Monthly Archives: October 2012

Pool Cover Shopping Simplified – A Quick and Easy Guide

 

Safety Cover

Your swimming pool demands a bit of maintenance in order to keep it clean and ready for your family to enjoy. And that maintenance doesn’t stop when the weather turns cold and your family trades in bathing suits for snow coats. You’ll still need to keep your pool in the right shape, and the right swimming pool cover is an important part of that. But finding the right pool cover and shopping for a cover can be overwhelming to many people. Luckily, it’s a little bit easier than most think. By just following a couple of easy steps you’ll find the cover you want quickly and get back to enjoying the fall.

For starters, figure out what kind of cover you want. The two options will be a winter pool cover or a safety pool cover. Both will keep out debris, leaves, and small animals as well as block the sun to prevent algae growth. But a safety pool cover will provide a level of protection you won’t get with a winter pool cover since it will prevent accidental drowning and keep your pets and kids safe. Not everyone will need a safety cover, so take a minute to figure out if it’s something you need or if you can settle on a winter pool cover.

Either way, the next step is to get the right size cover. Pool covers for above ground and in ground pools are usually stock sized, and you can generally match up the cover you need with your pool size pretty quickly. In some cases you may need a custom cover made, especially if you own a pool that is an odd shape or size. In any case, be sure that you don’t make the mistake of buying too large or too small. Obviously a too-small cover won’t do much good, but a cover that is too large has drawbacks as well. The fit won’t be very good, for starters, but beyond that you’ll also void any warranty when you use a safety pool cover that isn’t the right size.

You may also need to decide between a solid or mesh pool cover, especially when buying safety pool covers. A mesh cover will allow water to drain through it into the pool below while a solid cover won’t. Solid covers block out all debris and light, while a mesh cover will prevent serious water pooling from occurring. The choice is up to you, but consider the snow and rainfall in your area and choose the one that fits your specific situation the best.

Once you’ve found the right pool cover you need to also consider the anchors. In some cases your anchors will be included, but generally speaking you’ll have to purchase them separately. In standard in ground pool covers or above ground covers with a deck you’ll likely use a series of weighted bags placed around the perimeter of the pool to keep the cover in place. Above ground covers with no deck are usually secured with a cable that cinches tight around the pool, often with additional clips to hold the cover in place. Some cheaper covers may just use a drawstring. And for safety pool covers, you’ll use a series of installed anchors around the pool that attach to straps.

Also think about other accessories. For many, adding one or more inflatable pillows is a good idea. They’ll go underneath the cover and will help reduce accumulation of rainwater and also protect the sides of your pool by reducing pressure caused by freezing water. Leaf nets can be added over a cover to make removal of leaves much easier, and a solar cover purchased now makes it much easier to get your pool warmed up and ready next spring. All of these additional items are worth thinking about when you’re shopping for a cover.

It’s a lot easier to shop for a pool cover than you may think, and these very basic steps will help you track down the right cover quickly and get your pool ready for the fall. It’s a small investment that will pay off big over the lifespan of your swimming pool.

Playset Canopy Tarps Basics – Enhance Their Playground

 

Swing Set Canopy

A kid’s playground is their castle, their fortress, and anything else their mind can transform it into. It can also be a bit of an investment, with most playsets costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Of course, it’s an investment that nobody will really complain about since it delivers so much fun and stimulates physical activity in your child. With that in mind, protecting your playset with a little regular maintenance is always a good idea. Among the different steps you’ll need to take, maintaining that playset canopy tarp cover is one that can’t be ignored.

A playset canopy tarp does a lot more than just add to the appearance of a play set. It helps provide a bit of shade for your kids, shields them from rain, and helps their imaginations flourish even more than they normally would. But most canopy tarps that are included when you buy a playset are cheaply made, have a high reflective sheen to them, and will fall apart quickly. Upgrading or replacing your child’s play set canopy tarp is one of the first things you’ll probably have to do when it comes to maintenance of the play set, and it’s a lot easier than you probably think. There are a few things to keep in mind.

There are usually two options when you’re shopping for a play set canopy tarp – stock or custom. Their names really say it all. A stock canopy tarp will be available in either green or blue and will be precut to one of several standard measurements. Custom canopy tarp covers will be available in numerous colors and designs and can be cut to practically any size you need. Obviously the custom option is a better choice when you want a canopy tarp that will stand out, but the trade-off is that they’ll cost a little bit more and won’t be returnable – you’ll be stuck with what you order, so be sure to measure properly and decide on the perfect color the first time.

