April 12, 2012
When searching for a garden furniture cover the type of material it is made from is almost as important as a snug fit. Cheaper covers will be made from polypropylene. You’ll notice because it will feel like plastic, because, well, it is. It’s not a terrible material, but will only last you a single season, at best. If you need something more durable, consider a polyester, especially if it’s 600 denier. Denier refers to the thickness of the individual threads used in the fabric, and, as you might guess, the higher the number the thicker the fabric, with increased durability and reduced permeability. The Veranda line is made from 600D, as is the Veranda Elite. 300 denier polyester would definitely be a compromise, but it is certainly better than polypropylene. If cost is a major issue, consider the Terrazzo line.
March 6, 2012
When searching for a garden furniture cover, the type of material it is made from is almost as important as a snug fit. Cheaper covers will be made from polypropylene. You’ll notice because it will feel like plastic, because, well, it is. It’s not a terrible material, but will only last you a single season, at best. If you need something more durable, consider a polyester, especially if it’s 600 denier. Denier refers to the thickness of the individual threads used in the fabric, and, as you might guess, the higher the number the thicker the fabric, with increased durability and reduced permeability. The Veranda line is made from 600D, as is the Veranda Elite. 300 denier polyester would definitely be a compromise, but it is certainly better than polypropylene. If cost is a major issue, consider the Terrazzo line.
February 16, 2012
If you’ve been considering some garden furniture covers, here is what they actually look like in action. Keep in mind these are new and still wrinkly. They will straighten out over a few days of use. For your reference, these are the Veranda line with all the bells and whistles like a drawstring hem, buckled clasps (for the grill cover) and vents to keep moisture from building up. Special thanks to Joe C. for the pics.
December 21, 2011
If you have an unusually shaped piece of patio furniture, you’ve been there. Maybe you’re a free-spirit, or simply didn’t have room for a standard 70″ sofa. So you bought that low-slung 63″ loveseat to fit in that nook, and didn’t want the hanging gardenias to knock people in the head when they sat down. C’est la vie. You may wish to consider getting a bit creative. oval and round patio table covers come in many different sizes, and are typically shorter than regular furniture covers, at 24″. You will want to consider if there are pieces you have that can be combined into a larger lump of patio furniture goodness to fill out the cover. Another nice thing about this concept is that you can space out the furniture to the maximum width or length of the cover, using those gaps to get a pretty tight fit. The only limits on this application are a) being strong/driven enough to move the patio furniture around, and b) finding pieces that are relatively uniform in height so that there is not a slanting end that puts the cover on the ground where it can soak up water. It’s kind of like playing tetris with your furniture, and while it’s not ideal, it will be much more cost-effective than buying a custom cover.
December 13, 2011
Rusting patio furniture is easy to fix. Just use a dremel and remove the rusted portions down to the clean metal. If it is a painted surface, re-paint as necessary. If it is a bare surface, like wrought iron or the like, you may want to consider patio furniture covers to keep moisture and rain off of your furniture. Rust is caused by moisture, in that it speeds up the oxidization process of the metal, making it brittle. All unpainted metal will rust eventually due to moisture in the air, but keeping rain and the elements off the furniture will delay the process. You can treat the metal with certain coatings (like WD40), but this is not convenient for those who actually want to use the furniture without staining their clothing. Short of painting the metal, which effectively coats it with an impermeable layer preventing oxidation, your best bet is to put patio or garden furniture covers on top of it when not in use.
December 8, 2011
Why is my garden not as comfortable as I want it to be? Your first problem is that you don’t have garden furniture to lounge and relax on. Your second problem is that you’re not protecting your garden furniture with garden furniture covers. Covers make your furniture last longer and are much more convenient than dragging it inside after every time you use it. You can also keep cushions on the furniture as the covers will protect it. Don’t let your furniture get pounded by the sun and ruined by the rain. Cover it up!
December 6, 2011
As most of us know, the sun moves throughout the day. This fact of life makes a tilting patio umbrella very convenient for matching the pesky sun and its movements across the sky. Time has passed and the sun is obscuring your iPad? No problem. Just tilt the umbrella down. But wait? How do I do this?
Most adjustable umbrellas are of the ‘crank and tilt’ variety. The crank opens and closes the ribs of the umbrella and there is a joint
that lets the umbrella pole bend in one direction. Like a knee. There is usually a button that acts as a latch for the joint, locking it together in a straight line. Depressing the button allows the joint to move, pushing the latch out of line with the hole that secured the top portion. These buttons can get rusty and can become difficult to operate. You should keep the joint lubricated with WD40 to keep it flexible.
Other means of tilting involve the same joint as mentioned above, but with a sleeve that locks over a lip on the bottom portion. Lifting up the sleeve should allow the joint to flex and let you adjust the angle of the umbrella.
Like I said, these joints that allow you to ajust your umbrella can get rusty and/or filled with debris. You should consider protecting your umbrella with a patio umbrella cover. These covers will keep moisture, dirt and debris out of the mechanism and reduce maintenance and prolong operation. They can be quite stylish, as well.
