Tips for Maintaining a Porch Swing

A smiling female toddler laying sideways on a wooden porch swing.

A porch swing is one of the most relaxing of home accessories, and adding a porch swing is a great way to enjoy more quality family time at home. Such a swing is a major investment, however, and it is important to maintain it properly to keep it looking and performing like new year after year.

One of the most common problems encountered with all kinds of porch swings is the development of a wobble or tilt. In order for a porch swing to operate properly, the parts need to be tightly fastened. A wobble or tilt may indicate that the fasteners are worn or in need of tightening. It is a good idea to carefully examine the swing, tightening and replacing bolts and fasteners as needed.

A porch swing is one of the most relaxing of home accessories, and adding a porcSince porch swings are designed for outdoor use, they can often develop rusty chains as well. A rusty chain will not only ruin the overall appearance of the swing, but it can weaken it as well.

Replacement chains can be fond at most hardware stores. Remember to measure the chain, and to make a note of any additional supplies that may be needed, such as S-hooks and eye bolts.

It's a good idea to count the number of links in the chain in order to get the best fit and avoid the need for cutting. If the chain measurement is correct, the chain can easily be cut to length in the store, without the need for a hacksaw when you get home.

If the swing came equipped with springs that have seen better days, they should be replaced along with the chain. When preparing to replace the chain or springs, be sure to determine how they are fastened to the swing, and which tools will be needed to remove and replace them.

In addition to the chain and fasteners, the wood that makes up the bulk of the porch swing will need maintenance and repair from time to time. Wood is highly durable and very attractive, but it can also develop splinters, cracks and other problems, and it is important that those problems be addressed before they have a chance to spread. Splinters should be carefully sanded out, and the wood repainted to match the rest of the swing. Cracks and other wood damage can also be sanded down and carefully repaired.

Even if the wood surface of the porch swing is not damaged, it is important to perform preventive maintenance to keep it looking its best. A protective surface coating, such as paint or a quality polyurethane varnish, along with a yearly application of a penetrating sealer, will do wonders for the wood and help to prevent cracks and other damage. If the swing is kept in a sunny location, or if the wood is a dark color, it is a good idea to apply a varnish with built-in UV protection to prevent damage and fading from the harsh rays of the sun.

Keeping the porch swing well maintained and in good repair will help to ensure that it is there when you want it. A porch swing is a wonderful addition to any home, and keeping it in good shape will help to enhance the whole family's enjoyment of this wonderful seating option.