The other issue you’ll be faced with initially is what type of material you need to use. Vinyl is one of the more common choices and will resist inclement weather and last for some time. It usually has that high gloss look that many people don’t like, however, and will have a bit of a ‘cheaper’ appearance. Sunbrella canopy tarps are made of this type of canvas material that provides the same protection but looks much more professional and expensive. It repels water, shields against UV rays, and resists mold, mildew, and tears. Usually these are available in more color options than a vinyl cover and will also frequently have a longer lifespan. Once again, the trade-off is that the overall cost of the canvas options will be a little bit higher. You get what you pay for, and that’s true when you shop for a play set canopy tarp.

Whether you need a replacement canopy tarp for one that has been damaged or you just want to get a new, better canopy tarp for your kids’ playground, it’s a lot easier and more affordable than most people realize to do so. Just take a few minutes and review your options and you’ll likely find one that matches your needs. The right canopy tarp will last your kids for years to come and keep them enjoying their playground no matter what.

RV Cover Basics – A Closer Examination

RV Cover

Do you know what has been around for over one hundred years and in that time has always provided families with fun, adventure, and the ability to make a vacation even more affordable? The answer is Recreational Vehicles. RVs have been on the roads for more than a century and are still going strong, helping cut vacation costs, create a more meaningful bond with your family, and more. There are plenty of RV owners who are retirees, traveling the country and enjoying the sights in style. There are also plenty of owners who are younger families looking for a cheaper way to stay while they’re taking their vacation. No matter who you are, taking care of your RV is important.

Everyone takes care of the basics in their RV – things like the tires, oil changes, and so on. But when your RV is parked you can’t afford to ignore it. A 2005 study found that RVs are really only used an average of about twenty six days out of the year. That means that for 339 days, the average RV is parked. Maybe it’s parked in your garage, but in most cases it finds itself in your backyard, a driveway, or maybe in an outdoor storage facility depending on your space. While that’s a normal method of storing your RV, you need to remember that just because an RV can stand up to the elements for a while, that doesn’t mean that it should be expected to.

An RV parked in the elements will get a lot of abuse, more than most people realize. The sun is probably enemy number one, and it can weaken the exterior of an RV, fade colors, and much more. Add in things like rain and snow and the weather alone can really take its toll on an RV. But that’s not all that it will suffer from. Things like falling debris or debris from heavy winds could damage an RV. Bird droppings can accumulate before you know it, and animals or insects can quickly invade an RV. Plenty of RV owners get ready to take their recreational vehicle out on the road only to find out that it’s home to a huge bees’ nest. An RV cover helps prevent all of these issues and more.

RV covers are available for pretty much every type of RV out there. Whether you’ve got a Class A, a 5th Wheel, a pop up camper, or a truck camper you’ll be able to find a cover that fits it perfectly. Covers are designed to be used quickly and using them is usually a snap. And since there are numerous RV accessory covers that fit everything from your air conditioner to your gas tanks to your tires, you’ll be able to cover every aspect of your RV and keep it safe. RV covers are made from durable material that still allows the space below them to ‘breathe’, preventing dry rot and other damage that can come from long periods of non-use.

Your RV was most likely a major investment for your family, so it’s important that you treat it as such. Oil changes, tire care, and interior cleaning are all important but you should also be sure that you take the time to cover your RV when it’s not in use. An RV cover will help extend the longevity of your RV and give you and your family years of fun.

Custom Safety Pool Covers – Getting the Perfect Fit

Custom Safety Pool Cover

Your swimming pool is one of the best features of your home. Whether it’s an above ground swimming pool or an in ground one, pools add value to a home, give your family a place to play and enjoy time together, and more. And while a standard pool is perfect for any family, there’s something to be said for a pool that stands out. Unique shapes and sizes on a pool can help yours be a little bit more fun for your family. But those sizes can also make it harder to pick the right swimming pool cover when the time comes to close down your pool.

 

Closing down your swimming pool for the season is important, and using a safety cover is one of the best options when you have children or pets. Safety covers provide the same benefits of other covers in that they help guard against leaves and debris and also help reduce algae growth. Over the fall these can accumulate and make your springtime setup a huge pain in the neck. But safety pool covers also go above and beyond basic swimming pool covers and prevent accidental drowning. But their design requires that they fit a swimming pool neatly, and with a uniquely sized or shaped pool this can be a challenge.

