Haboob dust storm with dramatic sky and clouds at sunset in the Arizona desert.

Outdoor Furniture Protection During Summer Storms

With summer just beginning, let’s review the ways to protect your outdoor furniture from storms and inclement weather. Outdoor furniture is vulnerable to thunderstorms, tornados, hurricanes, dust storms, monsoons, or whatever harsh weather conditions your patio will experience. Even the highest quality furniture can use protection during a severe storm. We know how important it is to keep your outdoor furniture looking its best so here are some tips for keeping it safe from summer’s rains, winds and dust. outdoor furniture protection infographic

Focus on Protection

People don’t always think ahead about serious storms, but every part of the country is vulnerable to severe weather. It is wise to have a plan should you need to take steps to protect your furniture. Taking care of your outdoor furniture extends beyond the storm season, and should be a year-round consideration. You spent time finding the perfect pieces for your outdoor décor. You’ll want to keep them safe so they can provide you with long-lasting value.

Do An Assessment

Start your plan by assessing what you have on your patio, deck, or in your backyard. What pieces are the most vulnerable? Should lightweight items like small chairs, pillows and other accessories be placed in a storage shed, or brought inside, to keep heavy winds from blowing them away? Determine which items need the protection of a sheltered location, and the space you have available for them. Getting ahead of the storm is what matters most. If you have umbrellas, they should be your first priority for protection. Unexpected wind gusts can cause an umbrella to act like a sail and lift out of its base, which can cause damage to the umbrella and to other property. For this reason, umbrellas should always be closed when not in use, with the canopy tied to the frame. A powerful wind, however, can still tip an umbrella over. Heavier umbrella bases, while costing a bit more, make your umbrella more resistant to strong winds. When a major storm is in the forecast, preventative measures for umbrellas center around whether to leave them outdoors or store them inside. In either case, protective covers will reduce the chance of an umbrella getting damaged in a storm or while in storage. Determine if any of your furniture or accessories have the potential to do structural damage if they become airborne. Even the lightest pieces could damage windows if not properly secured.

If You Can’t Store Your Furniture

If you are unable to store your furniture, there are ways to protect it from the elements and secure it from being damaged. Some furniture might not be as vulnerable to heavy rain and winds as you think.

Cover It

Once you know what you cannot safely store, the next step is to determine what you can and should cover. When choosing covers, you specifically want waterproof, outdoor furniture covers because they are the most durable. We recommend looking for a fitted cover that is designed for the specific piece – like this one for a table, or this one for a sofa. A fitted cover will pull closer to the piece and keep the moisture and dirt out.

The Paddy O’ Difference

Some outdoor furniture will be perfectly fine if it remains uncovered. At Paddy O’ Furniture, we design and develop our furniture collections to withstand heat, intense UV sunlight, dust and moisture. Our all-weather resin wicker pieces are built to withstand the elements. Our collections with powder-coated metal frames are designed this way, too. Of course, you may need to do some cleanup after a storm. A gentle spray from a garden hose is often enough to clean the frames and our durable Bliss Cushions, but sometimes a wipe down with a microfiber rag and diluted dish soap is required. Always dry the furniture frames before replacing the cushions. Our Bliss Cushions can withstand Mother Nature’s most extreme abuse. Storing them in a sheltered place will prevent them from blowing away. And if that should happen, please know you can replace Bliss Cushions easily. You can also cover your cushions with your frames during a storm. If you choose this option, we recommend setting your cushions on end to form a slope, allowing rain to run off the covers and prevent puddling.

Think Ahead When Buying Outdoor Furniture

As with most things, the best defense is a good offense. The best time to plan for heavy storms is when you buy your outdoor furniture. Start by thinking about where you might store the pieces you buy, or how you will cover them for protection. Then think about the furniture that can remain outdoors and hold up to heavy rain and wind. For outdoor furniture that will constantly be exposed to the elements, consider a powder-coated metal frame, like our Peninsula Collection, or a durable all-weather HDPE (high-density polyethylene) eco-wood such as the material we use for our Adirondack chairs and Patriot Collection. The frames for these pieces will be heavier and are built to withstand weather extremes. And, as mentioned above, synthetic wicker furniture, like our Madison Collection, will hold up equally well to our metal and eco-wood frames when left outside.

Accessorize Wisely

Accessories enhance the look and feel of every outdoor space, but they can be a problem when bad weather hits. If you love lots of pillows, and who doesn’t, then consider placing them in a patio storage box to hide them away before the storm arrives. A rug can really bring the décor of a patio together, but not all of them are made for outdoor use. Purchase an outdoor rug with a fabric that is stain-resistant and UV-stabilized for an open-air setting.

Keep Cleanup Tools Handy

When you are buying furniture, ask about the best way to keep it fresh and looking clean. With some pieces, all you need is dish soap and water. For others, you might need a specific formula. Care and maintenance vary from furniture frame to furniture frame, and from stain to stain. A partial list of cleaning tips and solutions you can mix at home is available here. Paddy O’ also offers spray cleaner and protectant that can keep your furniture looking its best. Don’t limit your cleanup supplies to liquids and sprays. Environments like Arizona often have more dust storms than rain storms. You may want to keep an effective patio duster on hand to gently remove any dirt. If you are looking to furnish your patio with the furniture that personalizes your space, or if you need to replace outdoor furniture that has been damaged, Paddy O’ Furniture can help. Visit one of our showrooms in Arizona or Tennessee, or check us out online, to create your dream backyard and Find Your Patio Bliss!
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