Should You Cover Patio Furniture When It Rains? Find Out How

It is not a must for you to cover the patio furniture when it rains. The outdoor furniture manufacturers make this type of furniture to have the water-resistant protection it needs to remain in great condition always. However, this does not mean you should not take precautions to protect your patio furniture further when it rains. 

Most patio furniture sets are built as water-resistant and not waterproof. So, they can get wet, but accumulating water on these types of furniture is not recommended as they can get damaged with time. 

Why You May Not Have to Cover Patio Furniture When it Rains 

Indoor furniture might not last long as patio furniture. This is because they do not have the same level of protection as outdoor furniture. So, what can you expect as protection with the patio furniture?

  • Water resistance 

The materials used to make the patio furniture would largely be waterproof. This includes the fabric used to make the cushions. However, cleaning is necessary to remove the excess water to avoid mildew and mold developing if the water is left to sit on the cushions for long. 

  • UV protection 

Other than worrying about the rain, sometimes you can also worry about the sun. Luckily, most patio furniture sets would have the best UV protection coating. Also, the materials may be able to stand up to the weather better. 

  • Breathable material

You would want to have breathable material too. This is vital for ensuring no mold or bad odor development. That is why you might get most of the patio furniture to have breathable material to avoid any worries during rain. 

  • Tie downs 
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Other than worrying about water damage, you should also consider the potential of the patio furniture being blown away. However, that is not an issue when the patio furniture can be secured to the patio, and the covers have tie-down strings to keep them from being blown away during the rain. 

How Water Affects Different Patio Furniture Materials

Teak wood furniture stand on the terrace

Water affects patio furniture materials differently.  Understanding its effects can help determine if it would be best to cover the patio furniture when it rains or not. Let us look at a few patio furniture materials below. 

  • Wood 

Wood looks good while set up on a patio. It will also have a wide range of options for patio furniture, including teak, peak, and shorea. These are hardwoods that are sturdier and denser. This means better durability. 

Softwoods to consider are pine, acacia, cedar, and fir. They are still good in terms of resisting weather. 

That being said, wood can still be vulnerable to the elements. You may notice that cracks would start to appear in the wood. Consider using a wood sealant to prevent potential further damage. 

You can still leave wood patio furniture outside, but it can fade too. So, using protective sealant should make the wood last longer outdoors. 

  • Wicker 

Wicker is a great material for patio furniture. It gives the furniture a good look all the time. However, it needs proper maintenance to keep it looking good. In this case, we focus more on the natural wicker material. 

We recommend moving the wicker patio furniture into storage in case of heavy rain to avoid possible damage. However, this does not mean it cannot get wet. 

  • Iron 
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Iron furniture is known for being heavy. This makes it ideal for storm and windy-prone areas. However, this type of furniture is prone to rust. You may have to replace such patio furniture when the rust is too serious. 

So, what causes rust? Of course, when exposed to water all the time, it is expected that such patio furniture might rust. That is why you should always buy iron patio furniture with a protective coating. 

You can still get sealants to keep the patio furniture from rusting in the future. 

  • Plastic 

Plastic patio furniture is one you never have to worry about being damaged by water. So, leaving it outdoors is the least of your worries. 

Plastic furniture is also waterproof other than being water-resistant. This makes it good for humid climates. However, being lightweight means, they can easily be blown away during storms. 

Cold weather makes plastic brittle. This includes the winter season. So, even if you can leave it outdoors when it rains, do not do the same for the winter season. 

  • Aluminum 

Aluminum is generally a preferred material for patio furniture. However, why is this the case?

Aluminum is lightweight, meaning moving it around should not be a problem. Also, the material is weather-resistant and durable. Many who own aluminum patio furniture claim to have minimal care for it, and thus the reason they would not mind having it. 

As much as it is a good piece of furniture, you have to deal with the likelihood of being blown away in heavy wind, or it can easily be dented. 

  • Stainless steel 
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Just like aluminum, stainless steel is good in terms of handling weather damage. The best part is that it will not be easy to dent as aluminum patio furniture. Being heavier also means wind won’t easily blow it away. 

You may notice brown spots on stainless steel when exposed to saltwater. The good thing is that you can simply wipe them off since they are not corrosive. 

MaterialWater-resistantIs covering necessary? 
WoodYesNo, but recommended
WickerYesNo, but cover in case of extreme weather 
IronYesYes, during rainy and winter seasons 
PlasticYesNo, but have it stored in winter season 
AluminumYesNo, but store it during rough weather 
Stainless steel YesNo, but cover during winter

How to Protect Outdoor Furniture From the Rain 

No patio furniture material is likely to last forever. You just have to take certain measures to ensure you can protect the outdoor furniture from the rain. Here is what you can do;

  • Check for signs of molds more often and have them removed 
  • Buy covers for the patio furniture. Have the covers installed in case of heavy rain 
  • Use protective coating if the manufacturer recommends it. This is vital for wood and iron furniture
  • Install a patio cover if necessary. This keeps the furniture from easily getting wet, and now you have a long-lasting outdoor furniture set
  • Store the patio furniture during winter even if we have said that the furniture can handle the harsh conditions. 

Here is a nice video on how to protect outdoor furniture