Can Outdoor Patio Furniture Get Wet? A Comprehensive Guide

When investing in outdoor patio furniture, it’s essential to understand how various materials react to different weather conditions. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of outdoor patio furniture materials, how they respond to water exposure, and how to prevent and manage water damage. Let’s dive in and explore the world of patio furniture so you can make the best choices for your outdoor living space.

Types of Outdoor Patio Furniture Materials


  • Teak
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedar


  • Aluminum
  • Wrought iron
  • Stainless steel


  • Resin
  • Polyethylene


  • Polyester
  • Olefin
  • Acrylic

How Outdoor Patio Furniture Materials React to Water


Wooden outdoor furniture is popular for its natural beauty and warmth. However, its resistance to water varies depending on the type of wood.

  1. Teak: Known for its exceptional durability and resistance to moisture, teak is a popular choice for outdoor furniture. Its natural oils protect it from water damage and rot, making it low-maintenance compared to other wood types.
  2. Eucalyptus: This hardwood has a high oil content, which helps repel water. However, it’s not as resistant as teak and may require more maintenance to prevent water damage.
  3. Cedar: Cedar is a softwood that is naturally resistant to decay and insect damage. While it can handle some moisture, it’s more susceptible to water damage than hardwoods like teak and eucalyptus.


Metal outdoor furniture offers a sleek, modern look and is available in various styles and finishes.

  1. Aluminum: Lightweight and rust-resistant, aluminum is a popular choice for outdoor furniture. However, it can corrode in coastal areas with high salt content in the air.
  2. Wrought iron: Heavy and durable, wrought iron furniture can withstand water exposure but is prone to rust if not properly maintained.
  3. Stainless steel: Known for its strength and resistance to rust, stainless steel is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture in wet environments. However, it may still corrode in salty or chlorinated environments.


Plastic outdoor furniture is lightweight, affordable, and low-maintenance.

  1. Resin: Resin furniture is water-resistant and easy to clean, making it ideal for poolside or wet environments. However, it can become brittle over time, especially in cold climates.
  2. Polyethylene: This type of plastic is resistant to water, UV rays, and fading. However, it may be susceptible to mold and mildew growth if not properly cleaned and maintained.


Outdoor fabrics are designed to withstand the elements, but their performance varies depending on the material.

  1. Polyester: Polyester fabrics are water-resistant but not waterproof. They can handle light rain but may become soaked in heavy downpours.
  2. Olefin: Olefin fabrics are more water-resistant than polyester and dry quickly. They also resist mold and mildew growth.
  3. Acrylic: Acrylic fabrics are water-resistant, fade-resistant, and durable. They’re a popular choice for outdoor cushions and umbrellas.

Preventing and Managing Water Damage

Proper Maintenance

Proper maintenance is essential to prolong the life of your outdoor furniture and protect it from water damage.

  1. Cleaning and sealing wood furniture: Clean wooden furniture regularly with mild soapy water and a soft brush. Apply a water-repellent sealer annually to maintain the wood’s natural oils and prevent water damage.
  2. Cleaning and maintaining metal furniture: Wipe metal furniture down with a damp cloth and soapy water. For wrought iron and steel, remove rust spots with sandpaper or a wire brush, and apply a rust-resistant primer and paint to prevent further corrosion.
  3. Cleaning and maintaining plastic furniture: Use a mild detergent and a soft brush to clean plastic furniture. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or brushes, as they can damage the surface.
  4. Caring for fabric furniture: Remove cushions and fabric covers, and wash them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow them to dry completely before reassembling to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Protective Covers

Using protective covers is an effective way to shield your outdoor furniture from water damage.

  1. Types of covers: Choose covers made from water-resistant or waterproof materials, such as polyester or vinyl. Ensure they fit snugly and have ventilation to prevent condensation.
  2. Benefits of using covers: Covers protect your furniture from water, UV rays, and debris, extending its lifespan and reducing maintenance.


Proper storage is crucial, especially during harsh weather or off-season months.

  1. Seasonal storage options: Store your outdoor furniture in a garage, shed, or basement during winter months or when not in use. If indoor storage is not possible, use heavy-duty waterproof covers and secure them tightly.
  2. Tips for proper storage: Clean and dry your furniture thoroughly before storing it. Store cushions and fabric separately in a dry, well-ventilated area to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Choosing the Right Outdoor Patio Furniture for Your Climate

Assessing Your Local Weather Patterns

Consider your region’s typical weather conditions, such as rainfall, humidity, and temperature fluctuations, when selecting outdoor furniture.

Selecting Furniture Materials Based on Weather Conditions

  • For humid and wet climates, choose teak, stainless steel, or plastic furniture that can handle moisture and resist mold and mildew growth.
  • For coastal areas, opt for materials that resist corrosion, such as aluminum or stainless steel.
  • In hot, sunny climates, look for UV-resistant materials like polyethylene or acrylic fabrics to prevent fading and deterioration.

Balancing Style, Durability, and Maintenance Needs

When choosing outdoor furniture, consider the balance between aesthetics, durability, and the level of maintenance required. Invest in quality materials and construction to ensure your furniture lasts and performs well in your specific climate.


Understanding how outdoor patio furniture reacts to water and weather conditions is crucial for making informed choices and ensuring your investment lasts. By selecting appropriate materials, maintaining your furniture properly, and using protective covers and storage, you can enjoy your outdoor space regardless of the weather. Embrace the beauty of outdoor living and create a comfortable, inviting space for friends and family to gather.


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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