Do Outdoor Rugs Need To Be Covered? (Explained)

Outdoor rugs are made to withstand different weather conditions and outdoor elements. Outdoor rugs are excellent for protecting your decks and are normally made from synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and polypropylene. And these materials can handle outdoor elements.

Since outdoor rugs are made to handle different types of weather conditions, they do not need to be covered. You can cover them in extreme weather conditions but it is not necessary.

Here is when outdoor rugs need a cover:

Covering outdoor rugs would be entirely out of preference. Outdoor rugs normally last for up to three years, even under extreme conditions. If you want to prolong the lifespan of your outdoor rug you can cover it.

Can You Leave Outdoor Rugs Out In The Rain?

Outdoor rugs can definitely be left outside in the rain. Synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and polypropylene are generally water-resistant.

They are not absorbent so any liquid that spills on the rug would not seep through the fibers. If your rug gets wet from the rain, it would not be ruined.

However, if your rug gets exposed to rain for a long period of time, it may be a good idea to put it away for a bit or to cover it.

Dirt can still accumulate in the rug fibers and if your rug just stays wet, the fibers can be a breeding ground for bacteria or mold.

Also, make sure to wash your rug after prolonged exposure to the rain as dirt may have already accumulated in it. Outdoor rugs can be quite easy to maintain.

Once all the rain stops and the weather becomes bright and sunny, it would be the perfect time to wash your rugs. Synthetic material outdoor rugs can definitely be placed in the wash, on a gentle cycle with cold water and your usual detergent.

Then lay it flat outside to dry under the sun. Make sure it is completely dry before you put it back.

Is It Recommended To Cover Outdoor Rugs?

Outdoor rugs are designed to be left outside in different weather conditions – even the harshest ones. So you actually do not need to cover them even if it rains or snows.

However, if the weather is harsh, you can cover your outdoor rugs out of personal preference.

It is not required, but it is a good idea to do so if you really want to protect your rug and make sure it lasts long.

Alternatively, if you know beforehand that the weather forecast is bad, you can store your rug. Just roll it up and store it somewhere in your house with not a lot of humidity and moisture. And when the weather is nice again, you can simply put the rug back in its place.

Do Outdoor Patio Rugs Get Moldy?

Fibers that tend to absorb moisture are ideal breeding grounds for mold and mildew, especially when they are exposed to different outdoor elements.

Moisture helps mold and mildew spores to grow.

Outdoor rugs are usually made from synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and polypropylene, and these fibers do not hold on to moisture very well. They tend to resist moisture and liquid spills.

In turn, these rugs generally do not tend to get moldy. Because they do not absorb moisture, mold and mildew cannot grow on them.

However, you have to make sure that these rugs stay clean. This is because even if mold and mildew cannot grow on them, dirt can still accumulate in the fibers.

And a thick layer of dirt can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

The easiest way to keep these rugs free from dirt is by vacuuming them regularly. At least twice a month, vacuum both sides of the rug.

This will remove the dirt and debris, and it will loosen any packed dirt that is trapped in the fibers. After vacuuming, you can give the rug a light shake and put it back on the floor.

Can You Use An Outdoor Rug On An Uncovered Patio?

Outdoor rugs can be placed on an uncovered patio. These rugs can be beautiful and are nice decor additions to your outdoor spaces to make them look warm and cozy.

But they are also tough, durable, and made to withstand different weather conditions.

Even if you place outdoor rugs on an uncovered patio, they would not get damaged by outdoor elements. They are made to be left outside all year long.

And as long as you give them the right care and attention, they will last for a few years.

Should You Dry Outdoor Rugs After A Rainfall?

After a rainfall, it is recommended to dry your outdoor rugs. Constant exposure to water and humidity can still shorten the lifespan of your outdoor rugs.

If you let water or moisture stay on the rug fibers for a long period of time, it can cause mold and mildew to grow.

While outdoor rugs resist mold and mildew, the dirt that accumulates on your rug can still be a breeding ground for them.

This is why it is important to dry your outdoor rugs after rainfall. However, before you dry them, it is recommended that you clean and wash them first.

This is to remove the dirt that gets stuck in the rug fibers during the rain.

You can manually wash them or put them in your washing machine.

If you opt to manually wash your rug, you can use a hose or a water bucket to completely wet the rug. Then just take your usual detergent and mix it with water, and use a soft brush to scrub the soap mixture into the rug.

Let the soap mixture sit for about ten minutes, and then you can rinse your rug and lay it flat outside to dry.

If you opt to wash your rug using your washing machine, then make sure to do it in a gentle cycle.

Use cold water and your usual detergent, and then run the gentle wash and rinse cycle. Do not spin dry. After the wash and rinse cycle, lay it flat outside to dry.

How Do You Best Cover Outdoor Rugs?

If you want to cover your outdoor rugs, it would be best to do it using non-porous materials.

A plastic tarp should do the trick as it is big enough to cover your rug and it would protect the rug from rainfall and snow. It is also not expensive.

Before covering your rug, you must do these two steps to make sure your rug is protected under the cover.

  • Place a rug pad underneath to protect the backside of the rug from any moisture coming from the floor. Even if the rug is covered on the top side, you still need to make sure that the backside is protected.
  • Clean the rug by vacuuming it on both sides and giving it a light shake to remove any dirt from its fibers. It would be useless to cover the rug if you will do it when the rug is dirty because bacteria can grow while the rug is covered.

When covering your outdoor rug with a plastic tarp, make sure to secure the plastic tarp with tape.

Use a tape that would be suitable for your deck or flooring. You would want a tape that would not ruin your deck or leave marks on it.

Alternatively, you can just store your outdoor rug instead of covering it, especially if you will not be using the rug for a few weeks. This would be an easier and more practical solution.

Simply roll up the rug, cover it with a plastic tarp, and secure it with a rope or a bungee cord. Then store it somewhere dry.

If you opt to store your outdoor rug, make sure that you clean it first by vacuuming to remove loose dirt and debris.

While covering or storing your outdoor rugs is not necessary, it is a good idea especially when you know beforehand that the weather is going to be bad.

Your outdoor rugs can be left outside in harsh weather and they would still look good after. But covering them is an extra step that you can take to protect your outdoor rugs and help make them last longer.


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