If you've invested money in a wheelie bin cover, then you're obviously going to want it to last. Not only that, but you're going to want it to look good in your garden as well. With the proper treatment and care, a wheelie bin cover should be able to last you for years and years, so what exactly do you need to do to maximise that life span? We're taking a look at how to properly care for your wheelie bin cover, so keep reading!
If the Wood is Untreated
N.B – all bin stores on WheelieBinStorageDirect are pressure treated. This section only applies to wheelie bin covers you may have purchased elsewhere.
For the most part you're going to be buying a wheelie bin cover that's made from already treated wood. This means that initially you don't really need to do anything. However, on the off chance that the wood hasn't already been treated (and in some cases it might not be to allow the customer to stain or paint the wood as they please), then you'll need to take care of that before you place your wheelie bin cover outside.
Fortunately, this is very easy. Simply go to your closest DIY store and buy a can of wood treatment. You'll need to think about two things when buying. First, is your wheelie bin made from hard wood or soft wood, since treatments are different for each of these. And second, do you want to stain or colour your wood? You have the option of doing both, but if you want to stain or paint you'll need to read the instructions on your chosen product to see if treatment comes before or after colour (it can vary).
Then you just need to paint the treatment on every visible surface of your cover. Don't forget the bottom and inside, as well as the ends of slats. Get that treatment everywhere! Once it's dry, you can place your cover outside.
If the Wood is Treated
If you're buying wood that has already been treated then you don't initially need to do anything (unless you want to add a decorative stain to the cover, we recommend waiting a few months to do this from purchase however to allow some weathering), but we do recommend a regular maintenance programme every year either with a clear water sealant or wood preserver. It's generally best to do this in the late summer or autumn to protect your cover against the winter weather. The process will be the same as above, and once again, make sure that you cover all the surface area of your wheelie bin cover.
One thing to think about is applying a water repellent. Some treatments will contain this, whilst others won't. If yours doesn't promise to make wood water repellent (some simply protect against mould and fungus) then make sure you apply a separate repellent as well!
Cleaning Wheelie Bin Covers
As your wood gets older you might notice that the colour becomes grey, and even with treatment fungus or mould can take hold. This obviously isn't good. If this happens then you can bring your cover back to life, but it's going to take a bit of work!
Your first step is to clean the wood. The best way to do this is by using oxygen bleach (this is NOT the same thing as household bleach, you'll need to get this from a DIY store). Oxygen bleach will clean up the colour of your wood and make your cover look great again. If you happen to have a cover made from redwood (Bellus, Arbor and Hortum are all redwood) then DO NOT use oxygen bleach (it will strip the colour), instead use oxalic acid, which again can be bought from a DIY shop.
Once your cover is washed and clean you'll probably notice that the wood is no longer smooth. You'll need to sand down the cover using a sander or sandpaper to make the wood even again. Once this is done you can again treat the wood with water repellent or other wood treatments. Do make sure that the treatment you use is suitable for outdoor furniture though and we would only really recommend this type of work for someone who knows what they are doing.
Wheelie Bin Covers and Damp
One thing that can be a big problem for wooden wheelie bin covers is damp. Treated wood should not rot, however that doesn't stop water getting in and swelling the wood until it cracks. Your water repellent treatment should stop this, but if your wheelie bin cover is standing on damp ground or is constantly standing in water then even the best water repellent just won't be enough.
If you need to stand your wheelie bin cover on grass or soil, which promote damp, or on concrete that often has puddles, then your best bet is going to be to invest in a base. This is simply a structure that keeps the cover from directly touching the ground. Yes, you'll spend a little extra on one, but it will prolong the life of your wheelie bin cover, so in the long run you should get savings.
Too Much Maintenance?
If all of this sounds like a lot of work, keep in mind that it will all end up saving you money. However, there could be a slightly easier way. If you're up for a splash of colour in your garden, then painting your cover using waterproof, outdoors paint can be a good way to protect the wood. This kind of paint generally lasts a little longer than treatment (though you'll probably need to treat wood before or after as well, depending on the kind of paint you buy). Plus, paint has the advantage of being clearly visible, meaning that you'll know when it's time to reapply since the paint job will start to look shabby.
Maximising the life of your wheelie bin cover really isn't that difficult, though it might take a few hours of your time. And in the long run you'll have a wheelie bin cover that looks great and lasts for ages, so you don't need to shop for a new one!