We've all been there: you bought the patio furniture, you used it for the time you need it, and now it's about to get into rain or snow season, so your furniture needs to cover up. Even though you may have that weather-resistant fabric on your cushions or that resin wicker that was made to be outdoors, you still want to ensure your patio furniture is protected from the elements. Finding the right patio furniture cover seems pretty easy, but if you want to avoid damage and extend the life on your investment, here are 5 easy things to look for in your search for a patio furniture cover.
The first and most obvious thing to look for in your patio furniture cover is the dimensions. This is important for several different reasons. First, you want a patio furniture cover that fits exactly over your patio furniture set. If it's too loose, wind could get underneath, making the cover more like a sail and blow it off & away. If it's too long, it can absorb water or snow sitting on the ground, leading to moisture and possible mold on your furniture and cover. Check with the manufacturer of your furniture to ensure a cover isn't already available. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from One Size Fits All covers for the reasons mentioned above. Most of those are either too loose or too long.
Having a waterproof cover is also essential. A lot of covers can prevent light rain, but will eventually have the water soak through and cause mildew build-up. The best material for your furniture cover to prevent this is vinyl. Vinyl will accumulate the rain into beads and allow it to roll off, keeping your furniture dry. Additionally, this helps dust & dirt from accumulating and leaving an unpleasant imprint on your clothes when you take the cover off. Beware of cheap materials that will let precipitation through and ensure the cover you're buying is actually waterproof.
A great option for your patio furniture cover is added ventilation. It is good to have a thick material, like vinyl, to ensure your cover is waterproof. However, if there is not breathability to the cover, it can accumulate moisture under the cover and cause mildew & mold buildup on your furniture.. Although some products will advertise as being breathable fabric, this will take away from the waterproof factor we mentioned earlier. It's a good practice to have added ventilation, but if you have the waterproof factor, that is the most important.
You got the cover, you applied it for the season, and upon removal, you notice some of the wicker comes off, the varnish is removed, or the surface of the alumnium is scratched. All these and more are easily prevented with a soft-cloth backing. The inside of the patio furniture cover shouldn't be the same as the outside. The outside is meant to protect your furniture from the elemtns. The inside, however, should protect your furniture from mildew, mold, and scratches. Utilize this soft cloth backing to ensure your patio furniture stays well protected from the cover itself.
The last thing to look for in a patio furniture cover is tie down strings. While entirely optional, tie downs can be beneficial to ensure the tightest fit around your furniture. They can either be drawstrings to ensure the tightness of the cover, or they can be leg ties that can go around the legs of your furniture. Either way, tie downs are an added bonus to prevent any covers from ballooning and blowing away in the wind or a heavy storm.