June 15, 2011
Garden furniture covers have become a necessity for anyone who owns garden furniture. Sun and rain conspire to leave your garden furniture prematurely aged at best and completely unusable at worst. Many people store their garden furniture over the winter months, bringing it out in the spring when they’re ready to use it. This should not be the extent of you care, however, as the times when this furniture is in greatest use is also when they are at the greatest risk of damage.
Most of us will use this furniture most extensively in the summer, when it’s warm and outdoor grilling and gatherings are most comfortable. It may surprise you to know that this is one of the most damaging times of year to have your furniture exposed. The sun is the most powerful agent of destruction your furniture will face.
Most modern paints and varnishes are effectively impervious to moisture. Those of you with wicker furniture will need to take extra care against water damage, but the vast majority of furniture sustains the greatest amount of damage from UV radiation. UV radiation will break down paint at the molecular level, removing its protection from your furniture, and exposing the material, whether it’s iron, wood, or plastic, to the further depredations of UV and making it vulnerable to water damage.
UV will damage plastic furniture by making it brittle and easily broken. It will wash it out and turn it to a paler version of its original color. UV and water will affect wood similarly, though water will leach into the wood after the paint has been destroyed, expanding and contracting as the temperature changes leading to warping. Iron, of course, will rust if exposed to moisture after the paint has been breached. All of these processes are easily prevented with the use of a storage cover.
Garden furniture covers are made out of a number of different materials. Polypropylene is very common. It is cheap, somewhat durable depending on its thickness, and easy to maintain. Light and easy to maneuver, this would be the choice for someone looking for a dust cover where the furniture is already protected by a roof, gazebo or other structure.
Another common material is polyester. Treated polyesters range in thickness, measured in denier, from the most common 120 denier to the heavy-duty 600 denier. 600 denier polyester is used in a number of applications, including soft luggage, backpacks, gun cases, boat covers and other uses where durability is a concern. Polyester covers will typically be coated in an acrylic or PVC layer for additionally UV and water-resistance. Most covers made of 600 denier polyester will offer warranties of at least three years and can be expected to last 4-5 years. It is this author’s recommendation that should one purchase a polyester cover, 600 denier grade materials should be preferred.
Vinyl remains a popular choice as far as covers go, as it is cheap, more durable than polypropylene, and effectively water-proof. It does suffer some disadvantages. Vinyl will crack after a relatively short period of exposure to the sun, often in a few months. Being water-proof, vinyl does not allow much air to pass through, either, i.e. it does not ‘breathe’ and can trap moisture inside the cover leading to mold and mildew. Most garden furniture and grill manufacturers who include covers with their products will use vinyl as a material due to its low cost and impermeability. When these covers crack, many people will find that a high-denier polyester cover will provide superior protection and durability at a lower cost than going through the manufacturer for replacement.
Garden furniture covers are a must for anyone with outdoor furniture. Even if used only in the summer time, these covers provide protection from the sun and eliminate the need to put furniture under cover after each use. Remember that the biggest enemy of your furniture is the sun, and you can keep these pieces in excellent condition for many years.
February 25, 2011
To those of us in mild northern climates, evaporation coolers (also known as swamp coolers) are an unknown home accessory. Down-draft, side-draft and turbine are meaningless terms.
But down South, these coolers are quite popular, and are a great way to save money on your air conditioning bill. Basically, you fill these things with water and, as the sun evaporates said water, it produces a cooling effect that mimics how our bodies use sweating to cool down. Your body sweats water onto your skin, it evaporates, and your skin is cooled. Now your house can do the same.
These coolers can be vulnerable to sun and damage from the elements, and quite unnecessarily during the winter months. Using an evaporation cooler cover is an excellent idea, and I now have 20 different sizes to choose from. Made from 300 denier treated polyester, these covers will keep the sun and rain off your cover when not in use. Why not keep your cooler looking good and performing at a high level?
You’ll appreciate it in August.
February 14, 2011
As the February rains (or snows) beat down and make us wish for May, many of you doubtlessly have moved your patio furniture under cover, perhaps in the garage or the shed. This is, of course, a sound policy, as water and even winter sun can combine to age your furniture 3 seasons in one winter.
Once you get it out for spring-time grilling and fun, however, you don’t want to be lugging that heavy furniture back and forth as need dictates. Why not get some garden furniture covers to protect your expensive recreational investment? These covers can extend the useful life of your furniture dramatically, absorbing all the punishment and keeping it looking nice and ready to go at the drop of a hat.
Cover manufacturers have dramatically expanded their offering, with new products like Veranda island grill top covers for those of you with built-in island grills. These covers are made with a high-quality 600 denier polyester that is similar in durability to soft luggage.
If you don’t want to break the bank, you could look at Villa BBQ grill covers. Starting at $29.99 with free shipping, these are an excellent value. Made with treated polypropylene, which has similar qualities to Dupont’s Tyvek, these covers will prevent sun and rain damage for around two seasons.
Another relatively new product is the Veranda offset umbrella cover. Those of you who have been searching for this item will be impressed with the quality of the material and the 3-year warranty.
Garden furniture is a must for those of you with the outdoor space to enjoy it, but so are the garden furniture covers. Don’t lug these pieces around every time you use them, or worse yet, leave them exposed to the elements. Cover them up!