 

If you have a pool that is an odd shape or size, custom safety pool covers are your best option, and are really your only option. Safety pool covers attach to anchor points installed around the perimeter of your pool, and the cover itself fits perfectly over the pool’s surface. Straps run from anchor point to anchor point and provide the strength that keeps your family safe – a quality custom pool safety cover will be rated for around 485 pounds per five square feet in terms of strength. So, with all that said, it’s easy to see why a safety cover is the right call for you and your family. But how do you get a custom cover that is right for your pool? It’s actually not as difficult as you may think.

 

Essentially, a custom swimming pool safety cover will be carefully measured and cut to fit your pool. You’ll usually have experts arrive at your home, take the measurements needed, and then turn in their measurements. Once the cover is ready, they could also help with anchor installation and initial setup of the cover, teaching you how to install it. In other cases you’ll be in charge of taking the measurements yourself. If this is the case, follow the measurement instructions exactly. Remember that things like slides or diving boards that are within one foot of the pool will have to have a cutout for a proper fit. Once the information is taken and turned in you’ll get a quote within a day or so, and then have your cover shipped to you within one to two weeks.

 

You’ll also have to decide between a solid or mesh custom swimming pool safety cover. A mesh cover allows rainwater or snow to drain through it, back into the pool. Solid covers won’t allow for drainage. The advantage of a solid cover is that it allows absolutely no dirt, debris, or sunlight to penetrate into the pool. But while a mesh safety pool cover will allow some light and dirt to enter the pool, those in areas that receive heavy rainfall or snows will want to opt for mesh since it won’t allow water to pool on top of the cover and weigh it down, which can become a serious hazard.

 

While plenty of people simply purchase a rectangular swimming pool cover that is large enough to cover their entire pool, most of them don’t realize that by doing so they’re reducing or eliminating its effectiveness as a safety cover and that they’re voiding any warranty it may have. In other words, cutting corners by avoiding a custom pool safety cover isn’t the best idea for any pool. If you’re a pool owner who has a uniquely shaped or sized swimming pool, make the right call for your pool and purchase a custom swimming pool safety cover. It’s a purchase that you won’t regret, and one that will often be easier and cheaper than you probably realize.

Ready Your Pool Covers – Preparing for the Shutdown

 

Pool Cover

 

Fall weather means football, Halloween, and that it’s time to start shutting down your pool for the year. As much as we’d all like to skip that bit of work and relax on the couch while our favorite team plays, your swimming pool needs to be properly winterized in order to keep it in good shape for next year. Failure to winterize a pool could lead to pump damage, liner damage in the case of above ground pools, and a huge amount of cleaning when spring finally rolls back around. In other words, you need to make sure that you’ve taken the steps needed to really keep your pool in good shape.

Don’t just stop with a heavy round of chemicals and a pump and filter shutdown. You need to use a swimming pool cover to get the most from your pool. Most pool owners are already aware of this and own a pool cover, but if you don’t, you need to consider purchasing one quickly. There are plenty of reasons to do so, from leaf blockage to algae prevention to safety. If you do already have a cover, your first step will be taking it out and giving it a quick inspection.

Unroll the pool cover and take a look at it. You don’t have to break out a microscope and Sherlock Holmes hat – just give it a quick pass to see if you can spot any damage. A rip or tear in the material could spread quickly, especially if rain or snow weights down your pool. Look for dirt and debris as well. Maybe you didn’t wash off the tarp enough before you stored it, or perhaps the location you stored it was susceptible to mice. Regardless, if you spot any caked on dirt or debris, be sure to wash it off.

You also need to check your weights, water tubes or anchors. For those using safety pool covers, check the anchors installed in the deck around your pool as well as the actual straps and springs. For those with traditional covers, take a look at the weights and make sure none are missing or too badly damaged to be used. And for those using above ground pool covers, be sure to check the cable and winch or whatever other type of securing device is used on your cover. If any of these are damaged, you may need a new cover.

Simply put, using a poor, damaged swimming pool cover can sometimes be as bad as using none at all. If yours is ready for an upgrade, don’t skimp on the investment. Take the time to find and purchase a quality pool cover so you’re not left with a huge mess. A rip that turns into a major tear could be a huge problem, and fishing a heavy pool cover out of a swimming pool in the middle of December is nobody’s idea of a good time.

There’s plenty of time to watch football. Take a few hours to close down your pool properly and you’ll be glad that you did. And if you need a new cover, be sure to buy one and not just ignore the problem. It’s a minor investment that will save you big in terms of time, money, and energy over the fall and especially next spring.

