How Not to Kill Your Outdoor Teak in the Summer Sun
Summer is almost here. Ok, in some areas it feels like it already is.
Either way, your pool, the breezy air in your backyard or on your patio, is inviting you to enjoy again outside living.
Where I live in the California desert, it’s pretty much year-round outdoor living. So I keep my teak outside year-round.
And my teak is lovin’ it. My teak shower mat and bench don’t look a day older than the day their wood was harvested.
But even if you live in the northern climes where you can enjoy the four seasons, you can still keep your teak outdoors 24/7/12/365.
I’ll tell you how—so you won’t kill your teak
You should know of course, if you own our teak shower mats or shower benches—they’re multi-functional (or multi-environmental if you want to get fancy).
For example, you can use our teak shower mat as a doormat, mudroom mat, a deck mat for your pool, a shower mat for your outside shower.
And, you can use your teak shower bench as a garden bench, a side table next to your pool chaise lounge—or as a bench, or as side table anywhere you can think of.
Whether you want to have 2 of each, one for only indoors and one for outdoors is entirely up to you (which sure beats carrying them inside and out all the time).
Regardless, let’s talk about keeping your teak, when it’s outdoors, looking like indoor teak, and not something to get rid of at your next garage sale.
But first, let’s get a few teak facts straight…
Teak, because of its high oil and silica content, is the tree version of your favorite mailman.
In other words, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will hurt your teak—if you dress it right.
That’s why teak is the preeminent wood for outdoor furniture.
But teak ain’t a set it and forget it thing.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to keep your teak in the pink of health in the summer heat and sun.
And this is how you do it...
First off, teak will not dry out in the sun (even in the desert sun).
It will not become brittle. It will not splinter. It will not disintegrate, evaporate, or melt.
Teak will “weather”
What does that mean?
It’ll change color. It’ll naturally develop a silver/gray patina over time.
Many people actually like that look – it’s been trendy for a while.
Some homeowners will actually purchase outdoor teak furniture that already has that silver/gray patina.
However, if you’re not crazy about that look, the way to prevent teak from weathering is to seal it.
You can read more about teak sealers in our teak care guide.
Patina aside, unless your teak is kept inside a glass bubble, it’ll weather in different and albeit unattractive ways.
Dust, rain, sand, dirt, and all kinds of other shmutz, will land on your teak over the course of the year.
That’s not problem—if...
You regularly spray off your teak with a garden hose.
Now how easy is that!
Pretty easy if you ask me, but you didn’t, so I told you anyway.
However, (there’s always a “but”, isn’t there?).
Sometimes a quick spritz
with a garden hose isn’t enough to dislodge whatever found a home on your teak furniture.
That’s why, if you don’t remove the shmutz from the nooks and crannies with a stiff brush or something similar, you’ll begin to see mold and mildew growing.
And your once lovely caramel-honey-gold colored teak will become a gross black/green monster.
Please note: teak does not develop mold and mildew or black/green monsters. It’s the shmutz that you didn’t clean off that does.
So, if you see this happening to your teak, I’ll refer you again to our teak care guide for cleaning and restoration.
Now, I know what you’re going to ask next:
Should I protect my teak with teak oil?
Again, I will refer you to our teak care guide to understand what teak oil is and what it can and what it cannot do.
In the guide, you’ll also find other treatments for your teak, so it’s worth a read, or another read if you read it long ago.
Now, on to the long overdue next episode (#12) in the scintillating saga… The Truth …
BTW, if you’re new to this captivating story about why I’ll be nominated to be the next President of the United States…
Read it from the beginning, starting with Episode 1.
Or, wait till Steven Spielberg wraps up production on my film biography, tentatively titled What a Crock.
THE TRUTH, Episode 12
If you recall from Episode 11…
Helen, the girl I was madly in love with, who I went to high school with (though we never spoke), whose father hated me…
She went off to Europe to spend time with her traveling sister.
It was a ruse.
But I only surmised this after the fact.
Her father shipped her off to separate us.
He figured time away from me would give her a chance to consider and accept all his reasons for why I wasn’t a good fit for her.
His suffocating dominance over his daughters was apparently why Helen’s older sister also hadn’t married.
So, my great fear, now that we were apart and I could no longer refute in real time his arguments against me, was that he would win this Montague vs Capulet game he was playing.
And, win it he did.
A few weeks after she left, I received a “Dear John” letter.
It was over.
And there was nothing more I could do. She was a continent away.
So, there was no reason for me stay any longer in Israel—I hated the place again.
And I finally had the money to buy a ticket home.
Back in New York…
Helen’s Jewish mother influence prompted me to go back to school and get my BA degree.
As graduation approached, two years after returning to NY, I was on the horns of a dilemma.
Should I go to law school, or pursue a Masters Degree in International Relations.
Two avocations that always fascinated me.
And yet, I had no real abiding passion for either.
Nonetheless, I took the LSAT test, and received the median average score.
Well, with that score I certainly wouldn’t be accepted into Harvard or Yale law school.
To wit, I decided, the law could do without me.
Obviously, the cache of being a lawyer was more compelling than being one.
So, by default, I decided to get a masters in International Relations.
To my still puerile mind the concept of international relations connoted intrigue, spies and espionage, tectonic global clashes—in short it sounded like fun, the stuff of movies.
Besides, I actually enjoyed following international events in the news.
Side story related to my interest in International Relations...
When I returned to the City College of New York two years prior, I chose as my major Political Science (with a minor in Pre-Law).
One of the classes I enrolled in was taught by the eminent Dr. Hans Morgenthau.
Morgenthau was a big name in the study of international relations and international law.
His best-known book Politics Among Nations, first published in 1948, went through five editions during his lifetime and was widely adopted as a textbook in U.S. universities.
He consulted with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.
He also mentored Henry Kissinger.
We didn’t get along.
Though he was a German Jew, he didn’t like that I kept defending Israel in classroom discussions (Israel was a hot classroom topic after the Yom Kippur War, today even more so).
Anyway, when it was time to write a final paper for the class—I didn’t write one.
Can’t remember why. But I’m sure I had a reasonable excuse, if it was only reasonable to me.
Not turning in a final paper was an automatic fail for the class—even though, with my unjustifiably inflated ego, I believed I was one of the more active and articulate students in the class.
A few days after the class turned in their papers, Dr. Morgenthau asked everyone what grade they thought they should receive, not just for their paper but also for the class.
In an act of ultimate bravado and defiance I said I should receive an “A” for both.
I knew he was going to fail me anyway, so I just wanted to tweak his nose one last time.
Imagine my shock then when he gave me a B+ for the class and for my non-existing final paper.
I never found out why he did that.
What was even more shocking was which school I chose to attend—and was accepted into—to get my masters in International Relations.
In next month’s The Teakster: The Truth, Episode #13, I’ll
tell you the rest of the story.
In the meantime, please let me know in the comments section below if you enjoyed reading this month’s Episode #12 of The Truth.
Until next month...
Stay teak strong!