There are many reasons why you might want to buy outdoor furniture, also commonly referred to as patio furniture.
You may have a pool, a garden, or even just a patio that you would like to furnish with comfortable and stylish furniture.
However, even though many people enjoy using their outdoor furniture, they are often unsure whether it is waterproof or not.
This is understandable as many different types of materials are used in the construction of outdoor furniture.
There are also some popular misconceptions about whether or not outdoor furniture can be made waterproof.
In this article, we will look at some of these questions so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not your outdoor furniture is waterproof.
Waterproof Vs Water-resistant Outdoor furniture
Before we continue, it is important for you to differentiate between waterproof outdoor furniture and water-resistant outdoor furniture.
Most people confuse the two.
Waterproof means that the furniture is impervious to water and will stay dry when exposed to rain or other elements.
It’s very rare to find this type of furniture, but if you do, you’ll be able to use the pieces in any setting without worrying about them getting damaged by rain or snow.
If your piece isn’t waterproof, then it’s likely just water-resistant, which means that while it can withstand some exposure to moisture, prolonged exposure or high winds may cause problems with the wood or fabric covering your piece.
Today, we are only covering waterproof outdoor furniture.
So, how can you tell if your outdoor furniture is waterproof?
There are three main ways that you can use to tell if your patio furniture is waterproof.
Ask the manufacturer
The best way to know if outdoor furniture is waterproof is to ask the manufacturer.
When you purchase an item of furniture, it should come with a warranty that tells you exactly how waterproof it is.
Contact the manufacturer directly and ask them about their product’s resistance to water exposure.
While most manufacturers will only provide this information if asked directly, some may provide more information about their product’s ability to withstand rain and moisture exposure than others do, so don’t hesitate to ask!
If you’re buying furniture online, take a look at the product description and see if there are any clues about how waterproof it is.
Check the fabric
Check the fabric that makes the cushions.
A good rule of thumb is that if the fabric feels like it will hold up well in harsh conditions, then it probably will.
Look at how tightly woven the fabric is and how tough it seems overall.
You’ll also want to make sure that there are no rips or tears in any seams or stitching on your cushions before purchasing them.
Another way to know if the fabric is waterproof is to check for stains.
If there are stains on the fabric, then it probably isn’t waterproof.
Overall, the question whether the cushions are waterproof or not rests on the type of fabric.
The most common fabrics for outdoor furniture cushions are acrylic fabric, olefin, polyester, and Textilene.
They are all waterproof but their durability and level of comfort vary.
Check the material used
The primary material of outdoor furniture is wood or metal.
Both materials come in varieties and each behaves differently when exposed to water.
Wooden outdoor furniture is usually made from teak, bamboo, or rattan.
On the other hand, metal outdoor furniture has a wide range of materials including aluminum, steel, and iron.
One thing to remember when choosing outdoor furniture is that it should be made of high-quality materials that will stand up to the elements.
If you want something long-lasting, then look for wood or metal frames.
These types of materials will generally last longer than plastic frames because they are not as susceptible to cracks and tears caused by natural wear and tear.
Now that we understand how to tell if outdoor furniture is waterproof or not, let’s have a look at the different materials used in making patio furniture and how they behave when exposed to rain or moisture.
Wood: Can You Leave Wooden Outdoor Furniture in the Rain?
Wooden outdoor furniture is popular because it looks great and lasts a long time.
It is also more affordable than other types of outdoor furniture such as metal.
When looking for wooden outdoor furniture you want to know whether you can leave it outside when it rains.
Well, this depends on the type of wood used.
Here we will have a look at the three main types of woods used for patio furniture and how they behave when exposed to rain.
Teak is a very durable wood that is naturally waterproof.
Teak outdoor furniture can be left outside year-round, or stored inside during the winter months.
When properly cared for, teak furniture will last for decades.
Teak does not need to be treated with oil or varnish, but it does need to be cleaned regularly to prevent oxidation and weathering.
There are several different types of teak wood that vary in color and grain pattern, but they all have similar characteristics when it comes to being waterproof.
Bamboo outdoor furniture is waterproof as long as you make sure you choose the best quality of wood and treat it properly before assembling them into a piece of furniture.
It can withstand rain and other forms of moisture, but it cannot withstand exposure to water over a long period of time.
Bamboo outdoor furniture should be protected from rain and wet weather by using covers, such as umbrellas or tarpaulins.
You can also seal the surface with a waterproof coating so that rain will not penetrate into the wood itself and cause damage over time if you live in an area where it rains often.
Rattan is one of the most popular materials used in the production of outdoor furniture.
It is durable, lightweight, and looks great.
Rattan outdoor furniture is not waterproof.
The material will absorb moisture if it becomes wet and may crack or warp if it stays damp for too long.
To prevent this from happening, make sure that your rattan furniture stays dry when you’re not using it by covering it with a tarp during rainstorms or storing it in a shed during the winter months.
Metal: Is Metallic Outdoor Furniture Waterproof?
Metal is a great choice for outdoor furniture because it’s durable, long-lasting, and easy to keep clean.
It also makes a bold statement in any outdoor space.
Metal furniture can be made from aluminum or stainless steel, or from recycled metals such as copper and iron.
So, can you leave metallic patio furniture in the rain?
While aluminum is water-resistant, it is not waterproof, but it doesn’t absorb water as wood does.
However, it is one of the most durable materials available and therefore one of the best for outdoor furniture.
It can withstand the elements and still look great.
The best way to protect aluminum furniture from damage due to water is to keep it covered when it is not in use.
Steel is a very durable and long-lasting material, but it does not stand up to water very well.
Water will eventually rust steel, causing it to deteriorate and become weak.
Compared to aluminum, steel is less water-resistant to rust.
To make it a more suitable material for outdoor furniture, steel furniture has a powder coating on it that keeps moisture from seeping in through the paint job.
If you live in a climate that gets rain frequently, then you may need to protect your steel patio furniture from the elements.
Iron is not inherently waterproof, but it can be coated to make it water resistant.
The longer answer is that some types of iron furniture are more resistant to water than others.
However, there are ways to treat iron patio furniture so that it will resist water damage better than untreated materials do.
Waterproofing Outdoor Furniture
Waterproofing outdoor furniture is an effective way to protect your investment.
Whether your outdoor furniture is made of wood or metal, you can ensure that it lasts longer with this simple process.
One of our articles here covers the process of waterproofing outdoor wooden furniture.
Have a look at it here.
For the most part, outdoor furniture will survive the elements of nature with no issues.
There is no common standard for waterproofing furniture materials.
The best you can do is read the fine print on any product you are considering and decide from there if you like the warranty, the company, and the furniture construction.
Hopefully, now you have a better idea as to whether or not your furniture is really waterproof.
If you do decide to purchase outdoor furniture, at least you’ll know what to avoid when doing so.