How To Protect A Trampoline From Rain (Comprehensive)

Backyard trampolines are designed to survive all elements in the outdoors.  They can withstand being subjected to the rays of the harsh sun, driving buckets of rain, and even deluges of snow in places. Trampolines will still benefit from being protected from time to time.

To protect a trampoline from rain, ensure you get a good quality trampoline with galvanized steel, strong stitching and padding made of PVC. Use a cover if it won’t be in use for months on end. If you live in a high snow area, pack it away before the snows to protect it from the freeze-melt cycle.

In the article below, you’ll learn whether it’s ok to get a trampoline wet, whether rain will ruin a trampoline, how to protect a trampoline from rain and even how to dry a wet trampoline quickly.

Image by Thaliesin from Pixabay

How To Protect A Trampoline From Rain?

I remember the first time it rained on my trampoline, I immediately started to think about how much I’d spent on it, and worried about whether it would be damaged. Fortunately, I found out that it wouldn’t be ruined as they are made for the outdoors.

However, even though a trampoline will not be ruined by rain, the frame will start to look weathered over time. The metal will become less shiny on the springs and frame, and the mat will fray slightly at the edges.

Can a Rain Cover Protect a Trampoline?

One solution that keeps the trampoline looking pristine for longer is to use a rain cover that protects the trampoline.

These are large circular pieces of plastic, similar to a tarpaulin, that attach to the frame or go around the frame to attach to the mat spring attachment underneath.

Trampoline Rain Cover

How Does a Trampoline Rain Cover Work?

The rain cover works by protecting the top of the trampoline frame and springs from the water. The trampoline mat is made of a plastic such as polyethylene, and therefore waterproof.

The mat also has small air gaps in the mesh where water can flow through. As the mat doesn’t need to be protected from the rain, there is often a small circle in the center of the rain cover. This lets water escape onto and through the mat, so that it doesn’t pool and weigh the mat down, whilst still protecting the frame and springs.

How Big Should a Trampoline Rain Cover Be?

The rain cover should be the same size as the trampoline, and ideally of the same brand. For example, a 12-foot trampoline will use a 12-foot trampoline rain cover. It’s important that it’s not too big, otherwise it will bunch and gather, and not be held taut.

On the other hand, if the trampoline cover is not big enough, it won’t actually reach out to the edge of the frame and protect it.

How Does Weather Damage A Trampoline?

Broadly, the dangers of weather are as follows:

  • Rain can damage the steel frame of a trampoline through rust weakening the frame
  • Sun can damage the mat of the trampoline through UV degradation making the mat brittle
  • Snow can damage the mat and the springs of the trampoline by weighing down the mat and stretching and then deforming the springs (read How to Winterise a Trampoline here)
  • Wind can damage the trampoline and surrounding property through picking up the trampoline and flying it through the air like a missile
ElementDangerHow to Mitigate
RainRustEnsure steel is properly galvanized during manufacture
SunUV degradationEnsure mat has UV-protection during manufacture
SnowDeform mat and springsKeep clear of light snow
Pack away during months of heavy snow
WindBlowing aroundAnchor during moderate to heavy winds
Pack away during hurricanes and tornadoes
Summary of how weather can damage a trampoline

Will Rain Ruin A Trampoline?

Rain will not ruin a good quality trampoline in the short- or even medium-term. Trampolines are robust pieces of outdoor equipment, designed to stay in the yard even during heavy rains. Rain can however, ruin a poor-quality trampoline that does not have a rust-proof frame.

Good quality trampolines survive in the rain because their frames have galvanizing zinc on the steel frame and springs. During manufacture, before all of the frame is built, each piece is dipped into a tub of hot galvanized zinc. This permanently plates the zinc onto the steel frame both inside and outside of the steel tube. This zinc coating prevents the metal underneath from oxidizing and then rusting.

On the other hand, a very cheap trampoline is be sold cheaply because it doesn’t have the necessary steps protecting the steel.

Quite often, the manufacturer has not galvanized the steel frame correctly using the hot dip method, or even at all. If the zinc is just painted on, it chips and dings over time. This allows the rain to reach the steel, and then it will oxidize and rust. Even worse, the steel may not be galvanized at all, allowing it to rust from the first exposure to the elements.

Whilst it is difficult to tell if steel is properly galvanized, a reputable manufacturer will give a 5-10 year warranty on the frame.

Is It Ok To Get A Trampoline Wet?

It’s ok to get a trampoline wet, whether it’s from rain, a sprinkler or even kids jumping on it wet from the swimming pool. Trampolines are made to stay outdoors, where they will often get rained on.

The one thing you want to avoid is having an in-ground trampoline flood. Whilst in-ground trampolines have a higher grade steel and even better zinc coatings, it still isn’t good for the sunken frame to sit in water for days on end.

Click through to read this article on How to Choose an Inground Trampoline and How to DIY.

Can I Use A Sprinkler Near The Trampoline?

It is generally easier to move a sprinkler attached to a garden hose than it is to move the trampoline.

Fortunately, you can use a sprinkler near the trampoline for the lawn or the garden. It won’t matter if you wet the trampoline, as the galvanizing steel frame protects it from water. Trampolines live in the outdoors, and so can withstand rain, as well as the water from a sprinkler.

Trampolines do make it difficult for rain and sun to get to the grass underneath. If you need to frequently get the sprinkler under the trampoline to water the grass, you might want to consider changing what’s underneath the trampoline from lawn to another base.

Check out this article on Do Trampolines Kill Grass And Your Emergency Rescue Plan.

How To Dry A Wet Trampoline (Quickly)

Whilst it is fun to jump on a wet trampoline, sometimes you want to dry your trampoline, and to dry it quickly. There might be kids coming over, or you want to keep your kids dry rather than slipping and sliding all over the mat.

To dry your wet trampoline, you first want to get the main pool of water off. You can then tap the safety net all the way around to get the droplets off the net. Then towel dry the mat and the springs, as well as the safety pads. Finally, finish it off by dragging or lifting it in the sun to finish drying off.

Tip the Water Off

The easiest way of getting the main pool of water off is to tip it up. Try to get one or two adults standing together at the side of the trampoline, and then lift it slightly. Depending on how the trampoline is set up, the safety pads can act as a dam wall.

You may need someone else to lift the safety pads at the same time to help the water fall off. If you don’t have another person, you might need to actually remove the safety pads at least on that side. This should let the larger pools of water slide off the mat onto the ground below.

Another way of getting the main pools of water off is to go underneath the trampoline, and push the center of the mat up. I don’t really like this idea, because when I tried it, I ended up crawling around underneath in wet grass or earth, which isn’t much fun. The water then slides off the trampoline. Again, you may have to lift the safety padding.

Towel Dry the Trampoline

Once the main body of water is off the trampoline, towel dry the mat, the pads and the springs. Depending on the size of your trampoline, this might be a two- or three-towel job.

Put in the Sun

By this stage, it should be fairly dry. If you want it completely done, move the trampoline into the sun. Be careful if you are dragging it over the lawn, as you will probably scuff up the turf a bit. It’s better to lift it with a couple of strong adults to avoid damaging the grass.

I wouldn’t use a hair dryer on the trampoline mat. The mat is made of a woven plastic, and will melt if you put a hair dryer with a very high temperature directly against it. Melting does not help a trampoline!

In Summary

Whilst rain won’t ruin a good quality trampoline, you might want to protect it from the rain. This will help keep it looking good for longer. You can use a trampoline rain cover to protect the frame and springs.

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