Protecting Your Outdoor Furniture from Mold and Mildew


It’s frustrating (to say the least) when you buy a new set of outdoor furniture for the patio, only to discover unsightly mold and mildew on it just weeks later. Not only is it an eyesore, but the presence of mold and mildew may also pose a risk to your family’s health. People with allergies and asthma are particularly sensitive to these fungal spores. So, how can you protect your outdoor furniture from mold and mildew?

What Causes Mold and Mildew?

To better protect your outdoor furniture from mold and mildew, you must first understand what causes it. Like all forms of fungi, mold and mildew is formed as a result of mold spores consuming organic matter. Mold spores are all around us; they are in our homes, our cars, our places of work, and of course the patio. The good news is that mold typically only thrives in moist, humid conditions – and it needs organic matter to survive.

Because mold and mildew thrive in moist conditions, certain regions during certain times of the year will be more prone to its growth. If you live in a southern state like Florida, for instance, you may have greater difficulty keeping your furniture mold-free than if you lived in a northern state like Washington.

Keep Your Outdoor Furniture Clean

Cleaning your outdoor furniture on a regular basis will naturally protect it from mold and mildew. When dust settles on the surface of a chair or table, it acts as organic “food” for mold and mildew; thus, allowing it to thrive. By cleaning your outdoor furniture, however, you’ll make it that much more difficult for fungi to reproduce. It’s not a fool-proof way to prevent mold and mildew, but it’s one more tactic that can be used to help maintain your outdoor furniture.

Choose the Right Furniture

The material from which your outdoor furniture is made will also play a role in the formation of mold and mildew. Plastic furniture, although cheap, is resistant to fungi because it contains no organic matter. Unless dust settles on the surfaces, there’s simply no way for mold or mildew to form. However, there are certain types of wood furniture that are also resistant to fungi, including cedar.

Cedar – genuine cedar, not fake/faux – contains natural oils with anti-fungal properties. So even if mold or mildew attempts to grow on outdoor cedar furniture, the oils will fight it off.  This is one of the reasons why so many homeowners prefer cedar furniture for their porch or patio.


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