If your patio furniture is getting ruined and you’re asking yourself “can I use furniture covers outdoor?”…the answer is a resounding “YES!”. There are hundreds of products specifically designed to function as furniture covers outdoor. Additionally, there are dozens of websites and manufacturers who sell these products! The following is valuable information to consider for making a well-informed buying decision.
When the time comes to seek shelter from the peaks of summer and winter, it is also about the perfect time to invest in some outdoor furniture covers. Harsh conditions like a heatwave, hail, ice, wind, rain and sleet can be devastating not just to your health but also to your outdoor furniture and this should prompt you to think “I need furniture covers outdoor!”. Covering your patio furniture with the appropriate covers can do wonders in prolonging the life span of your furnishings. To end up with the ideal covers, you must consider the materials used to manufacture the covers, the size of your patio furniture, and additional features that you might want the covers to have.
If you opt to buy covers made of inferior plastic or vinyl, your covers may last for two to three years at the most. These types of materials are easily damaged by extremes in temperature. They tend to expand and contract constantly and at such a high level, strain is caused on the stitching thread or heated seams used to put them together. In contrast, higher quality materials are often made to be waterproof, UV resistant, do not expand or contract very much, are lightweight, and some may even have soft linings on the underside to prevent any scratching of the furniture (this is an excellent feature). Examples of these high quality materials are the Tron-Wever fabric, Dupont Tyvek, any high-quality soft-lined vinyl, denier polyester, or the high-tech polypropylene. To see examples of these products, you can peruse a variety of shopping and manufacturers’ websites. Take your time to see what’s out there and you’ll be glad you did!
Here’s another hint: you can usually tell from the available sizes if a particular brand of patio furniture cover is higher or lower quality. Those brands whose covers undergo exhaustive research and development are usually the ones that have a full array of shapes and sizes to fit a huge variety of furniture. When you find covers that are not exactly applicable to the dimensions of your furniture, it does not necessarily mean that the next lower or higher size in that brand will fit. The ideal solution is to find a “custom fit” patio furniture cover. There are many companies and websites who specialize in doing this. It may be a more expensive proposition, but it also provides the best protection for your furniture over time. Covers that are undersized will not give adequate protection to your furniture, and covers that are too big will tend to be blown away (or cause your furniture to get blown away). Another unwelcome development from loose covers is the creation of pools of water that can cause moisture as well as become breeding grounds for mosquitoes (yuck) and other insects. During winter, these pools of water can turn into ice and cause damage to the cover and the furniture as well.
Some manufacturers go over the top when making their products the best-of-the-best. When it comes to patio furniture covers, special features may come in the form of elastic hems, Velcro closures, zipper closures, leg ties as well as built-in storage pockets which can be used to protect the covers while in storage. One way to direct water away from outdoor furniture covers is through the use of piping along the seams. Other outdoor furniture covers have built-in air vents whose function is to reduce the level of moisture that can form underneath the covers. Air vents can also reduce the amount of air that gets trapped under the covers during windy days.
Now that you have purchased the best outdoor furniture cover that you can possibly afford, you move into new territory; the proper installation of your covers. But before you do that, you must make sure your furnishings are properly set up and ready to go. First things first, scan your backyard and look for any potential risks that the environment has or can offer; such as trees and branches (or their droppings). Bird nests can also be a source of unwelcome debris (hint hint). Relocating the furniture away from less-than-ideal areas can conceivably save you money, time and effort in replacing expensive parts or the entire furniture itself once damaged. Then make sure that the covers are clean and dry before you install them, to avoid dirt and stains getting permanently preserved on the furniture. Remember, the whole idea is to preserve your furniture as clean, not dirty!
Naturally, next on your to-do-list is to inspect your furnishings for debris, and remove it accordingly. Lawn, garden, and patio furniture should be cleaned only according to manufacturer’s specifications; but generally, most outdoor furniture can be cleaned with a mixture of water and mild detergent. Here’s another hint: patio umbrellas must be washed or cleaned in the “open” position to allow cleaning of all their parts. Make sure that all outdoor furniture is allowed to dry before covering it. Otherwise, you could be inviting unwelcome mold to take up residence.
The next item on your to-do list has to do with inspection of the covers for any factory defects, rips, tears or anything that can lead to the deterioration of the cover or the furniture itself. Should you find any defect, make sure to bring them back to the dealer and have them replaced as they should be covered by a warranty. This step will probably be the most time consuming one but will be the most rewarding one. As it is said, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure! Carefully read the instructions and manuals to make sure you understand the installation procedure clearly.
Now that you have mustered all that courage to install the covers, pat yourself on the back. Well done. Now give them a pull to make them taut. Pull from all sides to make sure the cover fully encases the furniture. This is to prevent water pooling on the covers. If there is some sagging that you cannot remedy by pulling on the covers, try putting a beach ball or any plastic ball under the cover to make it slope outwards and create a water run-off. One brand of outdoor furniture cover, called “DuckCovers”, comes with an inflation balloon whose main function is to prevent water pooling. That’s pretty clever!
Finally, make sure to secure all the tie downs, Velcro, or belt with buckles, leaving nothing with slack; to prevent them from being blown off during extreme wind storms or the occasional strong gust. An inferior quality belt and buckles can rust away in the long term, so make sure they are made of rust proof material that is also strong and flexible. Now sit back and enjoy. Any furniture covers outdoor that comply with the above guidelines will pay you back tenfold; preserving the beauty and function of your outdoor garden and patio furnishings for years to come.