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Patio Furniture Covers: Essential Tips for Choosing the Right Cover for Any Climate

Outdoor furniture in rattan with cushions


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Patio furniture takes a beating throughout the year. From scorching summers with their relentless sun and UV rays to harsh winters with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, your beloved outdoor seating endures it all. But is simply bringing it inside every night the answer? Not quite. Here's a breakdown of when patio furniture covers become your best friend, and the different types to consider to keep your furniture looking sharp for years to come.

Patio Furniture Covers at Night: Necessary or Overkill?

Nightly furniture covers might seem excessive, especially for those who live in regions with predictable, dry weather patterns. However, for areas prone to heavy dew, overnight rain showers, or even just unpredictable weather shifts, they can be a lifesaver.

Here's why considering nightly covers might be a good idea

  • Moisture Buildup and Mildew Growth: Nighttime often brings cooler temperatures, which can cause condensation to form on your furniture. This moisture buildup can lead to mildew growth, especially on fabrics like cushions. Patio furniture covers act as a barrier, preventing moisture from accumulating on your furniture and creating a breeding ground for mildew.

  • Unexpected Rain Showers: Let's face it, weather forecasts aren't always perfect. Even in areas with generally dry nights, there's always the chance of an unexpected downpour. Patio furniture covers provide a quick and easy way to safeguard your furniture from sudden rain showers, preventing water damage and potential rusting of metal components.

  • Critter Control: While we might enjoy sharing our patio space with the occasional butterfly or bumblebee, other nocturnal creatures might view your furniture as a cosy haven. From stray cats seeking shelter to curious raccoons looking for a snack, unexpected wildlife visitors can cause damage or leave behind unpleasant messes. Patio furniture covers act as a deterrent, preventing unwanted critters from taking up residence on your furniture.

However, nightly covers aren't essential for everyone

  • Clear and Dry Nights: If you live in an area with consistently clear skies and low humidity, nightly covers might be unnecessary. In such cases, the lack of moisture in the air minimises the risk of condensation buildup.

  • Potential for Trapped Heat: On particularly hot days, covering your furniture at night can trap heat underneath, causing it to linger longer. This can be particularly uncomfortable if you plan on using your patio furniture in the evening.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to cover your furniture nightly depends on your specific climate and weather patterns. Consider factors like humidity levels, the likelihood of unexpected rain showers, and potential wildlife activity in your area to determine if nightly covers are a good fit for you.

Black outdoor patio furniture with black cover


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Winter Warriors: Essential Protection for Your Patio Oasis

Come winter, patio furniture covers become non-negotiable. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your furniture, causing everything from rust and water damage to cracking and warping of the materials. Here's why winter is prime time to break out the patio furniture covers:

  • Shielding From Moisture Damage: Winter brings its fair share of rain, snow, and sleet. Left unprotected, your furniture will absorb this moisture, leading to rust on metal components and potential rotting of wooden furniture. Patio furniture covers act as a barrier, preventing moisture from accumulating on your furniture and causing damage.

  • Guarding Against Freezing Temperatures: Freezing temperatures can be particularly damaging to certain patio furniture materials. Plastic furniture can become brittle and crack, while wood can warp and splinter. Patio furniture covers provide insulation, protecting your furniture from the harsh effects of freezing temperatures and helping it maintain its structural integrity.

  • Preventing Sun Damage (Even in Winter): You might think that with shorter days and less sunshine, winter wouldn't pose a threat in terms of sun damage. However, the sun's UV rays can still be damaging, especially in areas with significant snow reflection. Patio furniture covers provide protection from UV rays, helping to prevent fading and discolouration of your furniture throughout the winter months.

But not all winter covers are created equal

  • Breathability is Key: While it's important to shield your furniture from moisture, it's equally important to allow for some breathability. This prevents condensation buildup underneath the cover, which can lead to mould growth. Look for covers with vents or made from breathable fabrics to ensure proper air circulation.

  • Heavy-Duty Materials for Harsh Winters: For areas with heavy snowfall or extreme cold, opt for a winter cover made from a heavy-duty material like reinforced polyester or canvas. These materials are more durable and better equipped to withstand the weight of snow and harsh winter conditions.

