Will outdoor carpet rot my deck? — Interesting facts

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A rug is a great covering that adds style and comfort not only to a city apartment but also to a summer house or a deck. By placing a beautiful and bright rug outside, you will suddenly see that the whole outdoor seating atmosphere is brought together. But have you ever thought about will an outdoor rug damage a wood deck? The answer is simple — it can.

Therefore, you should not forget that the durability and reliability of your deck, as well as your comfort, will largely depend on your choice of a rug that will have to withstand harsh weather conditions, hence there are increased requirements for its features!

If you still can’t get rid of the thought “Will outdoor carpet rot my deck?”, let’s go through the issue and answer the question of why it is so important to choose the right material for outdoor rugs?

Common types of outdoor rugs for decks

Polypropylene rugs

Polypropylene is one of the best and most practical synthetic materials for outdoor space. This kind of material for an outdoor carpet resists UV rays, making it fade-resistant, stains, and water, as it has low hygroscopicity (moisture absorption).

Moreover, polypropylene offers a low-maintenance option. It can withstand any severe weather condition and will retain its color throughout use.

Olefin outdoor rugs

Another great outdoor rug material is olefin. As well as polypropylene, an olefin outdoor rug is made of synthetic material, it is also stain-resistant and mildew resistant. The fiber dries quickly and does not absorb moisture.

Apart from the above qualities, staining at the production stage makes the fiber extremely fade-resistant, so the sun’s UV rays won’t cause the outdoor carpet to lose its color.

Recycled plastic rugs

Recycled plastic rugs are also perfect for open outdoor spaces. They have resistance to stains and moisture, their color does not fade easily. Besides, these outdoor rugs do not require any special maintenance. They are also light in weight, thus making them easy to handle, and easy to clean.

Natural fiber rugs

Natural fiber rugs like, for example, wool and cotton are made of organic materials. They go well with wood decks, although these materials are absorbent and can be stained easily. Therefore, it might be better to use natural fiber rugs indoors.

Good and bad rug materials for a wooden deck

So, can an outdoor rug damage a deck? Apparently, yes, therefore, not to have to redo the wooden deck, it is better to initially choose the right material for the outdoor carpet, which won’t cause wood rot. Let’s take a look at what outdoor rug materials will be good and bad for your wood deck.

Best outdoor rug materials

The most suitable outdoor rugs for wood decks will be those that consist of synthetic fibers like polypropylene and recycled plastic. The whole point is that synthetic rugs are not just durable and suited for harsh weather, they are also great for holding an excess of water (the main reason for wood rot) and not absorbing it.

Among them the best outdoor rug material is polypropylene. As we already mentioned above, this material is resistant to stains, mold, and mildew. It is lightweight, easy to clean, and dries fast. Thanks to its durability, it can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Worst outdoor rug materials

What materials can ruin your wood deck? Overall, most outdoor rugs dry well. But the worst choice for an outdoor deck is the organic materials.

Natural fibers tend to collect water underneath, trapping it between the outdoor carpeting and decking, thus giving mold a chance to grow. Therefore, you might want to avoid placing such natural fiber rugs like cotton, wool, and jute on wood decks.

Also, do not forget to avoid rugs with a rubber or latex bottom as they trap heat and a lot of moisture, softening and eating away the wood.

How do outdoor rugs damage the deck?

Mold and mildew growth. As was mentioned a few times, outdoor rugs are difficult to clean and they absorb moisture leading to mold and mildew growth between the rug and your decking, as well as inside the rug fibers.

Harmful pets. The gap between the outdoor rug and the wood deck can become a great breeding ground for some insects like termites and fleas that damage wood decks leading to costly losses.

Scratches and scrapes. Indoor and outdoor rugs usually have scratchy bottoms. If you do not add any pads under rugs, it will scrape the top of your deck over time.

Stains on the deck. Poor-quality outdoor carpeting can leave stains on a wood deck after a few wet days. The paint can permanently ingrain into the wood becoming a great problem especially if it is a light-colored deck.

How to prevent outdoor rugs from ruining your wood deck surface?

Choose outdoor carpets made of the right materials. To avoid unpleasant consequences, the first thing you need to do is to get an outdoor rug that is made of synthetic. They work best for the outside as they are climate-proof and easy to maintain.

Rugs made of natural materials like cotton or jute are better left indoors as they do not suitable for the conditions outside — they retain more water and are more likely to stain and mold up.

Keep your rug and deck clean. Clean the rug and wood deck thoroughly at least once or twice a year. You’d do well not to forget to remove dirt, leaves, and various stains, as all these things attract mold and insects. If you spill something on it, you should clean it the very moment the liquid hits your rug.

During the cleaning, you can also check for minor defects on the deck, and if the rug causes them, probably change it. You should clean and dry your rug after it rains to prevent the mud stains from getting soaked into the fiber and the wood deck. And the deck should be dried before putting the rug back. This cleaning will prolong the life of your rug and deck.

Put a rug pad under the rug. Since some rugs can leave scratches, it won’t hurt to get a rug pad to prevent scrapping and slipping of the wood deck. Apart from the pad you can also use rug tape or put the front leg of the outdoor furniture on the rug.

Repair damage. Regularly check your deck for signs of damage and promptly repair them. What kind of damage? Damages like rotten planks, wood splinters, and loose nails. And never cover the damaged part of your deck with a rug. It will only make the problem worse.


Should I put a carpet on my deck?

If you decided to put a carpet on your wood deck, it won’t hurt to choose the right outdoor carpet that will not ruin the decking. It will be better to choose among those materials that dry fast without trapping moisture underneath, thus becoming a great place for fungi. For instance, you can consider, for example, polypropylene rugs or olefin outdoor rugs.

Can you cover a deck with carpet?

It is not the worst idea to cover your deck with an outdoor rug, but keep in mind that not all rugs are suitable for outdoors. A wrong outdoor rug can damage your wood deck, making you spend money on repairing it.

Should you put anything under outdoor carpet?

To extend outdoor rugs’ life and protect your investment, you should consider adding a layer of protection under them. Use a suitable carpet pad that will create space between the carpet itself and the decking which will result in better filtration for water and prevent your deck from scratches.

What kind of carpet can you put on a deck?

Many different outdoor carpets can be found on the market, but first of all, you should look for an outdoor rug that is made specifically for the outdoors. These are usually synthetic rugs. Unlike many indoor rugs, they are more durable, mold and stain-resistant can withstand severe weather conditions, as well as direct sunlight.

Wrapping up

If the deck lacks comfort or style, an outdoor rug is an ideal option. Can an outdoor rug damage a wooden deck? Well, it can if you fail to maintain it. The wrong choice of rug can leave it with unsightly stains, and splinters, or even lead to major structural problems with your deck.

Therefore, you just need to know which rug is the right one for your deck, the one that will work well without being damaged by water, mold, or excess sun exposure.

Many outdoor rugs are made of synthetic (for example, polypropylene), as they are perfect for outdoor conditions and will keep your deck in good shape. However, outdoor rugs made of natural fibers can gradually damage your deck.

Read also: Best Doormat For Wood Deck

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