due to weathering. While there are outdoor furniture made of wood and is known for having excellent weather-resistant quality, softwood such as pine are more prone to these kinds of damages than hardwood.
Occasional sanding with a fine sandpaper incorporated to your scheduled cleanup can remove splinters. For small cracks, you can use wood fillers that come in a variety of colors to match your porch swing finish. Some fillers dry down to a white finish and are ready to be stained or painted.
Huge cracks will need a more intensive repair. You can use wood glue and a clamp to join the wood back together. Another recommendation is to use a polyester resin which is used in wood lamination. It creates a strong bond inside the crack but is harder to match with the wood’s natural finish. Whichever route you take in repairing damages, always ask around hardware stores, home depots, and your porch swing store on what you can safely use for the type of material your porch swing is made of.
Maintaining Finishes - If your porch swing is with a paint finish, you can easily refresh it with a fresh coat of paint if it starts chipping or becomes too dull. Pine wood porch swings are more likely to come in painted finishes. For woods like teak and cedar which are favored for its natural finish, you can preserve the color by using special sealants. Avoid varnishes and teak oil because these might damage the wood’s natural oil production responsible for keeping the wood free from mildew and its rot and insect resistant qualities. Instead, use sealants, cleaners, coating etc. that are specially meant for the specific type of wood your porch swing is made of.
Wooden porch swings need very minimal cleaning, occasionally needing a quick hose down and scrub with a soft sponge and mild soapy water. Prior to sanding and sealing, clean and let it dry properly.
Remove water stains and grease stains as soon as you can to help make it easier to clean. There are many DIY suggestions on the internet on how to clean stains using toothpaste and baking soda. While most of these solutions are effective, take extra care when you do it on your own. Light sanding can also remove stains.
When shopping for a porch swing, research on materials that are best suited to your climate and location. This will minimize the chances of damage to your porch swing.
If your porch swing has a stand and you plan to put it in some other part of your garden, use gravel or stone floor padding that won’t collect water. Also, keep it away from sprinklers.
Keep beverages, liquids, food and hot items from touching your wooden porch swing to avoid stains. If you’re having a party, use furniture covers and coasters to protect your porch swing.
During the winter months, store your porch swing indoors. If you do not have a place for storage, cover it with a waterproof furniture cover to protect it. Invest in breathable furniture covers that allow ventilation and prevent mold and mildew from forming. Cleaning it and sealing it just before storage can make it look brand new when spring and summer roll over. To prevent molds, allow it to dry before storing it.
When cleaning your porch swing, don’t ignore the hardware. Dry it down and wipe down a little grease on it to prevent rusting.
Before bleaching or applying any stain or paint, apply in an inconspicuous area first to test it out.
Seek the help of a professional carpenter or your furniture provider if there is huge work to be done. If you aren’t much of a DIY-er, get the help of a professional. After all, you spent so much on your porch swing and you don’t want your investment to go to waste.