Sure, your outdoor patio furniture is meant to withstand the elements, but that doesn’t mean you should leave the pieces to take a beating. Furniture covers are designed to fit over your belongings, keeping them safe from wind and rain. Of course, if you want to purchase covers for your furniture, you should ensure they’ll do the job well. Check out this guide for buying and using covers:
How to Choose the Best Covers
When shopping for outdoor furniture covers, you should pay attention to the products’ features. From the kind of material they’re made of to the qualities they possess, not all covers are made equally. Here are some questions to guide you in your search for the perfect protective cover:
Is it waterproof?
If you’re leaving your furniture outside year-round, you want to make sure the covers are waterproof. That way, come rain, sleet or snow, your furniture won’t get wet. Additionally, some covers have piping along the seams to prevent water from getting in, and vents to reduce condensation.
What’s the size/shape?
Compare your outdoor furniture to the covers you’ve considered purchasing. The cover should fit snugly over your pieces without being too tight to remove easily. The shape should also match the shape of your furniture. Carefully and accurately measure your pieces before you start shopping for covers – your measurements should be detailed. Look for adjustable hems and straps to secure a customized fit.
Does it have closures?
You should be able to secure your covers to your furniture, whether it’s with ties, zippers or Velcro.
Can it protect against the sun?
Ultraviolet light can degrade outdoor furniture, so your covers should block rays.
Different Cover Materials Explained“When the weather gets rough, cover your furniture.”
Patio furniture covers can be made from a variety of materials, each with its own characteristics. Understanding each option’s benefits will help you pick the best product for your furniture. Here are some common fabric options:
Marine polyester is a fabric designed for situations where water is present, such as on boats. As you can imagine, it’s water-resistant. Some brands are also mildew-resistant and protect against UV rays. It’s important to note that some options are more durable than others.
This marine-grade vinyl fabric is durable and water-resistant, and blocks UV light.
If you pick canvas, make sure it’s designed to resist mold, mildew and UV rays. Naturally, the fabric is strong, and some products are even machine washable.
How to care for covers
Your covers will serve you best if you take care of them, which means cleaning them regularly. Fortunately, the process isn’t difficult.
Most fabric can be cleaned using a mixture of a gentle detergent and water. Scrub the fabric, then hose it down to rinse. Either hang the covers or spread them out outdoors so they can air dry. Check the tags and instructions that came with your covers to see whether you can wash them in a machine – sometimes, washers and dryers may pull seams apart, causing your covers to leak.
When you aren’t using your outdoor furniture covers, fold them nicely and store them in a dry place. When you pull them out to use, make sure the seams are all intact – this is where water is most likely to seep through.
When is it best to cover your furniture?
While your outdoor furniture was built to last through the seasons, you should cover the pieces at certain times to prevent dulling, fading of color, scrapes, etc. Basically, when the weather gets rough, cover your furniture. Here are some examples of times to protect your pieces:
- During winter – all that snow and ice is not good for your furniture
- During heavy storms – lots of wind, rain, sleet, etc., can cause damage
- When you don’t plan to use it for long periods of time
- When you go on vacation
During winter or when your furniture won’t be used for a while, you may also consider moving it indoors. Sheds, garages and basements all work as storage spaces. Just remember to leave the covers on your pieces. Storing furniture with the covers on will protect it from scratches.
By purchasing high-quality outdoor furniture covers, keeping them clean and using them at the right time, you’ll keep your pieces in prime condition.What steps do you take to keep your outdoor patio furniture looking like new?
Click here to take a look at our online selection of protective outdoor covers. Find the right fit for your outdoor living needs.