Martin Dos Santos
Carl Jägnefelt & Joacim Wahlström
Daniel Lavonius Jarefeldt
We love teak
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Teak is a hardwood tree, called Tectona grandis in Latin. Apart from being very stylish, it’s also exceptionally durable and it needs very low maintenance. Do note, however, that the latter isn’t the same as “no maintenance”. Here are a few tips on what to do, and what not to do.
At Skargaarden we only use only high-grade teak, harvested from carefully controlled plantations. You don’t have to use any kind of preservatives or treatments to ensure the longevity of your outdoor teak.
New furniture. All our teak furniture is sanded and polished at delivery – but that’s it. If you’re using the furniture outside, and they are exposed to water, they will get a bit rough. This is a natural process and is solved by sanding the teak. It usually only happens twice, in the beginning.
Don’t oil outdoor teak furniture. Oiling teak is a good thing if you are planning on using the furniture indoors. Outdoor teak furniture should not be oiled. It will not make it last longer, but it will tie you into a tiresome maintenance routine. Oiled teak is more likely to mildew and will cause irregular coloring as its weathers. New teak furniture often appears smooth and “polished” – this comes from the oil that occurs naturally in the wood. The oil on the surface of your teak will gradually evaporate when the furniture is outdoors (this is what happens when it turns grey). It’s the oil that remains below the surface that gives the wood its strength and durability. This is why Skargaarden teak can be left outside all year long.
Some shades of gray. As mentioned already, left outdoors, our teak furniture will naturally weather to a silver-gray color. You will begin to notice this “graying” in a few months, depending on the amount of sun and rain your furniture is exposed to. During the weathering process there may be some roughening of the grain, occurring in spots. You may even notice a few small cracks. Water spots or other discoloration may also occur during the weathering process. All these flaws will eventually even out, and the furniture will take on a uniform silver-gray color. It’s a natural, living material.
How to keep the original color? So, what if you don’t fancy the grey color and want to keep the original dark color of the teak? Your piece of furniture can be restored, by cleaning it with mild, soapy water and a soft bristle scrub brush. A good teak cleaner is also very effective. It requires no heavy scrubbing or polishing. A teak sealer can then be applied after cleaning, which will help to maintain the honey-like color of your teak. Teak sealer needs to be reapplied about once a year and should not be applied to new teak. Remember to wipe your teak furniture clean with water and a mild detergent and then let it dry – before you apply the sealer. Apply the sealer in a thin layer! Less is really more.
Other tips for protecting and caring the teak. Cleaning your teak furniture every now and then is a good thing. It helps maintaining the general appearance and prevents dirt from building up. Hosing it will do the trick, so it’s not that much of an effort. Just don’t use a high-pressure washer. As mentioned earlier, use a mild detergent and rinse afterwards.
GRANITE TABLETOP MAINTENANCE
Granite is an igneous rock that is formed deep below the earth’s surface by compression. Because the pressure below the Earth’s surface is so high, granite is immensely hard. After diamond, it is the strongest rock species on earth. Granite is little porous and has good scratch resistance. Germs and fungi have no chance. No two tabletops will be ever alike. Granite tabletops have a ‘leather touch’ finish. This soft, brushed finish accentuates the natural color of the material and gives a unique, soft touch. Granite can be cleaned with water and soap. Granite Protector refreshes the gloss of the granite and makes it water and stain repellent. Do not use aggressive detergents as they attack the lime in the stone.
ULTRA COMPOSITE TABLETOP MAINTENANCE
Due to its practically zero porosity, the ultra-compact composite surface is highly resistant to staining in day-to-day use and from chemical products, making it ideal for use as a tabletop for outdoor use. For general cleaning we recommend the use of Q-Action with a sponge or scouring pad. If this product is not available, the best option is to use a neutral soap and water.
Aluminium is a non-ferrous metal, which combines great mechanical rigidity with light weight. This makes it especially suitable for outdoor furniture. If treated correctly, it has a good resistance to corrosion. By powder coating aluminium, this corrosion resistance can even be enhanced. After a chemical pre-treatment, an epoxy powder is applied statically and baked. We use ultra-durable and scratch-resistant polyester powder coatings that guarantee a UV-resistance. Powder coated aluminium is easy to clean with clear water and a fluid detergent. If necessary, use a soft brush to remove the dirt from the pores.