Benefits of Shade Sails – Why They’re Better

 

Shade Sail Gallery

Relaxing around the house is one of those things we all wish we could do more often but that we don’t always have the time to do. So when you actually do have the opportunity to enjoy some time at home, it’s important that everything is perfect. For most, relaxing outside is one of the better choices. You’ll get fresh air and much more, but it’s important that you stay protected. Whether it’s an outdoor kitchen, a pool area, a deck, or a patio, cover is important due to the dangers of the sun’s UV rays and the constant risk of an afternoon rain shower. There are plenty of different options out there for cover, but among them shade sails are one of the best.

Shade sails are a different kind of shade cover. While patio umbrellas are good for small areas, and while awnings are often the first thought, shade sails are a little different from both of these and have plenty of advantages. They’re also a better call than traditional shade canopies or even a brand new wooden roof. If you’re looking for the best way to cover your outdoor areas, taking a closer look at the advantages of a shade sail is probably a step you don’t want to overlook. They may not be for everyone, but they could be just what you’re looking for.

For starters, shade sails are effective. The higher-end fabrics used in Sunbrella shade sails can block out around ninety five percent of UV rays and keep you safe. They’ll be waterproof for those moments when rain comes, resistant to mold, mildew, and fading, and won’t be prone to tears and rips like lower quality options. If just shade is important to you, a mesh fabric that has a tight weave, high in density like Commercial 95 shade sails, may be just the answer and save you money at the same time. In short, they work and they work well so it’s important to keep them in mind when performance matters to you – which it always should.

But plenty of other options are effective as well, so why go with shade sails? Compared to permanent construction like a porch roof or a wooden cover over a pool or deck, they’re much cheaper and easier. Once you factor in the costs of labor and materials, a framed roof can cost you thousands of dollars – maybe more, depending on the size. It will also require several people for construction and will take days for completion. When you want to enjoy yourself quickly, the wait for a traditional roof to be built can get annoying quickly. Add in the mess generated by saws, concrete, and more and you’ve got a hassle that you may not want to deal with. Shade sails can be installed quickly and save you huge amounts of time, money, and hassle.

Shade sails are much more versatile than other options, too. Unlike patio umbrellas or shade canopies these are high-quality shade covers that can be used nearly anywhere. You can attach them to your home’s wall, to trees, to existing posts, or set new posts and attach them to those. They’re easy to remove when you don’t want them and will cover much more space than a patio umbrella, letting you get exactly the kind of cover you want no matter what. Simply put, they’re among the most versatile shade covers you can find.

They’re also incredibly attractive. Many people opt to forego a traditional awning or shade canopy because they’re ugly, to put it plainly. They have a dated look that probably won’t match your home or your style. But with their unique shape and design, shade sails capture the modern age perfectly and give your home a look that other covers can’t. There are hundreds of shade sail designs in terms of installation, and you can use a single shade sail or multiple ones to get the look that you’re hoping for.

When you’re looking for a cover that saves you time and money, looks great, is highly versatile, and provides excellent performance, shade sails are the one option that you will find fits every one of these needs. Again, they may not be for all homes or for everyone but there’s something to be said for what they can add to your home. If you want to get the most from the great outdoors when you’re at home, it’s probably worth it to take a closer look at what these shade covers have to offer.

ATV Covers – Protecting your ATV

 

 ATV Covers

ATVs have become extremely widespread throughout the country, and with good reason. There are few products on the market that can help in so many different ways. Whether it’s used for work on a farm, for transportation during events or other large scale operations, being used for hunting trips, or just taken out for a fun off-road ride, an ATV can handle a lot of different things. But while they’re rugged and durable, it’s still important to take good care of your ATV. This is especially true when you’re not using your ATV. A little proper care and a quality ATV cover will make a huge difference in the lifespan and reliability of your all-terrain vehicle, as well as its overall appearance.

ATV covers are usually available in a couple of different colors and in a few different styles. Basic covers are used for general purpose storage and fit over the ATV perfectly, giving it a neat look while extended the protection that it needs. Heavier duty ATV covers are usually used for long term storage, outdoor storage during winter months, or even for when you’re transporting your ATV long distances and need to keep it protected during the process. Instead of worrying about snow, sun, and debris damage you can use these covers and give yourself the protection your ATV deserves.

There’s a big difference between these ATV covers and those tarps some people toss over their all-terrain vehicles. For starters, these just look better. It may sound silly, but when you look at your covered ATV would you rather see a sleek, nice looking cover or an ugly tarp that looks like it could be covering anything? The other key reason is that a cheap tarp really won’t give you the protection that a quality ATV cover would. It will be thinner and more prone to tears, will lack breathability so that mold and mildew could become a problem, and won’t fit tightly. This means that you’ll end up with animals under the tarp or that you could lose the tarp in a high wind situation.

