Your patio is the spot for relaxing days in the sun, fun family BBQs, and more. Despite being outside, your patio furniture is an essential part of your home – don’t they deserve more TLC than just your typical furniture maintenance routine when the winter months arrive? Taking care of your furniture can help guarantee long-lasting use against harsh weather and even mild weather that could actually wear your furniture thin. Covering up can help depending on the material of your furniture, each reacting differently to various weather conditions. Next time you look at the forecast, keep your patio furniture in mind and grab a cover!
Why You Should Cover Your Patio Furniture
#1 Cover Up in Moisture-Rich Conditions
Your furniture will last without having to cover up every single night, but definitely could benefit from covering up in moisture-rich conditions. Especially in the spring and summer, when humidity is high and rain is common, it's important to cover your furniture to safely bypass the elements.
If your furniture is aluminum-made, make sure to cover-up before the rain starts – while aluminum is mostly weatherproof, there are often holes in the furniture where water can get inside and damage it from the inside out. If water does get inside, bring the furniture somewhere dry, drain the existing water, and cover up once dry.
If your furniture is made from natural wicker, it’s important to cover it up, as it’s extremely prone to damage from the rain. Synthetic wicker has a coating that protects it from weather damage, so covering it isn’t necessary (although, it’s a good idea in the winter for snow and ice that packs together).
Wood can easily absorb moisture and expand over time, so it’s important to cover your wooden patio furniture in rain and high humidity. Exposed to rain, snow, and wind, depending on the type of wood, your furniture can be damaged easily. If moisture is trapped and is left overnight in freezing conditions, your furniture could crack and easily break. Applying a wooden sealant can help keep it strong as well as covering-up.
If your furniture is iron, unless specifically rust-resistant, watch out for rust damage, especially in high-moisture conditions! During rainy conditions, wipe down your furniture before covering it up to protect it further from rust.
#2 Cover Up in UV Radiation and High Heat Conditions
Another way your furniture can start to fade from its original design is through UV rays and sun exposure. Depending on the material, it’s a good idea to know when to cover up your patio furniture in the summer months.
If your furniture is plastic, it’s likely that it will crack and break easily underneath extreme heat and cold. Covering up every day could be a hassle and isn’t necessary, but if you’re not using your plastic furniture, it’s a good idea to cover it up to keep it at a regulated temperature.
Further, natural wicker is also very prone to sun damage and fading. The more colorful your furniture is, the more prone to fading under extreme heat and use in the sun. It is definitely worth it to cover up your natural wicker furniture when you’re not using it! Synthetic wicker, again, is durable because it is coated, and covering it isn’t necessary all the time.
Wooden furniture is also prone to sun damage and fading of the original color. Covering outdoor furniture up when not in use could prove very helpful in the long run. Similarly, iron furniture can also fade, however, rust-resistant and weatherproof iron is coated and is not as likely to need excessive covering for sun damage.
For larger things like umbrellas that are hard to store inside during the winter, getting a cover for them as well for protection against sun fading is always recommended.
#3 Watch Out for Dust, Debris, Mold, Pests...
Another reason to invest the time and care to cover your patio furniture is protecting them from dust, debris, mold, mildew, pests, and other forgotten hassles that could build up over time – especially in the summer months! Dust can leave discoloration in your clothes and furniture, mold can warp your furniture over time and lessen its durability, and debris (if caught in small corners) can be a hassle to clean up. Mushrooms are even known to grow where moisture is trapped! Further, a few pests can quickly turn into an infestation. To make sure you don’t gather the attention of unwanted guests, it’s a good idea to clean off your surfaces and cover them up when you’re not using them!
#4 Think of the Pillows!
Not convinced you should invest in a cover for your furniture? Think of the pillows. Outdoor pillows come in all different shapes and sizes, and some are prone to fading, mold, water damage, and other instances that can shorten the life of your patio pillows. Your cushions shouldn’t stay out all year, especially if you have variable weather. In order to keep them from fading due to sun exposure or remaining perpetually soggy after a long rainfall, it’s a good idea to get covers for your patio furniture, or get a storage bin for your cushions to keep them out of the elements.
Tips on How to Choose the Right Covers
#1 Size is Key
Many companies may claim that they sell one-size-fits-all covers for patio furniture. As we know – these claims rarely ever ring true when it comes down to it. Make sure to look at the dimensions of your purchase, or measure the furniture yourself, to get covers made specifically to the size necessary. If your cover is too small, it could leave parts of your furniture uncovered and exposed to elemental damage. If your cover is too big, it could pool water, dust, and dirt inside and damage your furniture regardless. Taking the time to buy the right size now could save you time and money down the line from picking the wrong fit.
Also, look into the brand of your furniture – they likely have covers for your furniture as accessories and will likely fit perfectly!
#2 What Kind of Material is Best?
The best covers are made from material that is both waterproof and still breathable – this is because, while it is nearly impossible to completely stop water from getting on your furniture, if it does, the breathable material will make it possible for the water on the inside to evaporate easily. Often, covers are made from polyester. Polyester is waterproof, breathable, and also durable and resistant to fading from UV exposure. It is also a popular choice because it has a soft cloth backing that avoids ruining the finishing on furniture. Vinyl (PVC) is another popular material for covers. Vinyl is waterproof, durable, easy to clean, and protects your furniture effortlessly.
Many people often use tarps to cover their furniture; while affordable and widely available, tarps are not good long-term covers. Tarps are not made with breathable material and easily trap moisture inside where the furniture lies. They also easily blow away if not correctly pinned down. A proper cover is necessary to fully protect your patio furniture.
#3 Extra Amenities to Look For
Some covers have vents in their design to allow moisture that gets trapped inside them to be able to evaporate. Further, some covers also have ties. Ties are helpful because during storms where there are high winds, the ties help keep the covers on the furniture itself instead of blowing away. Another amenity to look for is an aesthetically pleasing design that you love to look at!
Patio furniture covers are necessary to shield your furniture from water, humidity, heat, sun, UV rays, dust, pests, and other exposures sure to ruin your relaxation hot spot. Different materials react differently to various weather conditions. It’s important to know about your furniture to keep your investment strong for years to come. While it’s not necessary to cover your furniture everyday, having covers on hand is recommended for when you do need to cover up.