In the world of outdoor furniture, polywood is a remarkable and popular material, widely appreciated for its environmentally friendly production process, and the sheer durability that it has against damage and the elements.
But is polywood waterproof, and if so, what makes it so special?
What Is Polywood?
Polywood is a high-density polyethylene, produced from recycled plastics and turned into a material that can be sliced and constructed in the same way as wood and other materials.
Is It Waterproof?
One of the main things that make polywood such a widely useful material is the fact that it is waterproof.
This makes it widely suitable for a number of applications, including outdoor furniture, where it can be left outdoors without treatment or maintenance, and remain looking great after years of exposure.
Why Is It Waterproof?
Polywood is made from the same materials used to make milk jugs, water bottles, and other lightweight, durable plastic products.
This is due to the polyethylene, which is highly waterproof – a property that is enabled by the waxy qualities of the polyethylene polymer.
How Waterproof Is It?
One major selling point is the waterproof properties that it has – properties that are so developed that polywood furniture could be completely submerged for a number of years and sustain little damage.
This is due to the high-density nature of the material, making it just as suitable for outdoor furniture exposed to the elements as it is for milk jugs, water bottles, and plastic piping.
What Other Benefits Does Polywood Have?
There are many other benefits to polywood that make it such a well-loved and desirable material for manufacturers and consumers alike.
As well as being waterproof, it is also resistant to other kinds of weather and doesn’t experience any of the adverse effects that other materials suffer under the same conditions.
The high-density material is resilient against frost, ice, and snow, as well as icy winds, rainfall, and even hot summers in some of the world’s hottest countries.
This makes it more useful than traditional materials like wood and metals and means that homeowner can enjoy their furniture for years.
Somewhat similar to its weather resistance, polywood is also incredibly durable, meaning that the usual cracks, warps, brittleness, and breakages associated with traditional outdoor furniture are a thing of the past.
Unlike wood and metal, there are no layers to the material, and nowhere for moisture and cold to get inside and cause internal damage.
This means that it can withstand harsh weather, and is harder to dent, chip, and crack.
If you do manage to dent or chip it, then the colour is the same throughout the chair, meaning that no undercoating or base material will be exposed – adding to the overall aesthetics and avoiding the need for maintenance.
This section is entitled ‘low maintenance, but the more appropriate term might be ‘no maintenance.
Unlike other materials like wood and metal, polywood doesn’t need to be treated, cured, or maintained in any way, making it one of the most user-friendly and labour-saving materials of its kind.
Dirt and grime are still a thing. So what little maintenance you need to do will involve cleaning your outdoor polywood furniture. Clicking the link will reveal many different cleaning products that are good for cleaning plastic furniture, but often it is as simple as spraying off with a hose.
Are There Any Downsides?
Despite having many great properties, especially in the realm of outdoor furniture, there are some downsides to the material.
While environmentally friendly – due to the fact that it is made from recycled plastic – polywood as a finished article, still doesn’t biodegrade, meaning it would not rot away if it were left or thrown in a landfill.
This is a curious paradox in the sense that the original plastic is recycled to make polywood, so as not to throw the plastic away, but then the end product is also not biodegradable.
This essentially means that, for it to be entirely environmentally friendly, a process of constant reuse and recycling has to take place.
Polywood is also very heavy, making it less suited for people with existing bodily problems, or who are elderly and might struggle to move the furniture.
This is good in some ways because it means it will not be blown over in high winds, and that it is harder to steal but bad as a general consumer product.
The process that polywood goes through to be recycled and repurposed is expensive, which means that this expense then trickles down to you – making things like polywood outdoor furniture expensive, especially as a set.
While most people would see it as an investment – due to the durability and longevity of the material – some might be put off by the price, making it less suited to a generalized market.
Other garden furniture made from different materials might also be expensive, but there is more variety in terms of price and craftsmanship – giving more room for customers to shop around.
Unfortunately, there are also not as many different styles of polywood outdoor furniture as there are with other materials like wood and metal.
This is due to the limitations of the product in itself, but also because it is a relatively new material with a limited number of companies manufacturing poly lumber furniture.
But the companies who have been doing it for a while have developed larger collections of furniture to choose from.
For example. Genuine Polywood has 16 different styles of Adirondack chairs. Not very limited in style choice. But this is the exception, not the rule.
Is It Worth It?
Ultimately, when it comes to weighing up the pros and cons, polywood outdoor furniture is definitely worth the money, as you get longevity, durability, and resilience against adverse weather.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about polywood, and the waterproofing that makes it so popular among manufacturers and customers alike.
Polywood has much to offer homeowners and outdoor patios.
Durable, long-lasting, weighty, and resilient against all manner of adverse weather, it really is the smartest choice when it comes to outdoor furniture and can help to ensure a great-looking outdoor setup for years to come.