Rectangular green air bag on a table with a cover being pulled over it

Originally Posted: 02/17/2022

If you've ever gone outside to use your covered patio furniture after a rainy night, it's common to find water accumulating on the cover. Many people experience this, but it's not ideal for your cover. You may wonder what the best solution to this is and we have the answer. We'll cover signs of serious damage to be wary of from pooling water and the best prevention methods, so your furniture is always protected.

Causes of Pooling Water

One common cause of pooling water is a cover being too large for its intended piece of furniture. This creates low points in the cover that traps water until you remove the cover. Water pooling is also often seen when covering a table and chairs with one cover. The height of the chair backs compared to the tabletop causes a large dip in the cover where rain and snow gather. Water can collect on just about any furniture, so head outside after a rainy day and see which furniture covers are being affected.

You may be asking, "Why does pooling water affect covers if they are waterproof?". They are intended to repel water using a water-resistant coating, but they are not designed to hold stagnate water for long periods. If the pooling water isn't removed, damage to the cover and your furniture can occur.

Negative Effects of Pooling Water

Cover Damage

Over time, pooling water will begin to promote the growth of mold and mildew on both the interior and exterior of the cover. This will often appear like a few black spots and won't cause much worry at first. When these spots are left untreated, they will increase in size and spread across the furniture cover, resulting in varying degrees of discoloration. In most cases, small areas of mild mold or mildew growth can be easily cleaned with a quality fabric cleaner.  

Rainwater alone cannot deteriorate the integrity of your cover, but pooling water combined with low temperatures can be a recipe for disaster for your cover. Though a light rain might not seem like much of a threat, the collective weight combined with sharp corners of furniture can be enough to tear large holes in your cover, leaving your furniture soaking wet and exposed to the elements. In the colder months, the pooling rainwater can freeze and expand, leading to rips and tears that make your cover unusable.

Furniture Damage

Though patio furniture covers are designed to be water-resistant, not waterproof, pooling water can leak through if left long enough. Your once protected patio furniture will be exposed to the water and can have lasting effects structurally and aesthetically in the form of rust, warping, and mold & mildew.

Water Pooling Solutions

Air Bags

Using a high-quality air bag will keep your patio furniture covers performing their best and keep your investment protected by filling the low points and promoting water runoff.

Variety of air bag sizes and shapes available

How to Install Air Bags

  • Our air bags are available in square, rectangular, and round shapes to accommodate a variety of patio furniture styles.
  • Choose an air bag that matches the shape of your furniture. For example, a round table/chair set should use a round air bag, and a sofa should use a rectangular one.
  • Use an air bag that is slightly smaller than your furniture. You may need to use multiple air bags to fill the space.
  • If you already own an air pump, purchase air bags individually. Or, opt for an air bag and air pump set, so you're ready to go as soon as your order arrives.

Rectangular air bag used on a table

DIY Alternatives

A common yet less effective way to prevent pooling water is to place upside-down buckets in the low points of the cover just like you would with an air bag. This will create a slope in your cover which will promote water runoff. The downside to buckets is the space they take up, unadjustable height, and aesthetics. Though having one or two buckets to store away doesn't sound like much, it could be a real headache if each of your furniture pieces needs one. Also, consider that buckets are one height and won't always be a great solution for all of your furniture. Some pieces like grills, accent tables, and ottomans, to name a few, would need a much lower height than a table and chairs. The bucket method is a cheap alternative if you are in a pinch and need a quick temporary fix, but they don't perform as well as a quality air bag.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Water Leak Through a Outdoor Furniture Cover?

Though furniture covers are water-resistant, they are not waterproof. If pooling water is left on a cover long enough, the water will begin to seep through to your furniture. If you want to learn more about the myth of waterproof furniture covers, check out our full breakdown.

Can I Clean Mold and Mildew?

Yes. Though the results may vary depending on the severity of the stains. Check out our quick cleaning guide for more information.

How Do I Find a Cover That Fits Correctly?

As we previously discussed, a large fitting cover will result in excess fabric, leading to pooling water and all the negative side effects (mold, mildew, rust). When shopping for a furniture cover, you want to get cover as close to the dimensions as possible. Keep in mind that there has to be some room to get the cover on and off comfortably.

Finding the Right Size Cover

  • Take accurate measurements of your furniture to ensure a properly fitting cover. If you need additional help, check out our how-to-measure
  • Explore different sizing options to find the closest fit
  • If you are having trouble finding the right size, consider a custom size cover for a perfect fit.

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