There are a myriad of myths and old wives tales surrounding household chores, ranging from weird and wonderful concoctions for stain removal to what you should do in a given circumstance. Today, the subject of our latest blog post is whether you need to do anything in particular with your washing line when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
What Do We Mean By Bad Weather?
In Britain, normal weather is the same as many people elsewhere in the world would consider terrible conditions. We’re used to rain all year around, and a summer with a few hot days seems like a lot to ask for in a bad year.
So, when we say bad weather, how bad is bad?
That’s a question that actually gets to the root of our broader question, as the type of weather that’s occurring will likely determine whether you should consider leaving your washing line be. For clarity, we’ve got rotary lines in mind, as they’re the primary focus of our website, but the same will apply to other types too, including retractable lines where it’s easy to let them wind themselves away.
On the other hand, fixed lines hanging between a couple of permanent, fixed posts are staying where they are no matter how bad things get outside, so even if there’s twenty feet of snow (deliberately sensationalist example!), you can’t do anything to protect the line.
Thunder & Lightning Storms
If you’ve got prolonged storms forecast, you may wish to consider folding down, lifting out of the ground spike and putting the entire line away if you’ve got somewhere to store it. A shed or garage is great, but even a utility room may be worth considering. Lightning strikes can cause damage, but keep some perspective. A lightning strike is very unlikely to pick your line as a route to ground, although that’s not a good reason to sit under it in a storm.
For the same reason as sheltering under trees is a bad idea with nearby lightning, the chance of being hit remains low, but if you’re unlucky, it’s going to do the tree and possibly you too a lot of damage. The same goes with a rotary line, so if it’s safe to to so, you may wish to put it away, but certainly keep away from it in a raging storm. Also, while you carry it to the garage, don’t wave it around above your head!
There is a much more compelling reason why you might want to put the line away in bad weather, read on to find out more.
Just like the previous example but far more common in the UK, heavy rain isn’t a fun meteorological concept for most of us – it just means we get wet if we’re heading out. For the line though, it’s the same reasons that we just alluded to that means you might keep it dry in the garage or elsewhere under shelter if possible.
That reason is another type of damage to your line. While a lightning strike is unlikely but could melt the plastic components or cause other damage, rust is what we’re talking about here. Corrosion is almost inevitable given enough time when metals are left out in the elements to get wet then dry off again and again. As we get so much rain, even in the summer, most washing lines will eventually fall victim to a little rust.
What If I Don’t Want To Keep Moving The Rotary Line?
You’re not alone if putting the line away every time it rains sounds like a complete pain. In reality it’s something that very few of us do regularly, and there’s nothing you can do if the heavens open when you’re at work, you’re out at the weekend, or simply don’t happen to look out of the window at the right time.
A little rain every so often isn’t going to suddenly cause huge corrosion problems, it’s more of a case of several years exposed to the elements taking its toll.
As you’ll see in our choices of the best clothes lines, some manufacturers provide rain covers, so all you need to do is fold down the line and slide the waterproof cover over the top – it’s like a coat for washing lines!
On the other hand, not all lines do come with a cover, so if you can’t be bothered with removing it when the rain comes, but want to make sure it lasts for years to come, why not buy one? They’re inexpensive and effective. Here’s some of the more popular models on Amazon right now…