Old Fairmount Park
June 2, 2020
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Caring for Your Porch Swing

Author: Administrator
A porch swing can give hours, even years, of relaxation and good times for you and your family. It is a functional piece of furniture that allows you to be outdoors and not have to sit on the ground with the bugs and other creepy crawlers. There are lots of other reasons why a porch swing might appeal to you. Regardless of what those reasons are, you need to know how to care for and maintain your swing.

Most man made materials will show signs of wear and tear as they are subjected to the ravages of weather, the sun, and general use. You should not be upset if your porch swing is starting to show signs that it has been used. You just need to know what to do about it.

First of all, what do you do when your wooden porch swing starts to look faded, gets checkered spots or splinters on it, or gets flimsy? Well let's address each one of those common situations in order and see just how easy it is to keep your porch swing operating the way it was intended to.
  • Fading - A faded swing means it has had the sun working on it. The UV rays of the sun can do lots of damage over time. If the oxidation in the wood is bad enough you may have to take a sander to it before staining it again. When staining, be sure to apply a quality stain that has UV protection. This will give added protection. Paint is another good option that covers the wood completely. If your porch swing is painted and needs to be redone, just scrape and/or sand it before painting it with a good outdoor paint.
  • Checkered or splintered wood - when this happens to your porch swing, it can become dangerous so make absolutely sure that you attack these problems with diligence and care. Sand away the bad parts. Don't be shy about it either. If you have to sand deeply that's okay. If the contour of a little section of the swing has to be changed slightly that's okay too. Stain or paint will cover up your work and most people will hardly notice where you had to sand anyway.
  • Flimsiness - A flimsy porch swing means that it may have loose joinery or hardware. If the cross pieces, slats, arm rests or stand are bolted together you can just tighten the nuts and bolts. This seems obvious, but I am constantly surprised that people don't think to tend to this basic maintenance task. If the problem is the wood joinery, it may require a bit more work to fix. Joints that get loose can usually be fixed by injecting more adhesive and then clamping. In some cases (usually rare) it may be necessary to take the joint(s) completely apart to clean up the edges and then re-adhere and clamp.
Some basic care of your porch swing will give it the best chance on having a long life of service to you, and that's what makes it the most happy. When it does start to show signs of wear, it is usually easy to fix. Whether you have to sand, paint or stain, tighten, or re-glue, most maintenance tasks are within the easy reach of most people. Of course, you can always just opt to buy a new one, and that's a good option in many cases. There's nothing wrong with giving your old swing away and getting a new one, and if you do, take care of it from the beginning to avoid major problems down the road.

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