A Comprehensive Guide to Garden Furniture Covers

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Once you’ve gone through the expansive process of choosing the perfect garden furniture set or pieces for you and your outside space, you’ll want to make sure that it lasts as long as possible. Outdoor furniture becomes an extension of our home quickly, as it allows us to migrate outdoors and use our garden in ways we never could before. After finding the perfect lawn furniture or porch furniture, the last thing you want is for it to be damaged by the elements when it can so easily be avoided by picking the right garden furniture covers.

At LOFA, we appreciate how important your garden furniture sets become to you, and the time and investment you’ve put into them as you’ve been making sure that the pieces fit your needs and aesthetic preferences. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to garden furniture covers so that you can make sure that you’re caring for your outside furniture in a way that will prolong its lifespan.

How do I measure for garden furniture covers?

There’s a range of garden furniture covers to choose from, as there are so many different styles and sizes of outdoor furniture to choose from. This is good news, as it means that whether you’ve got a garden table and chairs set, a large L shaped garden corner sofa, or some smaller, continental-style bistro outdoor dining sets, there’s a perfect cover out there for you.

There are some decisions that will need to be made in regards to how you want to store your furniture in order to inform you of the best choice in covers. If you are planning to stack your garden chairs, you can purchase specialised, and tall, garden furniture covers designed just for this purpose. This will allow you to save space if storing your furniture in a garage or shed over the winter, however will cause some extra work if you are covering your garden furniture each night, as the chairs will need to be stacked and unstacked each day. Alternatively, you can tuck your garden chairs in under the garden table and source a cover that adequately fits over the full outdoor dining set, which allows for easier covering and uncovering but could limit your options for indoor storage during harsh winter months, depending on your available space.

Once you have decided how you will be storing your garden furniture, if you will be, you can measure your furniture to ascertain the dimensions of covers that you will need. You’ll need to take measurement of the height, width, and length of all of the pieces or sets that will need covering. If you’re covering a full outdoor dining set in one, you want to tuck the chairs in but don’t push the set together too tightly, as you’ll ideally allow a little fresh air to circulate in spaces between your garden furniture so that mould and mildew growth is prevented.

What protection do I need?

The optimum material for your garden furniture covers will somewhat depend on the type of garden furniture that you have, and the material that it is made from. You should also take into account the general climate where you live – is sun the main risk, or are blustering gales and high winds your greater concern? Depending on your furniture and the likely weather conditions, some materials may be more beneficial to you than others.

Many garden furniture covers are waterproof as standard whilst also offering full UV protection, however, these will generally be at a higher end of the budget. If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly option, you can focus more on either waterproofing or UV protection.

Plastic garden furniture’s biggest nemesis is the sun; UV damage can warp your plastic furniture, as the compounds get broken down if not protected. Conversely, water does little damage to plastic furniture and it can generally withstand wetter weather under a cover that isn’t completely waterproof. Therefore, if you’re trying to be conservative with your budget and your garden furniture set is plastic, then invest in garden furniture covers that offer, above all else, good UV protection.

If your furniture is wood, wicker or rattan, or metal, you’ll want garden furniture covers that offer complete waterproofing. UV can damage each of these types of garden furniture, too, so if you’re unable to find a cover in budget that offers both, make sure to store your furniture outside of direct sunlight in order to ensure longevity.

How do I cover and store my garden furniture?

Once you’ve identified the right garden furniture covers for you, you’ll want to prep your furniture for covering and storage. Depending on your furniture and the weather in your area, you may want to cover your furniture each night. As a general rule though, covering is only necessary when heavy rain is expected and when putting the furniture away for the winter.

Firstly, all cushions should be removed from your garden furniture. Ideally, these would be stored within your house to make sure they’re keep at a good temperature and not allowed to develop mildew. If you must store them in a shed, make sure to cover these with a bag but allow fresh airflow so that the fabric can breathe.

You should take the time to thoroughly clean your furniture before covering it and storing it for a prolonged period of time. Dirt or moisture trapped under the cover can quickly turn to stains and mildew if you allow it to. Always check with the manufacturer’s instructions to ascertain the ideal way to clean your furniture, but as a general rule warm soapy water and a thorough rinse with clean water will be the best method. Once your furniture is thoroughly clean, it’s imperative that you allow it to fully dry. Therefore, make sure you pick a fairly warm but hopefully also windy day in order to have the capacity to do this. If your furniture is still a little moist and is then covered up, that moisture can develop into mould.

Once your furniture is clean, dry, and covered, you can decide how best to store it. If you have the space and facilities to store your garden furniture inside a shed or garage, then this is the ideal solution. Ensure there is space around the furnitue pieces to allow for fresh air flow and therefore protect against mildew. If this option isn’t feasible, tuck your covered garden furniture away in a sheltered spot so that it doesn’t get too harshly beaten by the elements. If you have no choice but to keep your garden furniture on your lawn, LOFA would recommend placing stones or bricks under the feet of your furniture to keep it elevated out of the wet and allow opportunities for drainage.

By investing in good quality, appropriate garden furniture covers, you can protect your cherished garden furniture as you would the furniture within your home. By picking the right covers for you and your furniture, and ensuring that you store and cover your furniture in the right way, you can have worry-free winters, safe in the knowledge that your lovely furniture is suitably protected. For more comprehensive care guides by LOFA, take a look at our guide on cleaning your garden parasol to ensure that it also stays in a pristine condition for years to come.

kevin carvill