It's difficult to enjoy your patio when the furniture is covered in mildew. The green slime-like substance may prevent you and your guests from sitting, thereby lowering the utility of this space. And whether you live on the East Coast, West Coast or somewhere in between, mildew will likely occur. The good news is that you can protect your patio furniture from mildew by following a few simple steps.
Choose the Mildew-Resistant Furniture
Perhaps the most effective way to protect your patio furniture from mildew is to choose furniture that's resistant to this phenomenon. Mildew is essentially a type of fungi that thrives in moist, humid environments. Like other fungi, it feasts on organic matter (wood, dust, leaves, etc.). Because plastic is inorganic, plastic patio furniture is naturally protected from mildew.
There are other types of mildew-resistant patio furniture, however. Teak, for example, is a type of exotic hardwood that contains natural mildew-fighting oils. The natural oils of teak wood protect it from rot, decay, mold and mildew, making it an excellent choice for patio furniture. Keep in mind that teak furniture typically costs more than plastic or other types of furniture. If you're on a budget, you may want to choose a different type of furniture for this reason.
Keep It Dry
Keeping your patio furniture dry will discourage it from developing mildew. Going back to the basics of mildew and why it happens, all mildew is fungi -- and all fungi need moisture to thrive. As long as you keep your patio furniture dry, it shouldn't develop mildew. So, consider placing your furniture under a covered area, such as a roof or awning, so that it isn't exposed to rain and the elements. And if you discover that your patio furniture is wet, wipe it down with a towel to dry it.
In addition to keeping your patio furniture dry, you should also clean it on a regular basis. Mildew needs two main things to survive: moisture and organic matter. When organic matter like dust accumulates on your furniture, it creates the perfect environment in which mildew can thrive. Therefore, you should clean your patio furniture regularly by hosing it down.
Following these tips will help protect your patio furniture from mildew. Most importantly, though, you should choose high-quality furniture that's naturally resistant to mildew.