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outdoor furniture covers

When Summer Rolls Around, Keep Those Furniture Covers Handy

The summer is here, and you can finally take your patio set out of storage if you haven’t already (in Ottawa, no one would blame you for hesitating—after all, how certain can you be that a freak snow storm won’t hit?). But if you’ve pack away your set of outdoor furniture covers in a box in some deep, hard-to-reach corner of your garage or basement, then you might want to rethink that call.

While those covers are great for maintaining your furniture during the winter season, keeping moisture out and mitigating the growth of mold and mildew, their usefulness doesn’t end there. Here are a few reasons why you’ll want to keep them close at hand all throughout the patio season, along with situations when you may want to pull them out:

Not All Outdoor Furniture Is “Waterproof”

While metals such as cast aluminum are rust-proof and woods such as teak are incredibly resistant to moisture, other materials aren’t as resilient. Natural wicker, for example, can warp and crack if exposed to too much moisture, and many patio sets include cushions that should be kept dry (check to see if your cushion covers are waterproof).

Rainy Days and Vacations

Even for those materials like cast aluminum that are waterproof, keeping them in good shape requires regular cleaning and care—and you can keep that down to a minimum by covering them up when things get rough outside. Keep an eye on weather reports, and if you see a forecast for heavy rain or intense winds, make a point of covering up your furniture. Ideally, the cover you’re already using should be waterproof—so your furniture will be nice and dry when the sun comes out, and over the course of the summer it’ll stay cleaner for longer.

In addition, if you know that you won’t be using your patio set for an extended period of time—for example, if you’ll be out of town for the weekend or out of the country for a week on vacation—it pays to cover it before you set out, since you’ll have no control over what it’s exposed to while you’re away.

A Note on the Importance of Breathable Fabric

When purchasing an outdoor furniture cover, don’t just settle for the first thing that looks like it’ll cover your furniture. Being waterproof is an obvious requirement, but have you stopped to think about the breathability of the material? If air can’t properly circulate, you create the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. If you pull the cover off of your furniture, whether at winter’s end or any other time, to discover that this is the case, then look into replacing your cover with one that allows the air to circulate properly to better protect your furniture set.