As the weather turns intensely cold in winter or hot in summer, enjoying time on your outdoor patio furniture can be unbearable. Before retreating inside for the rest of the season, be sure to protect your investment by covering your furniture with outdoor furniture covers, also known as patio furniture covers. Severe weather conditions like wind, rain, sleet, snow, hail, ice, and even blazing summer sun can significantly damage outdoor patio furniture over time. Covering your furniture with outdoor covers can significantly extend 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 ways you can choose the best patio furniture covers.
Low-grade patio furniture covers may last only one or two seasons because they are often made with cheaper vinyl or plastic. These inferior materials are not constructed to withstand extreme temperatures. High quality covers can be constructed from a variety of materials, but there are a few critical qualities you should insist upon before making a decision. Outdoor furniture covers should be made of a durable waterproof and UV resistant material that can hold up beautifully against extreme temperatures and weather conditions, both hot and cold, without being compromised. Also, 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 a necessary component if your patio furniture sits near any trees that may drop small branches or other debris throughout the changing seasons.
Choosing the Right Size
Low quality patio furniture covers usually fit poorly and provide just a few basic sizes. Many high quality covers come in standard sizes, too, but a larger range of shape and size options are on hand. 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. Even though they may be 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 certainly provide the most suitable 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. In addition, standing water can freeze in winter, which can cause significant damage to the cover’s material.
Although not necessary for adequate performance, most high quality outdoor furniture covers come with special features which can bring added value to the purchase. Some special features you may find include elastic hems, Velcro closures, zipper closures, leg ties, and even built-in storage pockets which help covers remain clean and tidy while stored away. Piping along the seams is an attractive feature with the practical function of directing water off of covers. Some outdoor furniture covers are incorporated with air vents which decrease the condensation build up that can form underneath the covers. Air vents can also help prevent outdoor furniture covers from catching too much air during especially windy days.
Spending a little bit more time at first 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 ensure a long life for your furniture. Otherwise, choosing lower end covers now will most likely result in having to spend more money later to replace poor quality furniture covers that do not survive more than a year or two.