A while ago I forgot my ping pong table out in the rain. Usually I always try to cover it and store it in the garage when finished playing. Even though it is an outdoor table, I ran out to get it in the garage. Then I figured: Is there a way to further protect your table tennis table from rain? Can you and do you need to make it completely waterproof? Because I was curious and really wanted to protect my table, I did a little research.
So the short answer is this: Either your ping pong table already is waterproof or it is an indoor table only. Regarding outdoor tables, they should be water and weatherproof but you can further protect them. For instance, you should think about covering your outdoor table even though you already store it in a garage or shelter. Furthermore, it is important to keep the table clean to prevent it from irreversible damage.
Water is not the only problem
Doing my research I learned that having a ping pong table outside, water is not the only potential source of damage. Direct exposure to sunlight can severely harm the material, too. That means you should not only focus on a waterproof but weatherproof ping pong table.
So what does weatherproof mean in terms of a ping pong table?
A weatherproof table needs to meet the following conditions:
- It is not prone to water
- It withstands exposure to strong sunlight
- It withstands strong temperature fluctuations (day + night outdoors)
What happens if I leave my Indoor Table Outside?
The short answer is: it will get damaged. After some time it probably will be unusable. The reason therefore is the wood the tables are made of. Wood is flexible and will eventually deform when getting wet or being exposed to temperature variations or direct sunlight. This usually leads to the top surface coming apart from the rest.
As you can see it is not a good idea to just use your indoor table outside, not even to play outside, and put it back in the house afterward. If you leave your indoor table in direct sunlight even for just a short period of time, it could warp. You should also be aware that a table is not automatically secure from any damages only because it is inside. Conditions like high moisture or exposure to sunlight could also result in table warping.
I, therefore, recommend never to store your indoor table in a garage. If that is the only place around the house where you have enough space to store it, you should definitely choose an outdoor table.
Outdoor vs. Indoor Table – What is the Difference?
Indoor and outdoor tables might look pretty similar at the first glance but there obviously are significant differences. Firstly, indoor tables usually have a much thicker top surface and consist of other materials. Since to play table tennis inside the equipment does not need to be waterproof, the tables usually are made of wood.
On the other hand, outdoor tables are made of wood with an additional layer of some kind of metal. The cheaper ones are often out of aluminum, melamine, plywood resin or other types of resin whereas high-end products consist of galvanized steel undercarriages. The different materials are also the reason why outdoor tables are usually more expensive for the equal quality. Despite that, most of the time paying the extra money will most certainly be worth it, since outdoor tables can also stay inside while indoor tables should not leave the house.
However, you should keep in mind that there is a reason why professional table tennis is played inside. Meaning that although an outdoor table might be the better choice for the vast majority, it will never provide the conditions to play on a professional level like a high-end indoor table.
Can I make my Ping Pong Table Waterproof?
If you are in the situation that you are not looking to buy one but already own an indoor table, I must tell you this: there is no way to make it waterproof and weatherproof. Of course, you could try to use lacquer and foil to protect the wood and other vulnerable materials but I (and every other site I did my research on) would clearly advise against it. You should not risk using it outside because of the reasons mentioned above. Moreover, there still is a risk of damage even though you store an indoor table correctly IN your house (and not the garage) due to the sun shining through windows and humidity inside.
When it comes to outdoor tables, they are supposed to be water and weatherproof. But this does not mean that these tables will survive for a long time when they are simply standing outside in all weather conditions. In fall and winter, there is a high chance that severe damages can occur due to wind, debris in combination with erosion. So you really should think about how to further protect it.
How to further protect my Ping Pong Table?
Since a ping pong table is a not so cheap purchase from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, the goal should at least be to have it for a long time. At home, I still play on the same table my dad bought about 30 years ago and it will probably survive another 20. So there clearly is a point in caring for your table.
Regardless if you are owning an indoor or an outdoor table my first recommendation on how you should protect it, is getting a cover.
Doing that you can really be sure that nothing will happen to the table and the next time you want to play the beautiful game of table tennis everything is fine
If you want to do everything (and I mean everything) you can do right when it comes to protecting your table, you should think of cleaning the table on a regular basis.
Quick Summary – What you should have learned
- The sun is just as big as a thread to a ping pong table as water
- An indoor table can NOT be made waterproof and weatherproof
- Outdoor tables already are waterproof and weatherproof
- To guarantee a long lifespan for your table you should cover it when it’s not in use and clean it regularly