A pool table is an excellent addition for fun-loving households. Gathering around the table with friends to play a few games of pool can make any evening enjoyable. Having access to this entertainment will require having the space for it. Pool tables have to be at least 3.5’ x 7’, and you may wonder if you could make use of exterior space to store them.
As a whole, a pool table can be put in the cold, but it may be affected by the climate. Ideally, pool tables should be stored in climate-controlled environments. If there are no other options, there are some ways to ensure that they are kept as safe as possible.
If you have a pool table that you need to store outside, read on to determine whether the cold will damage it.
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Can a Pool Table Be Put in the Cold?
Pool tables are a version of billiards tables, which can be traced back to 15th century Europe. It was initially played at the French court as an outdoor game similar to croquet but was soon turned into an indoor activity. Since then, the game has been played on a usually wooden table with a green cloth. These materials make exposure to the elements an issue.
This is how a pool table can be put in the cold:
- If it is made from a material other than wood that is suited for exterior use. This prevents the problems that would usually affect a pool table left in the cold.
- If wood is the only option, try to get oak or cherry wood. These are the most weather-resistant types.
- If you frequently perform maintenance checks on it to ensure that it is not being affected by the elements.
- If the weather becomes freezing, store the pool table for the duration to prevent damage to the materials.
- If you have a climate-controlled environment that will keep the pool table as safe as possible. This includes options like patio heating.
Being aware of what can happen to your pool table in the cold will help you keep it protected from the worst of the elements. If you keep these things in mind, you will be able to put a pool table in the cold.
Does Temperature Affect a Pool Table?
Temperature can affect a pool table, especially if it is made of wood. Both hot and cold temperatures can harm pool tables because they will make the wood either contract or expand.
Temperature extremes won’t necessarily have a huge impact on your pool table immediately. Still, constant exposure to them can result in it becoming wholly unusable due to changes in the material. Both the wood and the green felt can be negatively impacted by temperature, and they tend to be the materials used on the most popular pool tables.
How Does Cold Weather Affect Pool Tables?
Cold weather can make the wood in pool tables contract. This happens because the moisture levels in the air are affected by the temperature. The moisture will interact with the wood. In the cold, the wood will contract, and then it may expand once more when the temperatures change.
This can cause the wood to warp, which may cause considerable changes in the structure of the pool table. It may become uneven and potentially more unstable. If these issues are significant enough, they will make the pool table unusable. The surface of a pool table must be flat and immobile, or the game can’t be played correctly.
Due to these issues, it is best to exercise caution when leaving your pool table in the cold. It is best to prevent damage than to attempt to fix it later, when it may be too late.
Is the Temperature the Issue?
While the temperatures indirectly affect this problem, the main culprit is the humidity level, which will react to the weather being hot or cold. The moisture levels in the environment are what make the structure of the wood in pool tables change.
Wood always reacts to the humidity levels in the atmosphere around it by either absorbing or releasing moisture. Temperature is what causes fluctuations in the humidity levels that then go on to affect the wood.
When it’s cold outside, the moisture in the air decreases. This can make the wood react to the change in the environment by contracting. As the temperature gets warmer, the wood will react by starting to expand, which can cause significant warping as the structure shifts once more.
If you have a pool table made mostly of slate, you may think that it’s not as at risk as wooden ones, but this material can also be impacted by temperature changes. A slate pool table exposed to cold may start to produce moisture as the weather starts getting warmer. This moisture can then be absorbed by the felt, which may cause significant water damage.
Paying attention to temperature fluctuations will keep you aware of how the moisture levels in the air may impact your pool table. These levels should be monitored, especially if you live in areas with cold winters and hot summers. In that case, your pool table can be affected by both extremes.
How You Should Maintain Pool Tables
Taking care of your pool table will help keep it in excellent condition, whether it’s kept inside or outside. Beyond keeping it clean, regular maintenance can also keep it protected. Here are some tips that can assist you with keeping your pool table in great shape:
- Tend to the wood with the correct implements. If it gets dirty, wipe it with a slightly damp cloth. Polish it regularly with appropriate wood solutions.
- Use a two-step process to clean the felt: begin by brushing it thoroughly, then follow with a light-suction vacuum to remove any remaining debris.
- If any spills occur on the pool table surface, tend to them immediately to prevent moisture damage. Blot the spill, then follow with a dry cloth to make sure everything has been absorbed.
- For deep cleaning, there are foam cleaners on the market made specifically for pool tables. You won’t need to use them often, but they are handy to have around for persistent stains.
How to Protect a Pool Table from the Cold
The best way to protect a pool table from the cold is to get one made from plastic or metal that is suited for outdoor use. If it must be made from wood, try to get one that features treated wood ready to be exposed to the elements. You should also aim for oak or cherry wood because it has a higher moisture resistance.
Additionally, try to keep it in as controlled a climate as possible, even if it is outside or in a garage that can get colder temperatures. Investing in patio heating is a great idea for pool tables that are in outdoor spaces.
Where Is It Best to Put Pool Tables?
If you’re looking for alternative locations for pool tables, here are some of the most popular ideas for where to place them in your household:
- A game room: If you have the space to convert a room in your home into one designed just for entertainment, that is the perfect space for a pool table.
- A repurposed garage: A climate-controlled storage space like a garage can also be ideal.
- A basement: Including a billiards area in your basement can be a great way to maximize space.
Read this article to determine if a pool table works best in your living room.
A pool table can be put in the cold, but you should be aware that it may be damaged due to the fluctuations of moisture levels caused by changing temperatures. This affects wood pool tables in particular, but damage can be prevented with some increased care and more maintenance.