Summer can be quite unpredictable. One moment, it is warm and shiny, and the next moment, you are greeted with puffy clouds on the horizon. Before long, the clouds catch up with you, and you get drenched in the rain. Sounds familiar, right?
While summer rain is nothing to worry about, it can be a nuisance to deal with if you keep a trampoline in your backyard. I remember a couple of weeks back. I was playing with my kids out back on my trampoline when suddenly, it started raining. I safely got my kids inside but didn’t have enough time to cover up my trampoline.
By the time it was done raining, my trampoline was all wet and slippery. What’s even more troubling is that there was a big puddle at the center of the jumping mat. Needless to say, I was a bit worried.
But the good news is a trampoline is an outdoor toy and can handle a bit of rain without breaking a sweat. However, leaving it out frequently when it rains can cause it to rust.
Frankly, I try to keep my trampoline covered anytime I am not using it. I do not want anything to damage it when I don’t have my eyes on it. But I know many who leave it out all the time at the mercy of nature. But is that really a wise move?
That is the question that I am going to answer here.
Can You Leave the Trampoline Out in the Rain?
The truth is, if you have a decent trampoline, rain should not have any big effect on it. A high-end 14-feet trampoline that is commonly found in most backyards should not face too many issues if you leave it out in the rain. Most of the trampoline components are innately waterproof to some extent.
However, in the long run, you might see some impact on the overall durability of your trampoline. For example, the steel frame of the trampoline, if not galvanized, can start to rust after a couple of years. But if you regularly wipe your trampoline from time to time, this should not be a massive issue.
In addition, if the springs in your trampoline are exposed, it might not be the best idea to leave it out in the rain. The springs are more susceptible to water damage and can start to rust. You can still use it, but over time, the rust can damage the integrity of the springs.
If your trampoline is made of galvanized steel frame and has covered springs, then you should not have to worry too much if it gets drenched. Galvanized steel can handle moisture and does not rust as easily. The trampoline that I have in my backyard, for instance, never had any issues, and I almost never use a rain cover.
Potential Dangers to Leaving Your Trampoline Out in the Rain
While it might be safe to leave your trampoline out in the rain without a rain cover, there are a couple of dangers that you need to know about.
1. Rusty Springs and Frame
One of the main problems that you need to be wary of is rust. Rainwater can cause the metal to rust; that much is common knowledge. So, needless to say, if rainwater dries on the frame of your trampoline, which is made of metal, it can corrode the frame, reducing its durability by a lot.
Thankfully, any decent trampoline out there will come with galvanized steel components. This material resists rusting and can also negate the effects of UV rays. So if your trampoline comes with a galvanized steel frame, you do not need to worry about rusting.
2. Extra Pressure on the Mat
If it recently rained and your trampoline was left outside, you will notice a puddle of water on the jumping mat. This puddle of water might seem harmless, but you do not want to use the trampoline without getting rid of the water fully. It can cause the jumping mat to rip if you are not careful.
The puddle of water will make the jumping mat heavier, and while it may allow you to jump higher, it will also put a lot of additional pressure on the mat. So jumping on your trampoline can cause the mat to rip as it will not be able to handle the extra pressure.
3. Slippery Mat
Even if you do not see a puddle of water on the jumping mat, it does not mean that it is safe to use the trampoline right away. The jumping mat will definitely be a lot more slippery and can lead to massive injuries if you are not careful. That is why I never let the kids have a go at the trampoline after it rains before I dry it off.
Trampoline mats typically have a decent amount of friction that helps you stay up on your feet when you are bouncing. However, when the mat gets slippery, you might not be able to land safely. If you ask me, two or more kids jumping on a slippery trampoline is definitely a scary thought.
How Do You Protect Your Trampoline in the Rain?
As you can see, leaving a trampoline at the mercy of nature is not a bright idea. Not only can it impact the long-term durability of the trampoline, but it can also pose some risks for your kids that will be using it. So what do you do? Do you pack it up any time there is a chance of rain?
That is a solution, sure, but let’s face it. Assembling and disassembling a trampoline any time you see clouds on the horizon is not really a practical solution. By the time you take it apart and get it to the shed, it will already start to rain.
