Does Patio Furniture Need to be Covered When Left Outdoors?

Whether you have purchased wooden patio furniture or aluminum, there is always a degree of upkeep, as well as measures needed to be taken, to ensure that it keeps looking good, and doesn’t get damaged while out in the elements.

Should You Cover Your Patio Furniture?

Some might wonder whether this applies to them and the environment in which they live, and this is a fair speculation, particularly if you live with moderate weather conditions.

But should you still cover your patio furniture, and what could happen if not?

Should You Cover Your Patio Furniture?

Ultimately, the answer to this question is yes, although there are several reasons, depending on the material your furniture is made from, and the environment in which you live.

Protect Against Cold

Covering any kind of furniture can be a good resistance against cold weather – such as wind, frost, and even snow.

This is especially important for wooden patio furniture, which can become brittle when exposed to fluctuating temperatures or moisture.

If you have aluminum furniture, then you might be wondering what harm the cold could possibly do? And in some ways this is a valid answer, but it depends on the furniture.

If you have an all aluminum set, with no other materials, then this should be fine, but if the seat part has woven sting, rubber, wood, or some other material, then this could perish in cold weather.

Protect Against Heat

Covers on your patio furniture can also protect them against extreme heat, which can cause damage such as warping, fading, and cracking – depending on the material.

If you have wooden furniture, then extreme heat can dry out the wood, requiring more upkeep and treatment to maintain durability and strength.

Similarly, aluminum furniture can become hot to the touch, potentially causing injury or burns if someone unwittingly sits on it while hot.

Even durable outdoor material High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) like PolyWood can still fade from the sun’s rays. A little covering when not in use will keep the colour more vibrant.

Protects Against Warping

If you live somewhere that has fluctuating, extreme temperatures, then certain materials can warp when not properly covered or treated.

This is certainly true of wood, which can become brittle or warped when exposed to extreme heat and cold. This will reduce the longevity of your furniture, and increase the probability of breakages.

While aluminum furniture is more resilient to such changes, it can still lose some of its lustrs if left uncovered in extreme weather.

Keeping Clean

Covering your furniture can also be a good way to keep them looking clean and pristine – regardless of what material it is made from.

And I would say is the biggest reason to cover your outdoor furniture. Dust, pollen and everything else will collect on your furniture when left unprotected. So the choice may be which is easier, washing or covering your furniture.

A simple cover that goes to the floor can protect them from dirt in the rain, dust blown by the wind, and any other environmental factors that could otherwise stain or ruin their finish.

This is a less important reason and is purely aesthetic, but this is nevertheless a good reason to purchase a cover and use it religiously.

People like to maintain a classy-looking yard, and this is an important step to take toward maintaining such things.

What Is The Lifespan Of Patio Furniture?

Should You Cover Your Patio Furniture

When it comes to any product or manufactured item, there is a specific lifespan within which it can exist while serving its designated purpose.

For patio furniture, its purpose is to be outside in the elements, which under the wrong circumstances can have a detrimental effect on the look of the pieces, and how long they remain intact and useful.

Wooden Furniture

When maintained well, wooden furniture can last for a surprisingly long time. Wicker is a popular choice, and due to the protective coatings they are treated with, this material can last for approximately 15 years.

However, one of the best types of wood is teak, which when treated, covered, and stored correctly, can last for a staggering 25 years – if not longer.

Aluminum Furniture

Aluminum furniture on the other hand has a surprisingly low lifespan, at least as far as metals go.

Aluminum can be a resilient material, but still only manages to achieve a lifespan of around 15 years when kept outside.

This can however be increased if properly covered and protected from the elements and other environmental factors.

Iron Furniture

Iron furniture has many flaws, not least of which the propensity the material has for rusting when exposed to the elements. However, with proper covering and coating, it can last for around 25 years.

HDPE/Poly Lumber Furniture

How long High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) will vary by brand. A popular brand like Polywood is warrantied to last 20 years, except for some limited parts of the furniture. Where Breezesta comes with a lifetime warranty.

Which is roughly the lifespan of quality poly lumber furniture, 20+ years.

Do You Need To Cover Treated Furniture?

One factor you might be considering is whether you need to keep your furniture covered if it has already been treated in some fashion – be it with wood varnish, weather-resistant paint, or some form of powder protection agent.

The answer to this depends on where you live, and your dedication to protecting your furniture.

If you live in a moderate climate with ambient, calm weather, then you could perhaps get away with not covering it up as much.

However, it is still recommended to cover your patio furniture when not in use, if only to ensure longevity and the beauty of these pieces.

What Kind Of Cover Do I Need?

Most outdoor furniture comes with a cover included, but if yours doesn’t have one, then there are numerous types you can purchase.

However, any kind of waterproof material can suffice, so long as it is large enough to cover the furniture entirely, and it can be safely secured in place.

A tarp may not look as good but will do the trick if needed.

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about patio furniture, and the reasons why you should cover it.

Keeping your furniture covered is a good way to save money, promote the look and longevity of your yard furniture, and ensure that it remains intact and in good condition for as long as possible.

It’s true that accidents can happen, and that, unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, but with simple steps like this, you can enjoy your new piece of patio furniture for many more years to come.

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

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