Maintaining a backyard wooden play set means many things: tightening bolts, sanding and re-staining the wood after a few years of wear and tear, ensuring that any damaged components are removed and replaced. One of the most frequently overlooked features of wooden play sets is the canopy that is most often found providing shelter over the clubhouse portion of the equipment. A play set canopy can last many years, but over time and when harsh weather conditions come into play, it can become damaged and require replacement. When it’s time to replace your children’s playset canopy cover, consider choosing one that is constructed from a higher quality material so you can depend on it to last for many more years ahead. A standard tarp from the hardware store is not recommended since the flimsy material cannot withstand constant exposure to the sun’s UV rays and harsh weather conditions. Higher quality canopy covers come in either vinyl or canvas. The material that you choose depends on what features are most important to you in a play set canopy. Vinyl is heavy duty, resists mold and mildew, and will stand up to harsh weather. The vinyl should be marine grade, which offers superior strength and durability. Alternatively, a play set canopy can be purchased in canvas. High quality canvas, such as that produced by Sunbrella, repels water, resists mold and mildew, and creates a drier environment underneath. Sunbrella canvas canopies are available in many more colors than vinyl, and they do not fade or lose their color over time. Additionally, they offer more protection than vinyl canopies from ultraviolet rays. While the cost of a Sunbrella play set canopy is higher, so is the quality.