The better route, I believe, is to just use a trampoline rain cover. Rain covers are pretty affordable, and they can protect your trampoline quite well against the rain. You can also put it around your trampoline quite fast. Then, when it stops raining, you can take it off and use the trampoline without having to dry it at all.
How to Dry a Wet Trampoline?
If your trampoline gets wet, you need to make sure it is dried properly to prevent accidents. Thankfully, drying a trampoline is not that difficult. But it is somewhat time-consuming, and you do not want to rush through the process. The last thing you want is someone slipping on a wet trampoline mat and hurting themselves.
With that said, here are the steps to drying a wet trampoline.
1. Get the Water Out
The first step to drying your wet trampoline is getting rid of the water. If it rained hard, there is a good chance that your trampoline has a puddle of water on its jumping mat. Your first job is to get rid of the water by tipping it off to the side.
The step is pretty easy unless your trampoline has safety pads installed. Just tip it off to the side, and the water should slide right off. But if your trampoline has a safety pad around it, you need to turn it upside down.
You can also try pushing from under the trampoline so that the water slides down the side of the trampoline. But I personally do not like this method since you have to get on your knees trying to reach under the jumping mat. For me, tipping it off to the side is the best way to get rid of the water.
2. Wipe Down the Surface
Once you get rid of the puddle, your next task is to wipe the jumping mat to get rid of any leftover water. Just take a dry towel and wipe the surface thoroughly. If the springs in your trampoline are exposed, make sure you wipe them down as well. You do not want moisture to build up and rust the springs.
3. Put it in the Sun
If your trampoline is outside, and if it is sunny out, all you have to do for this step is wait. The heat from the sun should dry up the trampoline within a couple of hours, and you can start jumping on the trampoline without any risk. However, if it is still cloudy outside, this may not be an option.
In that case, you can use a hairdryer on the trampoline mat. However, you need to be careful if you do decide to go this route. Most trampoline mats are made out of woven plastic, and if you apply too much heat from the dryer, you can melt the surface. So make sure you are holding the dryer at a safe distance and do not turn the temperature up too much.
Are Trampolines Waterproof?
Not necessarily. I have seen many cheap trampolines out there that get rusty if you leave them out in the rain. These trampolines are made with cheap, untreated metal and are not that safe for kids.
However, if you go with a decent trampoline that comes with a galvanized steel frame and springs, it can hold up well against rainwater. Since galvanized steel is water-resistant, the trampoline should face no trouble against the rain.
How Long Will a Trampoline Last Outside?
Unfortunately, I cannot pinpoint how long your trampoline will last if you leave it outside all the time. Rain is not the only thing to worry about if you leave your trampoline outside. Snow, sun, and wind can also have a negative impact on your trampoline if it gets too extreme.
Typically, you do not want to leave your trampoline out in the winter. The snow and the freezing temperature can damage the integrity of the frame. And if your trampoline is not anchored to the ground, heavy wind can also tip it over quite easily.
I do not recommend leaving a trampoline outside all the time. If you are not planning to use it for a while, it is a good idea to pack it up and store it away. And if you do decide to keep it outside, using a cover to protect it against the elements is not a bad idea either.
Do You Need to Cover a Trampoline in The Rain?
While it is not essential to cover a trampoline in the rain, I would recommend using a rain cover when necessary. It can enhance the lifespan of your trampoline quite a bit, especially if you live in a region that sees frequent rainfall.
Trampolines are strong and can handle a bit of rain; there is no doubt about it. But there is absolutely no reason to get them wet if you can avoid it.
The Bottom Line
I know we all tend to be a bit hands-free when it comes to taking care of our trampolines. But truth be told, if you want your trampoline to last longer, covering it up when it rains or storing it away when you are not planning to use it for a while is not that much to ask.
If you do not want to buy a rain cover from the same brand as your trampoline, a basic tarp works just as well. But make sure you are using a tarp that is pretty much the same size as your trampoline. You want the tarp to fit snugly on the trampoline and its components.
Hopefully, my article could give you some insight into what happens if you leave your trampoline out in the rain. It might not get damaged right away. But it does pose a lot of risks if you are planning to use it later. So, keep it as dry and safe as you can. Cheers!