Wicker has been the go-to type of furniture for styling outdoor spaces such as patios for some time now. It is especially popular when it comes to beachfront resorts and upscale commercial venues. There is no doubt that the material is modern and stylish and adds a decorative style to the space. That being said, one of the questions that people ask is; can wicker get wet and if so how can wicker handle water; that is, what happens to wicker furniture when it gets wet? The answer to this question lies in understanding the nitty-gritties when it comes to wicker as a material. There are two types of wicker; there is natural wicker, and there is synthetic resin wicker.
Wicker and rattan
Even though wicker and rattan are sometimes used interchangeably, they do have nuanced differences. For example, wicker is the type of weave used to make the actual wicker furniture, while rattan is the natural plant fiber material used on the wicker furniture. The answer to the said question on wicker furniture when it gets wet depends on the type of wicker itself. Synthetic wicker fiber, ostensibly made up of polyethylene and PVC, doesn’t actually get a lot of damage when it is exposed to water. This is the reason why it is preferred when it comes to outdoor furniture. Rattan, on the other hand, which is natural wicker resin, is in fact affected if the furniture is left out, exposed to the elements over a long period. Moreover, it is constantly wet; without being given ample time to dry out, it will face some consequences.
Effects of water on natural wicker
There are a plethora of consequences that take effect when furniture is made from natural wicker resin. Some of them include;
- Losing of structural support – Those who make wicker furniture normally Interweave wooden reeds. They dry these wooden reeds to make sure that they are strong enough to maintain the functionality of that particular piece of furniture. However, if the said reeds are saturated with water, that is, they are exposed to high amounts of water over a long time and are not given sufficient time to dry out, they will lose their structural support. Note that slight splashing from a hose or a swimming pool or infrequent light rain will not damage the furniture. To protect your furniture from water-induced deterioration, you have to make sure that you waterproof your furniture.
- Mold and mildew – The interwoven reeds used to make the wicker furniture, if high levels of water or moisture are present, will be great breeding spots for bacteria. The bacteria get stuck between the reeds, and over time, with the almost perpetual presence of water, take over the furniture. Mold and mildew are some of the most notorious cases of bacteria and unwanted organisms taking hold of your furniture. Mold is especially prevalent when it comes to the presence of both moisture and sunlight. It can cause the furniture to lose its structural integrity and cause it to deteriorate in terms of aesthetic appeal. The best way to handle mold and mildew is to prevent it from even happening since if they are allowed even slightly to inhibit the furniture, they will take over the entire piece or pieces instantly. You have to make sure that you prevent them from even occurring. One way of doing this is by pretreating your furniture with the right chemicals, which will reduce the possibility of mildew and mold from developing. Moreover, you can decide to avoid the trouble and get wicker furniture made from synthetic resin.
- Odor – Another consequence of a lot of moisture or water content in the wicker is odor. The longer the furniture has a mold or mildew problem, the more likely it is to develop odor problems. This is because wicker actually decays when it is infested with mold or mildew. The odor is a consequence of this decay. The odor can really be off-putting, especially when visitors and guests are involved. Thus, you need to ensure that this particular slippery slope does not occur. The most effective way of doing so is by simply not letting your wicker furniture from getting wet. Alternatively, as stated earlier, you can opt to get the synthetic wicker material, which will be far less costly in the long run. If you still want to get natural material wicker fiber, you have to use cleaning agents when the odor occurs.
- Loss of finishes – Staining and painting are some of the ways through which wicker furniture is finished. The finishes give the wicker more life while also making it easy to incorporate them in your residence or workplace according to the color scheme. If not properly guarded against the elements, let alone water and moisture, the wicker furniture will slowly but surely lose its finish, and ergo is the aesthetic appeal. This fact is proliferated and accentuated when you consider that mold and mildew may take over the furniture. Water damage, as you may have seen in other types of furniture and materials. Will directly contribute to the staining of wicker furniture and even fading. Excessive paint to water, such as rain, will result in the chipping and falling off the finishes used on the wicker furniture.
Placement of natural fiber wicker furniture
As you may have seen, there are many downsides when you expose the wicker furniture made from natural resin to a lot of water and moisture. You can only do so much, and even if you forget about the furniture out for one day, and it rains heavily, you will be setting yourself out for disaster. Thus, if you want to get some wicker furniture for an outdoor space, you will have to go with synthetic material wicker furniture. There is only so much that water-proofing can do since even if it can protect against water, it may not hinder the development of mold, mildew, and other elements. Natural wicker furniture, you may have seen, is not suitable for the outdoors. However, the synthetic wicker resin material is. This means that all you will have to do is acquiesce a bit, and you will get the aesthetic appeal you were looking for in your outdoors.