Furnishing a home requires an investment of at least 20% of the value of the property. Thus, after a high investment, the furniture is expected to have a long useful life. Small care such as cleaning, proper handling, maintenance of hinges and slides can make all the difference in their durability. Here are some tips on the proper conservation of furniture.
Overloading is one of the main factors that can compromise the structure of the furniture, according to dictfurniture.com. The incorrect distribution of the stored objects can cover the wood, says Fábio Rossini, national sales manager of Häfele Brazil. To prevent the shelves from sagging, a suggestion is to place the cans, in the case of the kitchen cabinet, on the lower shelves, since the base usually has more support. Another tip is to make more of a stack of dishes, for example, instead of putting them all together on one side and the other’s cups. “When designing the cabinet, solutions can be used that guarantee better stability to the furniture, such as steel shelf supports, which in addition to having hidden application, reinforce the board structure”, adds Carlos de Oliveira, coordinator of Training sessions at Häfele Brasil.
Still in the kitchen, cutlery drawers will last longer if they rely on the utensil dividers, since the weight is better distributed. In the drawers that will receive a lot of weight, Carlos suggests the use of slides with greater power of sustentation, in order not to force the mechanisms.
Dish support – Distribute dishes into piles to balance excess weight, preventing lumber from turning.
In addition to adding practicality to the day to day, the organizers ensure a correct distribution of the weight inside the drawers.
The daily use causes a natural wear of the furniture, but avoiding the use of excessive force helps in the conservation of the pieces. According to Ricardo Schartner, product manager at Häfele Brazil, both hinges and slides now have mechanisms that soften rough movements and are designed to withstand a certain cycle of openings and closings. However, the correct handling of the furniture assists in the longevity of the mechanisms and structures.
In the case of sliding doors, a basic care is to always keep the rails clean in order to prevent objects from obstructing the free movement of the doors. “Frequent maintenance with water and neutral soap is enough, always remembering to dry the surface,” says Fabio Rossini. Avoid stepping on rails is another precaution that needs to be taken, as this action can affect the level of the mechanism, causing the doors to slip, warns the Sales Manager. Another detail that requires the attention of the user is to ensure that objects inside the furniture are pressed down the door, such as comforters that are beyond the limit of the furniture.This continuous pressure can lead to sheet derailment.
Although the mechanisms prevent abrupt closure of drawers and doors, the ideal is to avoid excessive use of force.
The installation area of the furniture also affects its durability. Carlos Oliveira advises not to install the furniture in places that have a continuous exposure to sunlight. Contact with the sun’s rays can burn and darken the wood, says the Training Coordinator. Melanin, the material that covers the MDF and the agglomerate, suffers less from exposure, but is still affected. A simple solution to this problem is the use of curtains, which block the entry of the sun.
Excessive heat is also a factor that influences the life of the appliance. When losing the natural moisture, the wood begins to bend. In this way, when building furniture that will be close to electric ovens, grills and fireplaces, among others, care must be taken to preserve a certain distance and use insulating materials.The ventilation grids allow air circulation, prevent overheating of the furniture, and ensure the correct operation of the appliance and the conservation of the piece, reports Fábio Rossini. In the case of benches, the protective bars or bars protect the furniture top from direct contact with hot surfaces.
The protective circles prevent direct contact of the heat with the surface of the furniture and still give a touch of design to the environment.
Water is also a villain of wooden furniture, and even more of those made of MDF or agglomerated. The liquid is absorbed by the material, which swells and, in the case of the presses, begins to crumble. For the interior of the furniture, the Häfele product manager suggests the use of protective blankets. Waterproof, they prevent the direct contact of water with wood, protecting it against possible damages caused by leakage of various liquids.
Moisture can also generate mold. And to avoid it, Carlos Oliveira suggests installing the furniture with a 2 to 3 centimeters back of the wall, allowing air circulation and if the masonry begins to “sweat”, the liquid will not be absorbed by the wood. In the case of kitchens, because they are coated with ceramic, there is no need to apply this technique, once the wall finish already isolates against moisture, complements the training coordinator.
Cleaning materials can be stored without fear of causing damage to the base of the furniture caused by leakage of various liquids.
The most recommended is to use only neutral or coconut soap, together with a soft dry or damp cloth – it can not be “soaked”, as the accumulation of water can be harmful to the furniture. The use of chemicals such as instant cleaners is also not indicated as they can damage the surface or the finish. The hardware used also requires care. Do not let dust or grease accumulate on the hinges and slides. This may impair the operation of these products. In coastal areas, periodically lubricate the hinges with liquid silicone. But be careful, do not apply this silicone on the wood as it may stain it.
The maintenance of the hardware used in the furniture is fundamental for its durability.
About the Häfele Group
Häfele, a German multinational based in the city of Nagold, is one of the world’s leading companies in the hardware and building accessories industry. Founded in 1923, the company has six industrial parks in Europe and 37 branches spread across five continents. With a portfolio of over 65 thousand items, its products are present in 150 countries. For 19 years in Brazil, Häfele has a logistic-administrative center located in Piraquara (PR), from which it serves the furniture and construction market in the country, providing innovative solutions, produced from the strictest German quality standards.