  • Secure Fastenings for Windy Climates: Winter often brings strong winds. Ensure your chosen cover has secure fastenings, such as tie-down straps or drawstring closures.

When the Wind Picks Up: Choosing the Right Cover for Blustery Conditions

Living in a windy area throws another challenge to your patio furniture's way. Strong gusts can rip and tear at furniture covers, leaving them flapping wildly and potentially damaging your furniture underneath. Here's how to choose the right cover to keep your furniture safe when the wind picks up:

  • Material Matters: Durability is Key When it comes to windy areas, the material of your patio furniture cover is paramount. Opt for covers made from heavy-duty, tear-resistant fabrics like polyester or canvas. These materials are more robust and can withstand strong winds without succumbing to rips or tears. Consider the weave of the fabric as well. A tighter weave offers better wind resistance compared to a looser weave.

  • Built-in Security Features: Keeping Your Cover in Place A good patio furniture cover for windy areas should come equipped with built-in features to keep it securely fastened to your furniture. Here are some key features to look for:

  • Tie-Down Straps: Look for covers with sturdy tie-down straps that can be secured around the legs or base of your furniture. These straps act as anchors, preventing the cover from blowing away in strong winds.

  • Drawstring Closures: A drawstring closure around the bottom of the cover provides an additional layer of security. By cinching the drawstring tight, you create a snug fit that prevents the wind from getting underneath the cover and causing it to billow.

  • Weighted Corners: Some covers have weighted corners filled with sand or another heavy material. These weights help to keep the cover grounded, especially during strong gusts.

  • Shape Matters: Considering Your Furniture The shape of your furniture also plays a role in choosing the right cover for windy areas. Opt for a cover that is specifically designed for your furniture type. For example, a cover for a sectional sofa will have a different shape compared to a cover for a dining set. A well-fitting cover will have minimal excess fabric flapping in the wind, reducing the risk of tearing.

Outdoor furniture with a black cover


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Material Matters: Choosing the Perfect Cover for Your Climate

The best patio furniture cover material depends on your specific climate and the elements your furniture needs protection from. Here's a breakdown of some popular cover materials and their suitability for different weather conditions:

  • Basic Protection for Moderate Climates: For areas with moderate weather conditions, a basic water-resistant cover made of polyester or nylon will suffice. These covers offer protection from light rain, dust, and debris. They are also lightweight and easy to handle, making them a good choice for areas with short periods of rain or occasional dust storms.

  • Heavy Rain and Snowfall? Consider PVC-Coated Polyester: If you live in an area with heavy rain or frequent snowfall, a more robust cover is necessary. PVC-coated polyester covers offer superior waterproofing and durability. The PVC coating acts as a barrier, preventing moisture from penetrating the fabric and reaching your furniture. These covers are also ideal for areas with harsh winters, as they can withstand the weight of snow accumulation.

  • Breathability is Crucial: Preventing Mould Growth Regardless of the material you choose, breathability is a crucial factor to consider. A cover that traps moisture underneath can lead to mould and mildew growth on your furniture. Look for covers with vents or made from breathable fabrics like woven polyester. These materials allow for air circulation, preventing moisture buildup and promoting air movement under the cover.

  • UV Protection: Keeping Your Furniture Looking New Sun damage can be a concern for patio furniture, even in winter months. For areas with significant sun exposure, consider a cover with UV protection. These covers often incorporate a special UV-resistant coating that helps to prevent fading and discolouration of your furniture over time.

Additional Considerations

  • Size Matters: Ensure you choose a cover that is the right size for your furniture. A cover that is too small won't provide adequate protection, while a cover that is too large can billow in the wind and potentially cause damage.

  • Ease of Use: Look for covers that are easy to put on and take off. Features like handles and straps can make the process more convenient.

Our Final Thoughts

By understanding your climate and choosing the right patio furniture cover material and features, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your outdoor furniture. Investing in a good quality cover protects your furniture from the elements, prevents fading and

Need help with your patio? Book one of our Landscape Design Gurus for a 30-minute video call. Transforming your home into a space you love shouldn't be a daunting task. With HiiGuru you can save time, avoid costly mistakes and bring your goals to life with experts by your side.


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