Hartman Florence Firepit Lounge set
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

How To Look After Your Cast Aluminium Furniture

Aluminium garden furniture is stylish, light, durable and low maintenance

Hartman Florence Emberglow Firepit lounge set (pictured above)

Garden furniture made from cast aluminium is some of the most durable on the market. Other advantages are that it requires very little in the way of maintenance and it is very light to move around. This furniture is also suitable for an unheated conservatory as it will not succumb to mildew in winter.

If your furniture is sold as cast aluminium, is cheaper than any other and is quite weighty then beware as it will contain a high percentage of cast iron which is not as durable as the aluminium, and it also rusts which is something that does not affect the aluminium.

The cast aluminium is poured into a mould then the individual pieces are welded together, which makes for a stronger product than the wrought or tubular aluminium furniture. The powder coating gives the furniture the colour and gives some protection against the elements.

Maintenance

At the end of the season just give the furniture a wash down with a weak solution of mild soapy water; don’t use any abrasive cleaners or bleach. Inspect the furniture regularly for scratches as they need to be dealt with immediately to prevent the weather getting underneath the powder coating and causing it to flake. If the furniture has gone a little dull you can wipe it over with a tiny amount of car wax or baby oil. Remember to rub it well in otherwise it could come off on your clothes. This will provide a barrier against any dirt particles adhering to the furniture.

Scratches and chips

Some manufacturers’ can supply a touch-up paint kit to repair any scratches but if not just cover the scratch with a couple of coats of clear nail-varnish. If you use the touch-up paint apply a coat of the black and then dab it with a piece of kitchen towel to remove any excess; allow to dry then apply some dabs of the colour, usually brown or pewter. Again pat with kitchen roll to absorb any excess; allow to dry and repeat the process another 2 – 3 times until the chip or scratch has disappeared.

Hartman Beaumont 8 seater oval set in Midnight

Hartman Beaumont 8 seater oval set in Midnight

Storing

The cast aluminium is very durable but can be quite brittle; if it is left out in high winds to blow over it can crack. So we recommend that it is either taken into a shed or stored securely in winter. If you chose to cover the furniture make sure all the furniture is packed as close together as possible. Get a cover which will just fit the set and not be so large as to leave any pieces flapping around in the wind. If the cover is allowed to chafe the furniture it will eventually rub off the powder coating which in turn will allow the weather to get between the coating and the aluminium.

How to: How To Look After Your Cast Aluminium Furniture

This guide takes you through the steps you can take to make sure your aluminium garden furniture stays looking it's best as long as possible

How to carry out a regular maintenance routine in autumn or spring

Carrying out a regular cleaning routine every autumn or spring will ensure your furniture will have a long lifespan and give you great value for money. It doesn't take long and all you need is a soft brush for cleaning any dirt out of the crevices. Once you've done that just wash down with a mild solution of warm water and washing-up liquid. Regularly inspect for any scratches and apply a touch of Hamarite or clear nail varnish to prevent the weather flaking off the powder coating.

You can apply a coat of baby oil or car wax which will prevent any dirt or grit adhering to the surface. Just remember to wipe down really well after applying to make sure it doesn't rub off onto clothing.

How to prevent damage

Taking steps to prevent damage will save a lot of time on repairs. Aluminium garden furniture is very light and will easily blow around in a wind. If winds are forecast gather all the furniture together into as compact a form as possible, cover with a dedicated cover or tarpaulin and securely tie it down to the legs of the furniture.

If you live close to the seaside it is a good idea to keep the furniture covered when not in use to prevent the sea-spray from eroding the powder coating.