STAINLESS STEEL MAINTENANCE
Material Properties Stainless steel is the generic name for several different steels used primarily for their resistance to corrosion. The one key element they all share is a certain minimum percentage of chromium of 10.5%. Although other elements, particularly nickel and molybdenum, are added to improve corrosion resistance, chromium is always the deciding factor. However, despite its various additions, stainless steel still behaves much the same as steel, and even the highly alloyed stainless-steel grades (such as 316) still contain a minimum of 62% iron.
Skargaarden using 304 grade stainless steel with an electro-polished (EP) finish brushed finish. Electropolishing is widely used in the electronics, food and medical industries and on components for cruise ships and yachts, where a corrosion resistant, smooth and easy to maintain surface is of vital importance. Electro-polishing is an electrochemical process whereby the combination of an electrical current and a strong acid erodes the surface of the stainless-steel substrate atom by atom. This process removes much of the iron from the surface of the steel, but leaves the chrome intact, resulting in shinier, but much improved corrosion resistant surface.
However, as with any item left permanently outside, even electro-polished stainless-steel furniture requires regular maintenance to keep it looking as new. Before the furniture leaves our factory, the welds are ground flush and the surface is polished with Scotchbrite, usually in the long direction of the legs or rails. This provides a smooth, resistant surface that is easy to clean and maintain.
Although electro-polished stainless steel is generally highly resistant to corrosion, the surface can be susceptible to cosmetic deterioration by the effects of salt water and air-borne chemicals. This may result in small brown spots appearing on its surface (this process is likely to be accelerated in coastal areas). These spots in no way affect the strength, integrity, or longevity of the furniture, they are simply superficial discoloration’s that require cleaning to restore the stainless steel to its original appearance.
Brushed stainless steel should require very little maintenance, other than to gently clean with water and a mild liquid detergent to remove any dirt or splashes. A microfiber cloth or sponge should be used to wipe over the surfaces of the furniture. Removing surface water with a drying cloth (like you would use on your car) will help avoid water spots.
If rust spots appear on the surface of the stainless steel, the Scotchbrite pad supplied with the furniture can be used to clean the area. Gently rub the Scotchbrite pad in the same direction as the existing brushed surface of the stainless steel, until the rust spot is removed. Never use steel wool to clean stainless steel, as the carbon steel will contaminate the stainless steel, causing rust.
To keep our fabrics looking good, the best thing is to brush off dirt before it becomes embedded in the fabrics and wipe up spills or clean soon after a stain occurs. The quicker you clean spills and stains, the easier they can be to remove.
Should there be a new spill or stain on your Sunbrella fabric, try the following first:
• Blot (don’t rub) liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth. For oil-based spills, apply an absorbent such as corn starch, then remove with a straight edge.
• Spray on a mild cleaning solution of soap (such as Dawn or Woolite) and water.
• Rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Then air dry. If this doesn’t get the stain completely out, here’s how to clean the fabric:
Cleaning removable fabric
Skargaarden strongly recommend hand washing of all Sunbrella fabrics. Soak fabric in a solution of 1⁄4 cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a sponge or very soft bristle brush to lightly agitate the stain. Then rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue and allow fabric to air dry.
Cleaning non-removable fabric
Prepare a solution of 1⁄4 cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a soft bristle brush to clean, allowing the cleaning solution to soak into the fabric. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue and allow fabric to air dry.
Mold and mildew stains
Sunbrella fabrics do not promote mildew growth, however, mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances if not removed from the fabric. To remove mold or mildew:
• Prepare a solution of 1 cup of bleach and 1⁄4 cup mild soap per gallon of water.
• Spray on entire area and allow to soak into the fabric for 15 minutes.
• Clean entire surface area with a sponge, clean towel or very soft bristle brush.
• Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
• Air dry.
For severe mold/mildew growth, bleach quantities may be increased. It is best to clean the entire surface area of the fabric to avoid water rings and stains.
For information on cleaning other stubborn stains, see the Sunbrella Stain Chart. www.sunbrella.com/stainchart
You may of course cover your furniture when you are not using it for a long period of time. That will help keep it clean and protected (especially in areas with a lot of tree sap or dust) but is not essential. If you do choose to use protective covers, it is very important that you use only “breathable” covers that don’t trap the humidity but allow constant ventilation. If you’re in a region with cold and snowy winters, we recommend you store the furniture in a roof-covered place.