Outdoor furniture isn’t cheap. Many people invest thousands of dollars in quality patio furniture. The result of this is that the furniture tends to look great, but the higher cost also ensures the furniture will last as long as possible because it’s more likely to be well made.
Since patio furniture has to stay outside, it is vulnerable to types of damage that may never affect indoor furniture, or at least not in the same way. The elements are the most obvious hazard. Extreme weather conditions such as cold, heat, and water can all do an excellent job of ruining your outdoor furniture set. Mold, mildew, rot, rust, and corrosion result from bad weather and can very quickly turn your investment into a heap of trash.
Depending on where you live, you may also risk experiencing damage to your furniture by animals. Bird droppings are acidic, so you don’t want that landing on your expensive outdoor dining set. Nor do you want raccoons, squirrels, or other animals scratching it during the night.
The best way to protect your patio furniture is by covering it. Let’s explore covers and the best materials you can use to cover your patio furniture.
What Does a Cover Do?
Covering your furniture when it’s not in use protects it from external factors that may damage it. That’s not to say that you can just use anything to cover your furniture. You and your furniture will benefit from something that has been specially designed for the purpose. A good patio cover will be:
- Mold resistant.
- Breathable to prevent mold growth on the inside or on the furniture itself.
- Thick and durable enough to withstand lots of use, wear and tear.
- Large enough to cover your furniture entirely and reach the ground.
- Fitted to ensure the best coverage.
Different Types of Material
Patio furniture covers come in many different types of material. Some are better than others.
- Vinyl: Excellent water resistance and fully UV protective. It is not breathable, though, so you will need to find a vinyl cover that has air vents.
- Marine Polyester: Since this is a material designed for boats, it is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture protection. Ensure you choose a brand that is mildew and UV resistant.
- Canvas: Canvas is very strong and durable. Some brands can be washed in your machine. However, canvas needs regular treatments to ensure it stays water and mildew resistant.
Some furniture covers will feature a soft cloth backing. This is especially useful for patio furniture that is painted or made from stained wood. The soft fabric prevents rubbing and the creation of unsightly spots and blemishes, which can ruin its aesthetic.
You should also choose furniture covers that have ties attached. Weighing your covers down with objects to stop them from moving or blowing away in high winds can be unattractive and ineffective. Ties will allow you to attach the covers to the furniture without damaging it.
We’ve already mentioned air vents to ensure the fabric “breathes.” Any cover claiming to be 100% water-resistant, regardless of the material it’s made from, should have air vents built into the cover. These are very important because they prevent mold, mildew, and rot from happening underneath the cover. Having an airflow allows the interior to dry out properly.
When To Use Your Covers
It’s not necessary to cover your patio furniture every night, especially if it’s in use every day and the weather is fair. But, there are some instances where you should always take the time to cover your furniture. It’s a good idea to cover your patio furniture:
- When you’re going away or on vacation.
- When you expect bad weather.
- During the winter.
- When you do not intend to use your patio furniture for a long time.
Caring for Your Patio Covers
Just like your patio furniture, the covers will only last and do their job well if you take proper care of them. Therefore, always ensure that you:
- thoroughly dry the covers before folding and storing them. Never store them wet as mold will form.
- take the time to clean them regularly. Wipe off any debris and dirt, don’t let it accumulate
- understand that materials like canvas require regular treatments to keep them working as they should. Make sure you apply them according to recommendations.
- inspect them for damage every time you use them. Repair minor tears (before they become major ones) according to the brand’s instructions.
Patio furniture covers are an excellent investment if you want to enjoy your furniture for the longest time possible. You can find great deals on patio furniture out there but be sure to protect your investment with the appropriate covers so you can enjoy them for years to come.