Considering Material, Size, and Special Features
When weather becomes too hot in summer or too cold in winter, enjoying time on your outdoor patio furniture may not be possible. Before retreating to indoor comfort, be sure to protect your investment by covering your furniture with outdoor furniture covers, also known as patio furniture covers. Harsh weather like wind, rain, sleet, snow, hail, ice, and even blazing summer sun will all damage outdoor patio furniture over time. Covering your furniture with outdoor covers will lengthen the life of your wood, metal, or all-weather wicker patio furniture. Not just any outdoor furniture covers will do, though. Selecting the best covers means considering the material with which the covers are made, the size of your own patio furniture pieces, and any special features you may desire. Here are some tips for making the best choice when selecting patio furniture covers.
Poor quality patio furniture covers may last only one or two seasons because they are often made with cheaper vinyl or plastic. These inferior materials are easily damaged by extremes in cold or hot temperatures. High quality covers can be constructed from a variety of materials, but there are some crucial characteristics you should look for before making a selection. Outdoor furniture covers should be made of a durable waterproof and UV resistant material that is able to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions, both hot and cold, without being compromised. Additionally, covers should be lightweight so that they are easy to use and easy to store when not in use. Some covers are backed with a soft cloth material to help prevent anything from scratching delicate furniture surfaces, which is an ideal feature if your patio furniture sits near any trees that may drop small branches or other debris over the course of the winter.
Low quality patio furniture covers often fit poorly and offer only a few standard sizes. Many high quality covers come in standard sizes, too, but a much wider variety of shape and size options are usually available. If the dimensions of the furniture covers do not exactly match the dimensions of your specific furniture pieces, the solution is not to purchase the next largest or next smallest size. The best choice would be to purchase custom fit patio furniture covers. While more expensive, custom fit covers are actually the best buy when standard sizes don’t fit. Because custom covers fit your specific furniture pieces exactly, they will provide the proper protection for your furniture through many seasons. Outdoor furniture covers that are too small will not provide adequate protection because parts of the furniture are exposed to the elements. Covers that are too large can act like balloons on a windy day, inflating with air and, more than likely, blowing completely off of the furniture. Additionally, patio furniture covers that are too large have excess material that can sag and allow moisture to collect on rainy and snowy days. Standing water attracts mosquitoes and other pests in summer, and, if not removed, standing water can stain or mildew the cover. Likewise, standing water can freeze in winter, potentially causing damage to the furniture cover material.
While not essential, most high quality outdoor furniture covers come with special features to consider. Some special features you may find include elastic hems, Velcro closures, zipper closures, leg ties, and even built-in storage pockets that make storage of patio furniture covers easy and tidy. Piping along the seams is an attractive feature with the practical function of directing water off of covers. Some outdoor furniture covers come equipped with air vents which reduce the amount of condensation that can form underneath the covers. Air vents can also help prevent outdoor furniture covers from catching too much air during especially windy days.
Taking a bit of time in the beginning to find the best material and the appropriate sizing for your outdoor furniture covers will pay off in the long run. By covering your outdoor patio furniture properly, you will extend the life of the furniture for many years. Alternatively, skimping on quality now will most likely result in having to spend more money later to replace poor quality furniture covers that don’t last beyond a season or two.