Most patio furniture will be designed to withstand the outdoor elements. But nothing is infallible. So it’s still important to cover your patio furniture.
If you have the space, it’s a good idea to keep it in a garage, backyard shed, or just under some awning or other shelter.
But, if you don’t have any of these available, there are other options. The most important thing is to keep your patio furniture covered.
Even if it has been treated to withstand the outdoor elements. Or the manufacturer promises that the furniture is designed to withstand them. It’s always best to keep patio furniture covered.
Can I use a tarp to cover patio furniture?
You absolutely can. Tarpaulin is by far the best option for covering patio furniture. It is waterproof and will easily lay over most furniture sets. If you have a simple table and chairs, then you should be able to easily find tarp designed for this.
This kind of tarp will be of a circular shape. Almost like a bigger and longer tablecloth. To use it, push the chairs forward so that they are resting on the forelegs and the tabletop. Then place the tarp over the top of the furniture.
If your patio furniture is a bench or has a long table, you can find similar tarp. This will be square or rectangular. It can be used in the same way as the circular furniture. You can also use a normal piece of tarp for this.
A standard piece of tarp can also be used for circular or other shaped patio furniture. But this can be a little difficult. Especially if it is an awkward shape.
How can I make my patio furniture last longer?
The best thing to do is to keep it out of the elements. The most destructive are rain, hail, sleet, and snow. This is because water can damage essentially any kind of patio furniture. This is especially true of wood or metal furniture.
Wood furniture will absorb the water. This can cause the furniture to swell. But it will also cause it to rot over time. Once the furniture becomes wet, especially in the rain, it’s impossible to dry it off. So once it is wet, it’s difficult to reverse the process.
Water will cause metal furniture to rust. This is bad on a cosmetic level. But if the furniture is folding, then it can also cause the hinges to rust. Making the furniture difficult to fold and use.
Rust is also corrosive. So it can eat away at the metal. Which, if left untreated, can cause the furniture to develop holes and the legs and arms will eventually break.
Here are some other ways to make patio furniture last longer:
- Keep it clean.
Dirt and bacteria can also cause patio furniture to become damaged. Especially if it causes the wood to become damp and rot or rust.
When outside, furniture can also become covered in moss and even weeds. These can be annoying on a cosmetic level. But they can also cause the furniture to become damaged.
- Keep it out of the sun.
This is especially important for wood patio furniture. If it is left out for too long, it can become bleached. This causes the wood to become paler. But UV rays are also damaging. So the sun can wear down the wood.
- Treat wood furniture with a protective coating.
It is possible to buy waxes and polishes designed to protect wood furniture. This will give the furniture a shiny and polished appearance.
So it isn’t great if you prefer a more rustic look. And it will eventually wear off and need redoing. Usually every summer. But it will protect the furniture and make it last longer. Which will save you time and money in the long run.
How do I protect the legs of my outdoor furniture?
Even with specifically designed tarp covers, the legs of furniture can be exposed. Especially during rough and windy weather. The best thing to do is to tie the tarp down.
Try to find a tarp that has grommets. These are holes around the edges. These holes can be threaded with rope and tied down. This can be to the legs of the furniture. Or to hooks in the ground. Similar to tying down a tent.
This is the same for tarp specially designed for your patio furniture. As well as on a standard piece of tarp. If your tarp doesn’t have these grommets, then you can still tie it down.
If you have the time and the skill, you can make holes in the tarp yourself. Otherwise, you can simply wrap rope around the tarp. This won’t be the sleekest or most stylish option. But it will do the job.
Is it OK to leave patio cushions outside?
Not really. At the end of every day spent outside, it’s best to bring patio cushions inside. Although their shape and style is designed for patio furniture, they are still made from essentially the same materials as indoor cushions.
This means that they can still get wet if it rains overnight. And they can become dirty if dirt or leaves are blown onto them.
If you have the space, it’s a good idea to invest in some outdoor storage. This can be a simple plastic container. You can also find patio furniture stools or benches that double as storage. So at the end of the day, you can just place the cushions in there.
Can patio furniture be left outside?
It absolutely can. But it’s super important to make sure that it is well covered. And isn’t exposed to the elements. Patio furniture is expensive. And all the protective methods are much more affordable than buying new patio furniture.
Even if patio furniture has been treated to withstand poor weather conditions, it still needs protecting. No treatment can completely protect furniture from bad weather.
So it’s super important to make sure that it is covered with a tarp. Wet weather, wind, and the sun can all damage patio furniture.
Should you cover your patio furniture in the winter?
This depends on where you live. But, if you’re somewhere with bad weather in the winter, then you should keep it inside. Covering your patio furniture every night is a good idea. The best option is to keep it indoors.
But during nice weather it’s a lot of effort to bring it indoors and out again every day. So it’s best to just throw a tarp over it during the night and when it rains.
But, during the winter, it’s best to fold the furniture up and take it indoors. If you have the space, a garage or backyard shed is the best option.
Otherwise, even with a tarp, there’s a risk that it can become damaged. Water and frost can always find a way under the tarp. And the legs of the furniture will be especially exposed.
During rough weather, the wind can even blow off the tarp. No matter how strongly it has been tied down. So, storing it away will save you more effort and money in the long run.