Should We Cover Our Wicker Patio Furniture?

wicker patio furniture

Want to relax outside through multiple comfortable seasons? Proper care is key to fully enjoying your wicker patio furniture investment. Wicker is popular for its breezy aesthetic and breathability. But without protection, it deteriorates quickly in environmental extremes like scorching sun and rainy spells.

Sadly, exposed wicker typically lasts just 3-5 short years before wearing out. However, regular maintenance more than doubles the lifespan. Following a few techniques shields furniture from damage while allowing relaxation under sparkling stars through warm weather cycles. Learn the essential tips needed to safeguard furnishings and preserve the patio as a welcoming retreat for gathering with loved ones season after season.

Important do’s and don’ts for maximizing longevity through changing weather. Proper protection results in happy times on the deck through many more years to come! Knowledge results in continuously enjoying comfortable times outdoors with family and friends.

Is Wicker Patio Furniture Prone to Damage?

As a natural material, wicker patio furniture can break down if always exposed to weather without good protection. The sun’s UV rays can damage over many years of straight sunlight. This leads to it drying up, getting stiff, and fading color from its original bright tones. Moisture from rain or snow soaked into unprotected patio furniture makes a perfect environment for mold and mildew growth too.

Harsh weather like hail or strong winds in storms poses another risk, as they can cause surface dents or weaken patio furniture over time. Bugs or small animals may also like untreated outdoor patio furniture as a cozy shelter spot. All these environmental threats combined cut short how long patio furniture could last with basic precaution steps.

With natural outdoor time, without enough covering or upkeep, many find furniture looks worn out after just 3-5 years. Simple covering of pieces from rain, sun, and bugs greatly increases how long it stays good outside.

When Should Wicker Furniture Be Covered?

There are a few key scenarios when it is advisable to cover wicker patio furniture:

  • When not used for over a day: Any time outdoor patio furniture will be left unattended outside for long time periods, it should have covers to shield it from the sun, rain, and other weather when not occupied.
  • Rainy or snowy weather: To prevent wetness from getting in and causing mold growth issues, furniture should be covered on days with a steady rain forecast.
  • Winter storing: Outdoor patio furniture will be more at risk of damage if exposed outside during cold months with the chance of ice, snow piles, and extreme temperature changes leading to cracks. Winter storage means full cover.
  • Strong sun areas: For patio furniture used in very sunny climates like beaches or the southern U.S., year-round protection may be needed due to the faster fading of colors from intense sun exposure over time.

Correct use of covers when heavily used, in wet conditions and off seasons helps patio items withstand seasonal changes without shortening life outside.

What Type of Furniture Needs Covering?

While small wicker chairs and bistro sets are generally portable enough to simply bring inside or store in a garage during bad weather, bigger patio pieces often need more long-term coverings. Wicker couches, loveseats, sectionals, and outdoor beds don’t move as easily. These large seating types especially help from protective covers.

Cushions and pillows used outside also need protection, as their fabric coverings soak up water very fast and can get moldy if wet. Leaving cushions uncovered invites damage from moisture, fading sun, and stray drops even on a dry day. Sturdy, breathable covers for cushions will keep their look and quality.

Things like wicker hammocks or rocking chairs have unique exposure concerns because of their big silhouettes. Covers made with plenty of coverage over the shapes protect more area of the wicker from wear caused by nature. No matter the specific items owned, following basic covering guidelines will smartly protect any wicker investment.

Benefits of Using Patio Furniture Covers

There are several important advantages to properly employing breathable wicker furniture covers during vulnerable times:

  • Preventing fading: Quality UV-resistant fabrics block the sun rays that dull colors over years outside. Keeps the look.
  • Water damage protection: Breathable yet waterproof stopping rain, snow, and wet from getting inside to cause mold/mildew.
  • Deterring pest problems: Takes away outdoor places such as cozy homes for bugs, mice, or birds to chew or mess when not in use.
  • Extending lifespan: Shielding from the sun, rain, and bugs lets withstand seasonal changes with less effect, saving a lot before replacement is needed.
  • Saving costs: Low-priced covers pay for protecting look and structures, preventing costly early replacing.

