Is Rattan Furniture Waterproof?
“Is rattan waterproof?” is a question we often hear from customers searching for rattan garden furniture. The British weather is always unpredictable. So it's hardly surprising that homeowners want to ensure the garden furniture they buy can deal handle the many days of rain that are usually forecast each year in the UK.
It’s important to ensure your rattan furniture is protected against the elements so you get good value for your money. Below we go into more detail about the difference between waterproof and weatherproof rattan, what to look out for to ensure you purchase the right type of furniture and how to protect rattan from the elements.
What’s The Difference Between Weatherproof And Waterproof?
There can sometimes be confusion about the difference between weatherproof and waterproof materials and it’s helpful to be aware of why they are not the same thing.
When you read that rattan furniture is weatherproof this means it is resistance to damage caused by weather conditions. For example, this could stop frost from penetrating the material which could lead splitting, rotting or some other form of damage.
On the other hand, waterproof material offers protection against rain and other liquids. This means that moisture will land on the surface of the material but it will not be absorbed and remains on the surface until it dries or falls off.
Is Rattan Furniture Weatherproof?
While the concept of something being weatherproof is fantastic, there are often limits as to what your rattan furniture is capable of withstanding. Some rattan garden furniture is weatherproof but like most materials there are limits to what it can withstand. Because the material used in our rattan furniture is sourced from hot, tropical countries, this means it has high levels of natural resistance to UV rays and periods of rainfall.
However, the materials we use have that natural protection included, so its weatherproofing properties are impressive when dealing with the UK climate. Actually, thanks to our sourcing, our natural rattan furniture has far superior weatherproofing components than synthetic rattan furniture.
But then, we are still not suggesting you should simply leave your rattan garden furniture set outside and uncovered simply because you know it is UV resistant. We strongly suggest spending time cleaning with soapy water and covering with rain covers to prevent mildew building, as well as preserving the integrity of the weave. For us, a good quality garden furniture cover is essential if you want to reduce the chances of your rattan furniture, or even wicker furniture, from rotting.
What Furniture is Waterproof?
We have mentioned weatherproofing, but what about furniture that is waterproof? In this instance, you do not have too many options.
Actually, if you are searching for outdoor furniture that can be left there for long periods, then you have only one option, and that is furniture made from polypropylene. However, that is plastic, and it's not as easy on the eye as rattan furniture, so it's understandable if you would prefer outdoor rattan specifically designed for outdoor use.
So here is the apparent problem in that no rattan is waterproof. But do keep in mind it is weatherproof, so it can cope with frost, sun, and rain especially when you care for your furniture correctly.
What Garden Furniture Can Be Left Outside?
So if natural rattan is not the best choice, you probably want to know, can rattan furniture be left outside at all?
The short answer is yes, but there are some important things to look out for. This will ensure you buy good quality items that can withstand long-term outdoor usage. When shopping for rattan garden furniture, here are the most important things to look out for:
UV stabilised rattan
How the rattan itself has been treated is what will determine its weatherproof qualities. You want to ensure the rattan has been ‘UV stabilised’ which means it has gone through treatment that will keep it protected against UV rays (which is vital for use during long hot summers). This will stop the material from fading, or drying out and becoming brittle, where it can split and crack and even rot. It should also be manufactured using Polyethylene resin rattan (PE rattan). This is a man-made alternative, and not a natural wicker (this is the same as the synthetic rattan mentioned above).
The rattan should be built on top of steel frames, so it’s important that this is included in the furniture you buy. Steel is strong and robust metal able to comfortably support body weight when people are seated on your rattan garden furniture for long periods.
Also, be sure to look out for powder-coated steel. The additional coating ensures the material will last for longer and offer protection against outside conditions such as rain, frost and snow. When used in conjunction with a garden furniture cover this should also extended the lifespan of the furniture.
What Outdoor Furniture Is Waterproof?
If you want to know what outdoor furniture can be left outside, and in particular, what furniture is waterproof, you may be surprised to learn the list is very short. The only fully waterproof garden furniture set you can buy would be made from polypropylene, although plastic furniture is in no way as aesthetically pleasing as rattan outdoor furniture and is less likely to become a permanent fixture in your garden due to its disposal nature.
On the other hand, Rattan furniture is completely weatherproof, is able to withstand long periods in the sun without treatment and offers good resistance to rain and frost. For wooden garden furniture there are some coatings that can be applied to the surface but it requires a lot of hard work to keep them in good condition.
So while you aren’t able to buy fully waterproof rattan garden furniture, the set you do own will be more than capable of dealing with the great British outdoors. You should avoid allowing it to get too wet on a consistent basis as this will eventually affect the integrity of the material. But there are ways you can protect rattan furniture in the garden without having to work overtime or spend too much money.
Things are a little different when it comes to waterproof cushions. Whilst the rattan itself needs a little more help, our cushions offer high levels of protection against the rain. That said, we still advise that you bring each cushion inside under shelter, particularly during off-season.
Does Rattan Furniture Rot?
Let's address a key question, can your rattan furniture actually rot?
The short answer is yes, it can, and it's all thanks to the furniture being made from a natural material. However, there are ways in which you can prevent this happening, and that is why you need to be aware of how to correctly care for your furniture.
You should know that your furniture sets are at risk of being damaged if left outside and unprotected.
We use high-quality rattan that has a naturally higher resistance to UV rays and water since it comes from the tropics. That does mean it provides some protection against the British climate, but you should still seek to preserve your rattan furniture in order to prevent degradation over time.
How To Protect Rattan Garden Furniture
If the question is how to waterproof rattan garden furniture, then using a waterproof cover is the answer. In order to shield the wicker rattan weave from moisture in the air then a cover will keep the material dry and ensure you get to enjoy the furniture for even longer. This is especially helpful during the winter when the set is likely not being used.
Rain, frost, hail and snow all arrive at various points of the year, while dust, leaves and bird droppings (which can be acidic) will also test your garden rattan furniture if left uncovered. Using a cover also means you don’t have to worry about finding a storage location for set during late autumn and winter, allowing you to leave it outside.
Our water-resistant covers are made from breathable polyester that reduce condensation which helps prevent your natural rattan garden furniture from developing mould. The material also allows moisture vapour to escape, letting the wicker weave breath and receive air. This helps it to maintain an even temperature and stops the material from sweating and deteriorating.
Applying a simple cleaning regime to your rattan will also help protect it. Rattan is low maintenance and only requires the use of soapy water to keep the material clean. You won't have to wipe down the set every week, but doing so on a monthly basis will ensure it remains dirt free and no mildew can develop on the material.
Finally, Outdoor Cushions
The final point is what you should do with those outdoor cushions. Can they survive being left outside?
It all depends on the cushions you have purchased and the material they are made from. Our cushions are crafted from the best synthetic materials that can easily cope with a downpour and they are also treated to cope with UV rays. However, we do recommend bringing them indoors, or putting away in storage when not in use. This simply helps to preserve the quality of the material.
So, ultimately rattan can rot, but only when you do not take the correct steps to care for it. Provide your rattan furniture with the correct care and protection to eliminate the risk of discovering your furniture has not survive the weather.
What should you do next?
Now that you’ve got the full lowdown on waterproof rattan furniture, you should take a look at our full range. We stock everything from high quality rattan dining sets to rattan sofa sets and rattan cube sets, so no matter how you want to enjoy your garden we have the perfect product for you.
We also offer flexible payment plans by Klarna, helping you manage your budget more effectively. And remember, all our garden furniture is weatherproof, ensuring you get the most from your purchase no matter the time of year.