Wicker, a popular outdoor patio material for furniture, baskets and decorative accessories, is functional and attractive but doesn't hold up well in poor weather. Rain can damage and destroy untreated wicker furniture. Mold and mildew can form on wet wicker furniture, creating odors and causing deterioration.
Softening Structural Support
Wet wicker furniture can lose its structural support. Wicker is made from interwoven wooden reeds that deteriorate when saturated with water. Infrequent light rain or slight splashing from a hose or swimming pool doesn't damage wicker furniture as long as it can dry out. You can waterproof wicker furniture to protect it from water-induced deterioration.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew can form on wet wicker furniture between the interwoven wooden reeds. If wet wicker furniture doesn't dry out, bacteria can get trapped between the reeds. Pretreat wicker furniture with chemicals to reduce the possibility of mold and mildew. You can purchase resin, a synthetic wicker reed, as an alternative to wicker if mold, mildew and allergens are concerns.
Stain and Paint Finishes
Water, sun and wind can damage the finish on wicker furniture if it's not properly safeguarded with shade, coverings or protective treatments. Water damage contributes to staining and fading. Excessive exposure to rain causes the paint on wicker furniture to chip and peel as it dries out.
Wet wicker furniture can develop musty odors, often due to mold and mildew. Offensive odors make wicker furniture unusable for homeowners and guests. You'll need to use cleaning chemicals to eliminate the smell, because superficial fragrant sprays are not powerful enough to eliminate odors.