By understanding these clear benefits of cover usage, homeowners can easily justify the small additional effort to diligently shield expensive wicker investments. 

How to Choose the Best Furniture Covers

When selecting covers for outdoor wicker furnishings, consider these key factors:

  • Material: Breathable polyester or vinyl fabrics will not trap moisture but still defend against sun, rain, and wind. Heavyweight materials last longer than flimsy ones.
  • Tight weave: A tightly woven construction prevents small droplets from seeping through while allowing airflow to reduce internal humidity buildup.
  • Secure closure: Quality covers integrate elastic, ties or straps around entire perimeters to ensure they stay affixed securely during inclement weather.
  • Custom sizing: Instead of generalized one-size-fits-all, covers tailored to specific furniture dimensions result in better protection without flapping or gaps.
  • UV protection: Top-rated fabrics effectively block 98% or more of the sun’s damaging UV rays to inhibit fading for as long as possible.
  • Water resistance: While breathability allows the escape of excess moisture, water-resistant fabrics repel absorption to deter mold/mildew issues.

Investing in custom-made, heavy-duty covers guarantees wicker stays protected efficiently through seasons of use with minimal maintenance. Quality fabric barrier elements while cushioning from abrasions.

Simple Preventive Maintenance

Store indoors: During cold months or times of steady rain/snow, bring a wicker inside a garage or basement to keep it safe.

Hose or wipe down: At least once a week outside, rinse with a water hose or wipe down with a cloth to get off any dirt, dust, or grime built up.

Apply protectant: Reapply a clear coat of sun-protector for outdoor wicker as directed. This shields and conditions the material.

Inspect closely: Check for signs of black or gray puffy mold and remove any bug nests or egg cases right away to stop larger problems.

Rotate placement: Moving furniture around helps all sides get the same sun exposure while cutting fading in one spot.

These easy habits when using wicker plus thorough coverings when not used or in bad weather will maintain a nice look and long life for seasons of enjoyment outside. With low-effort preventative steps, furnishings stay welcoming.

Common Signs of Damage

Excessive fading: Wicker showing patchy areas of light or dark spots means it was in the sun too long without covers twisting it.

Cracking: Small breaks in the weave, especially where it bends, mean moisture or weather hurt the structure.

Brittleness: Stiff, sharp wicker that bends less now likely took in water without quick drying or faded from the sun.

Mold/mildew: Black or gray puffy dirt growing in holes signals untreated wet spells let germs spread inside.

Animal chewing: Holes or chunks gone from the weave show it was easy to get into for mice as homes or marking spots.

Loose strapping: Broken or dangling ties where wicker curves feel worn show season bending without help staying strong.

If furniture has a lot of these signs, it may be too late to fix even with trying. Watching early-stage signs allows timely fixes or choosing to replace before worse damage happens.

Potential Cost Savings of Using Furniture Covers

Furniture ItemLifespan Without CoversLifespan With CoversPotential Savings with Covers
Wicker SectionalReplaced every 3 yearsLifespan 8-10 years$2,000 savings over 9 years
Wicker DaybedReplaced every 3 yearsLifespan 8-10 years$1,500 savings over 9 years
Cushion Set (4 pcs)Replaced every 2 yearsLifespan 6-8 years$500 savings over 8 years

Final Thoughts

By now it’s clear – covering your wicker patio furniture and doing regular care will make it last way longer outside. Wicker left outside with no protection will break after just a few years with the weather. But easy things like using covers can help.

Act now to get the most use from your wicker by setting up a plan to cover it when not in use or during storms. Check local stores for custom covers that fit your furniture best. As summer comes, get your wicker ready to relax outside for a long time with smart protection from the sun, rain, and seasons.

By regularly covering furniture for wet days and winter, your wicker will look great and last through many more summers enjoying with family and friends. With regular care anyone can understand, that wicker can stay comfortable to use over the years you live somewhere.