Maintenance for Your Fiberglass Planters Dos and Don’ts

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The fact that fiberglass planters require minimal maintenance is one of the reasons why many interiorscapers, landscapers, designers, business professionals and homeowners prefer these planters over other alternatives. However, there are a few important things you should know in order to make the most of your fiberglass planters. Here is a quick list of some useful do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when maintaining your plant containers.

DO Use a Mild Soap Solution

Indoor and outdoor fiberglass planters need to be cleaned regularly to remove dirt and dust accumulation. To clean indoor fiberglass plant containers, wipe down their exterior with a damp cloth, lightly removing persistent dirt. For outdoor planters with a smooth, glossy finish, such as the Alzira Round Planter or Hayden Fiberglass Planter, it’s best to use warm soapy water and a soft sponge. The same mild soap solution can be used together with a soft bristle brush to remove dirt, stains, mold, mineral and/or algae deposits from ribbed and textured planters, like the San Jose Ribbed Round Tapered Planter and Spiral Modern Planter, as well as from planters with matte finishes, such as the Bara Jar Planter. After washing your planters, rinse them thoroughly with clean water.

DO Inspect Each Fiberglass Planter on a Regular Basis

Fiberglass is a very strong and durable material. However, fiberglass planters can sustain scratches or chips if abused. Although superficial damage doesn’t affect the durability and performance of fiberglass planters, it can negatively impact their aesthetic appeal. Leaving small cracks and chips exposed could allow debris and water to get under the protective finish. Because debris accumulation and water infiltration may cause the protective layer to flake and/or chip with time, it’s important to inspect your fiberglass planters for superficial damage after cleaning them. As well, the longer specific types of stains and dirt (e.g. mineral buildup) are left on fiberglass surfaces, the harder it is to remove them. Thus, it’s best to get rid of dirt and stains as soon as you observe them.

DO Repairs When Necessary

When it comes to fiberglass planters, small scratches can be easily repaired with touch-up paint. Deep scratches, chips and dents can be buffed out or filled with epoxy. To ensure good adhesion, dents should be sanded lightly with fine-grit sandpaper before applying epoxy. After epoxy dries completely, use fine-grit sandpaper to level out the repaired areas and touch them up with paint to match the surrounding color.

Touch-up paint kits are available for different fiberglass planter finishes. For durability and aesthetic purposes, it’s important to use kits that contain high-quality automotive- or marine-grade paints. Although you may notice a slight difference between the touch-up paint and existing finish, the newly applied paint will eventually get the same “aged” look, as long as the correct shade has been selected. To ensure a statisfied finished, contact your vendor.

DO Use High-quality Wax

For added protection and a glossier finish, you may want to apply a coat of high-quality marine-grade wax to your outdoor fiberglass planters every six months. Marine-grade wax contains sealers that fill microscopic pitting in the finish coat, providing a smooth, reflective, like-new surface. What’s more, regular cleaning and waxing will restore the protective finish to factory performance, prolonging the lifespan of your fiberglass planters significantly.

DON’T Use Harsh Chemicals and Abrasives

If you’re trying to remove persistent dirt or stains from your fiberglass planters, don’t use harsh chemicals. Because some chemicals can damage the protective coating, specific cleaning products can ruin the visual appeal of your fiberglass planters. You should also avoid using stiff brushes, abrasive sponges, steel wool or other abrasives that can leave deep scratches in the protective layer of your planters. As well, you should never use a pressure washer to clean your fiberglass planters. Though pressure washing your plant containers may speed up the cleaning process, excessive pressure could damage the paint and even knock over tall planters.

DON’T Mishandle Fiberglass Planters

Although fiberglass planters are lightweight, some planters may need to be emptied to transport them safely, without damage. This applies especially to large fiberglass planters. Tugging, pushing or incorrectly twisting these planters could lead to breaks in the rim. As well, fiberglass planters must be large enough to accommodate the roots of the plants that will be installed. If a tree with strong roots grows too large for a fiberglass planter, for instance, it could create outward pressure causing damage to the planter. It’s also very important to use potting soil formulated specifically for container gardening. Regular garden soil (dirt)  tends to retain more water, which will apply excessive force to the walls of fiberglass plant containers. This may lead to structural damage particularly in large fiberglass planters.

For more information on how to use and maintain fiberglass planters, feel free to contact our team today!

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