How to Maintain a Heavy Duty Picnic Table
If you’ve already made a Premier Polysteel Purchase you’re in luck – there is an uncommonly low need for extensive maintenance on our products. This article will talk about those maintenance needs and how to address them long-term.
For those that are new to our products, we’d love to be able to showcase why our heavy duty picnic tables (and all of our outdoor furniture products as well), are designed and manufactured to improve the overall maintenance regime to help you realize lower total cost of ownership and minimize total expenditure on labor hours for public facing furniture. Welcome to our Blog – we invite you to have a look throughout our outdoor furniture shop to see more about our product mix and their unique qualities.
These maintenance concepts are going to skew towards our product line, as we know these products best, but the ideas here should also be sufficient from a practical perspective to utilize across other types of materials and installations.
Maintenance is important – so is finding the right picnic table
So the obvious point here, is that when you are procuring your specific models and brands of picnic tables, the goal should be to find the right balance of day-to-day use for patrons and end users, versus, what is the maintenance and servicing requirement to exceed minimum standards.
And labor is expensive. Planning against unknown variables like future labor costs, hiring and retention of employees and cleaning equipment, specialty training, consumables are all part of the process to determine the best and most realistic budgets going forward.
So, the bottom line should be – source and implement the best options to minimize maintenance concerns in the first instance. And get a realistic understanding of the needs for servicing going forward. Part of that is delivered through blog posts like this one. Part of it comes through pre-sales questions when purchasing commercial quality outdoor furniture.
Part of it comes through ownership and experience of your crew in an ongoing fashion.
We can help with the first couple of parts actively. But your crew will learn ways to improve throughput and overall value when combined with their existing equipment, tooling and task flow. We love hearing about how we can improve though, too. Part of what has helped us to make world class picnic tables and other outdoor furniture that lasts decades, is listening to client feedback.
Step 2: benefit from great planning.
How to maintain a high quality Commercial Picnic Table
It’s a bit tongue in cheek to say it’s as simple as two steps but, let’s get into the details of using Premier Polysteel commercial picnic tables over the long term. You’ll likely agree that the maintenance is minimized through thoughtful design, and that we do our best from a product design perspective to make maintenance simpler.
First some selling points about our heavy duty picnic tables that relate to cleaning and maintenance:
- Our products are made with welded steel frames in gauges and dimensions that are robust and strong – these frames are coated fully in an envelope of polyvinyl and then oven cure them
- We use expanded metal and perforated metal on seating and tabletop surfaces to allow drainage of rain and cleaning water – the polyvinyl protects the steel from rust and doesn’t retain moisture so there won’t be mildew or mold like there may be on wooden picnic tables
- Most of our picnic tables, while they are not difficult to move with the proper team members, are meant to stay in place, and the heavy duty construction and moderate weight keep them in place – you can also use mounting hardware for different needs to improve theft deterrence and stability in high wind environments
Now, how those selling points translate to easy care and long-term maintenance benefits
- The plastisol coating is a true champion here, as it helps to minimize UV concerns, mold and mildew issues; and makes the water you use to clean it with, a non-issue from a rust/oxidation perspective
- The drain holes and design of the surfaces means you don’t have to do a lot of wiping, and bulk cleaning can be easily done with commercial pressure washers, etc. Furthermore, most installations don’t need to be cleaned as often because of the design and the ability for foods and liquids to run off the surfaces and dry.
- Tables can certainly be moved, but they are also good to go in place during even harsh weather events (you’ll have to determine your local safety needs), and this helps to keep the tables from being targeted for defacement and vandalism, which is a pro when compared to recycled picnic tables
- The ability to sanitize and use commercial cleaners without degrading the surface coating means you can handle localized incidents easily as a maintenance crew.
- The build quality is even autoclave safe (that likely doesn’t apply to picnic tables, but it’s a point we’ll make to show the robust nature of the coating)
And finally, what it looks like to clean our heavy duty picnic tables on a day-to day basis:
- It’s likely that you have high volume if you are cleaning and maintaining our products on a regular basis – usually this is more common in foodservice with higher volume, where shift crews can do small cleaning tasks throughout the shift to maintain a good eating environment
- Commercially standard cleaning agents are appropriate for use on plastisol coatings
- Sanitizing and bleaching are acceptable in normal dilutions and commercially acceptable methodologies
- Hot water and cold water pressure washing, where it is a capability, is acceptable on our outdoor furniture products
- A visual check to ensure mountings and surfaces are intact and have not been vandalized can be important, but this may not be required more than once a month or so in many environments
- Wet/dry vacuums and brushes and brooms can be used for cleaning larger debris that may collects near seating and platform base areas
- A basic wipedown with commercial standard cleaners is a best practice in heavy traffic, or where there is a need
- Our furniture can be washed with clear water after cleaning and left to dry naturally thanks to drain holes
Practical takeaways that work across the industry, not just with our products
- You should be monitoring for vandalism, defacement and purposeful misuse of outdoor furniture
- Commercial cleaners should be used when appropriate to maintain an inviting environment for guests, and to minimize sickness or bacterial concerns
- Debris should be removed on a regular bases where it may accumulate
- In food service or hospitality settings, there will be a heightened need for vigilance to avoid concerns with high traffic services
- Bleach and sanitizing solutions need to be used where appropriate in public facing spaces
- Mounting hardware should be visually inspected periodically to ensure that liability concerns and risk for injury are lessened
- If you do not have a robust material or specific protections applied, you should inspect outdoor furniture and cover it or move it when degradation potential is high
- Patrons like to know when it’s comfortable and safe to start using equipment after a weather event – having a crew with signage or visual confirmation is important too (with our equipment, the drainage of water can be a visual that does not require a staff to portray to patrons)
What are the benefits of proper maintenance on a piece of public-facing outdoor furniture?
When you don’t have to do a ton of maintenance, your total cost of ownership is lessened. Which is why we build our products the way that we do. And we recognize there will be times where our products need regular cleaning, and deep cleaning depending on the environment and the visitor load in the space. We are not immune to the cleaning processes.
But, generally speaking, good maintenance planning can do the following for your public facing areas:
- Improve throughput and user satisfaction
- Extend the life of the product and maintain consistent conditions for guests
- Show your patrons that you care about the space and by extension, their well-being
- Help keep warranty intact in case the manufacturer you are purchasing from has minimum care standards outlined in such a warranty
- Solidify and create sustainable budgets for maintenance crews and facilities personnel
- Minimize injuries and help maintain safety standards
We hope this information was helpful for you. We’re proud to offer low maintenance products for outdoor spaces of all types. We are proud to offer products we feel comfortable standing behind as a company, a workforce, and as a provider to your end users.
We invite you to have a look at our online catalog of outdoor furniture including heavy duty picnic tables, and reach out if you have questions or need pre-sale advice.