Your patio table sets the stage for every outdoor barbecue and party. You can find just the right style, shape, and size for any backyard. No matter what material it’s made of, you can stain and coat it to match your exterior’s accent colors. But there are some materials that last better than others and treatments that make materials last even longer. Look for patio tables and sets that answer these questions:

Is the material treated for water damage?

Most hardwoods, metals, and wickers are sealed so that water beads off of the surface. But between rain and moisture in the air, patio furniture needs to do more than just resist water. It also needs to ward off the damage that comes from too much water, such as mildew, mold, and rust.

Any metal frames should be rust proof. Corrosion not only eats away at the bottom surfaces, it ruins the joints and makes furniture too weak to reliably support people. The cross hatching or designs in the metal rub against each other, then that can break through rust protection. For wood and wicker furniture, look for mold and mildew resistance. Rot can soften the fibers and also make furniture dangerous or unreliable.

Do the legs have caps so they aren’t resting directly on the ground?

One of the best ways to preserve even treated materials is to introduce a physical barrier between the furniture and the ground. Decks, concrete blocks, and turf all collect too much moisture to be in constant, direct contact with your furniture. So look for sets that have plastic, rubber, or metal foot caps to ward off moisture damage.

Even though metal is one of the more durable patio furniture materials available, anything can be built to last with the proper treatments, finishes, and tools. Go to Today’s Patios for a selection of furniture with these protections and more