Can you leave outdoor furniture in the rain?

We're discussing if you can leave outdoor furniture in the rain and exploring how different materials perform in wet weather...

Let’s face it, it often feels like it never stops raining in the UK. But what does this mean for your outdoor furniture? Can you leave it outside in the rain?
Or do you have to keep dragging it indoors anytime things get a bit soggy?  

Believe it or not, this is one of the most popular questions we get at Lazy Susan. So join us as we discuss what to do with your garden furniture when it rains. We’ll look at the different types of materials like metal, wood, rattan, and more.

Can I leave my garden furniture in the rain? 

Can I Leave My Garden Furniture in the Rain?

Before we cover the different types of outdoor furniture, let’s say straight away that you might be able to leave your garden furniture in the rain. 

It all depends on the type of materials your furniture is made from, as well as the quality of the materials.

Indeed, some outdoor furniture is completely weather-resistant, while others will easily rust and develop mildew.

To help you decide what types of outdoor furniture you might want to go with, let’s take a look at how the most popular ones react when it rains.

1. Aluminium Outdoor Furniture 

Aluminium Outdoor Furniture

Aluminium outdoor furniture is the most weather-resistant type of garden furniture you can buy. This is especially true if you opt for high-grade cast aluminium furniture, which is the type we make and sell at Lazy Susan.

By its very definition, aluminium furniture won’t rust, rot, mould, or develop mildew. Whenever it rains, you can leave your tables and chairs outside without worrying that they’ll be severely damaged. 

That said, even the best aluminium furniture has a lifespan and you can extend yours by covering it up during wintry rain (which can otherwise weaken its material).

2. Wooden Furniture 

Wooden Furniture

While wooden furniture is one of the most aesthetically pleasing types of garden furniture, it’s not the best at dealing with bad weather.

In fact, I always recommend that people take their wooden furniture indoors when it rains and this goes for both hardwood and softwood. 

A slight caveat is that hardwood can deal with the elements better than softwood. However, both will lose their colour over time if exposed to the sun’s UV rays too often and both may absorb moisture when it rains. This leads to problems like water logging and, as a consequence, rotting and cracking.

3. Plastic Garden Furniture 

Plastic Garden Furniture

Plastic garden furniture is often seen as a cost-effective solution for UK homeowners operating on a budget.

And while plastic furniture may not be super expensive, it can be left outside in the rain due to the fact that it won’t rust or rot (it physically can’t rust!). 

However, the issue with plastic furniture is that it’s so lightweight it can easily be knocked over by strong gusts of wind. So when it’s raining and windy, you might want to take your plastic tables and chairs inside. 

4. Rattan Garden Furniture 

Rattan Garden Furniture

There are two types of rattan furniture: natural and synthetic.

First, let’s take a look at synthetic rattan. Made from polyethylene (PE), it can be left outside in the rain since it’s waterproof. But like most outdoor furniture, there are limits to what it can withstand — so it’s important to always keep an eye on it and clean it regularly.

On the other hand, leaving natural rattan in the rain can cause wear and tear and decrease its lifespan. Mould and mildew can develop in the weaving if you're not able to dry out your furniture quickly enough. 

Tips for caring for your outdoor furniture in the rain 

Your garden furniture will inevitably get wet at some point. Here are three tips on how you can protect it:

1. Buy protective covers

You can buy protective furniture covers that shield your tables and chairs from the rain. Make sure to purchase ones with plenty of air holes to prevent moisture from building up.

2. Clean your furniture twice a month

Exposure to rain can cause your outdoor furniture to stain, discolour, and experience other adverse effects. This is why it’s good practice to take a damp cloth to your items at least twice a month to prevent the accumulation of dirt and maintain cleanliness. 

3. Apply a protective finish

Exactly what you use as a protective finish may depend on the materials your furniture is made of. Wooden furniture, for example, will benefit from varnish, which soaks into the wood — helping to stop moisture from building up.

We also recommend asking your retailer for advice on which protective finish to use. 

Final Thoughts 

Ultimately, some types of furniture like aluminium can be left outside in the rain. While others, such as wooden furniture, should be taken indoors. 

If you have opted for any kind of furniture that has metal frames, make sure to regularly monitor them for signs of rust — as this will need to be nipped in the bud as soon as possible to prevent long-term damage. 

Share this article
Please enter these characters in the following text field.

The fields marked with * are required.