Rolling out an outdoor rug on your deck is a great way to dress up your outside spaces and make them feel just as warm and comfortable as those indoors. But many people have reservations about doing so, and wonder if outdoor rugs can harm or ruin their deck. The short answer is that outdoor rugs are actually made to go on decks, and you have many great deck rug options at your fingertips. The key is to take care of them and follow a few easy steps to keep things clean and dry. We’ll fill you in on everything you need to know below.
Can outdoor rugs cause damage to decks?
If you properly take care of your outdoor rug and deck, your rug will not cause damage to your outdoor spaces. But if left neglected, outdoor rugs can stain your deck or cause mold or mildew to grow within both the rug and the deck, causing damage that might be costly to fix. We know this sounds worrisome, but don’t fret! We’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to keep both your rug and deck in tip-top shape. Keep reading!
How do you prevent outdoor rugs from ruining your deck?
In order to keep your deck and outdoor rug in good shape, you’ll want to follow a few pieces of easy advice.
Clean your rug regularly. You don’t want to allow dirt, leaves, or other debris to accumulate in or underneath your rug. Give your rug a regular vacuuming to prevent dirt build-up—once a week or so should do the trick, depending on how dirty your outdoor spaces get. You can also use a broom or give the rug a swift shake to remove any dirt. Don’t forget to clean underneath the rug, where leaves and other debris can build up and cause mold growth.
Clean up messes as they happen. You always want to act quickly when a mess is made on your rug. For everything you need to know about cleaning up spots and stains on your rug, check out our thorough guide here.
Dry your rug after it gets wet. Though outdoor rugs are made to be water-resistant, that doesn’t mean they’re entirely impervius to rain, snow, and mud. When you notice your rug is wet, roll it up and allow it to dry thoroughly on a railing or laid on a flat, non-wood surface in the sun. Make sure both sides of the rug are dry before putting it back on your deck. This will help prevent mold from growing within the fibers and prolong the health of your rug.
Don’t place your rug on a damp deck. Just as your rug should be dry to go on the deck, your deck should be dry to accommodate the rug. Placing a rug on a damp surface will only promote mildew and rot, which will ultimately break down the fibers of your rug and weaken your deck.
Clean your deck regularly. Everything that lives outside deserves a good cleaning every once and awhile, and your deck is no exception. Roll up your rug and give the deck a thorough cleaning once or twice a year—at the beginning and the end of your outdoor season would be a great time to get it done. While you’re at it, check on the condition of your deck, note any damage, and get it fixed before it worsens.
Don’t use your rug to cover up damage. Outdoor rugs should not be used as a bandaid to hide rotten planks, splinters, and other unsightly areas of your deck. If your deck is damaged, have it fixed first, and then add a rug. If you roll out a rug over the damage, it will likely only make the issue worse.
Why put an outdoor rug on your deck?
We love adding outdoor rugs to our backyards, decks, and patios. They’re a great addition for many reasons. Outdoor rugs look amazing outside, adding color, pattern, texture, and making the space feel just as homey as your indoor areas. They add comfort and softness under foot to your outdoor spots, and help protect feet from splinters and other rough surfaces. Outdoor rugs also protect your deck, and help prevent scratches and damage from heavy furniture and bad weather.
What kind of rug can go on the deck?
When it comes to putting a rug on your deck—or any other uncovered space outside—we highly recommend choosing a rug made specifically for outdoor use. Regular indoor rugs, and specifically those made from natural fibers like jute or wool, are not meant to be placed outside. When wet, these indoor rugs will trap water inside their fibers, which will lead to mold, mildew, and the staining of your deck over time.
An outdoor rug, also referred to as an indoor/outdoor rug, will be your best bet to help prevent damage to your deck. Crafted from durable synthetic materials, these rugs are made to withstand the elements and are mildew- and mold-resistant, resistant to fading from the sun, and designed to dry quickly.
Is an indoor/outdoor rug safe for wood decks?
Outdoor rugs are perfectly safe to roll out on a wood deck, and decks made of composite materials too. But for extra protection, we recommend sealing your wood deck with a stain-resistant and waterproofing deck sealer. This will also help protect your deck from fading, and prevent a weird rug-shaped spot from forming on the surface of your deck where the sunlight didn’t fade it.
Outdoor rugs are especially great choices for wood decks that have larger spaces between the planks. These spaces allow the rugs to better drain after they get wet, and therefore help prevent mold and mildew from growing within the rug fibers.
Can you leave an outdoor rug on the deck all year round?
It all depends on where you live. If you live in a place that has a rainy or snowy season, we recommend rolling up your rug and storing it inside until the wet season has passed. The same goes with cold weather—and any other type of weather that discourages you from using your outdoor spaces for a long period of time. If you won’t be outside for several months at a time, go ahead and store your rug so you don’t have to worry about caring for it.