There are additional ATV cover options, including a canopy style cabin cover enclosure. This is basically a partially rigid unit that fits over the top of your ATV, boxing you in and protecting you from the elements. If you’re out during rain, snow, or other extreme weather conditions it could be exactly what you need to dodge some of the cold, moisture, and bugs. And of course, you can also purchase ATV seat covers and ATV accessories to keep all of your other ATV components protected.

If you own an ATV then you’ve already made a major investment. You need to protect that investment, and a quality ATV cover will do just that. You take care of your fluids, tires, and headlights so why wouldn’t you protect the body of the vehicle? A simple cover is all you really need to do so, and it’s a very small investment that will provide the protection that your ATV deserves.

Closing Down your Pool – A Basic Guide – Pool Covers

 

Pool Cover

Pool owners usually love their pool and what it does for their family. Pools give you fun, exercise, and a place to be together without having to take expensive vacations or spend your days bored out of your minds. But when fall and winter roll around, most pool owners face the worst part of owning a swimming pool – the winterizing process. Luckily, closing down your pool for the winter isn’t really that difficult to do if you know what to expect. A solid half-day is the most it should take in most cases, from the moment you begin to the moment when the winter pool cover is in place and you walk away for the season. Here’s a quick rundown on the process.

First of all, you need to make sure that your pool’s chemical levels are perfectly balanced. While the obvious reason is to help prevent algae growth and unsanitary conditions, but a properly balanced pool also prevents scale buildup, corrosion, and more. This helps protect pumps, filters, and swimming pool walls. Aim for a pH of 7.2 to 7.6 and a chlorine level of one to three parts per million. Additionally, alkalinity should be around eighty to one hundred and twenty parts per million while calcium hardness should be between one seventy five and two hundred and fifty ppm. Once you get the levels balanced where they need to be you’ll be ready to start the next stage of the process.

Clean the sides of the pool and the floor. Use your pool vacuum and your skimmer to remove all dirt and debris so the pool is perfectly clean. This is important because leaving debris in the pool can cause staining and encourage bacteria growth. Once you’ve cleaned the pool thoroughly, remove any and all deck equipment. This includes ladders, handrails, and anything else that actually goes into the pool. Next add the winterizing chemicals to the pool. There are specific chemicals that need to be introduced to the water that will maintain water quality while the pool isn’t being used, so be sure to purchase the right winterization chemicals and use them when you’re closing down the pool for the year.

Now clean out your filter, skimmer, and pump basket. These components aren’t going to get a lot of TLC over the coming months so it’s important to get them in the best shape possible prior to shut down. Remove any chlorine products from your chlorinator and remove any cartridge filter elements. Also backwash your sand filter if that’s the type of filter you have. Essentially you want to get your filtration system and pump back to the point they were in when you installed them.

Next, either lower the pool water to the point just below the skimmer and returns or insert a Gizmo into the skimmer, then plug your return line. This eliminates damage that freezing temperatures can cause to your expensive equipment. It’s important that you don’t completely drain an above ground pool because it will trigger collapse in many cases.

Next, finish preparing the different components of the pool. Remove any detachable hoses and remove any drain plugs from pumps and filters. If there are specific instructions for winterization shutdown, follow them. For those with hard lined plumbing, be sure to blow all water out of the system. This is usually done with a shop vac or air compressor that is then used to blow air down the skimmer. This blows all water out of the plumbing. Again, this safeguards against any damage that freezing temperatures can cause. Water left in the plumbing that freezes could do hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damage.

Next, add your air pillow. These go underneath a winter pool cover and will add an extra layer of protection to your pool. Fill it with a compressor or shop vac and then attach it to two anchors around the pool wall. This is an optional step that not everyone takes. Air pillows are usually used in areas where freezing temperatures are common since they’ll help protect pool walls against dangerous freezes. Not everyone uses them, but if you live in a cold winter location they’re probably a good idea.

Now you’re ready to add the winter pool cover. Follow installation instructions closely when you do. In most cases the black side of the cover goes down. Anchor the pool cover accordingly – for in ground pools you’ll use water tubes or in some cases sand bags to help weigh down the edges of the winter pool cover. Safety pool covers utilize a series of straps and anchor points to give them the strength they need to support weight. And above ground pools use a cable system in most cases. Some cheaper models may use drawstrings or other types of closures, but a cable and winch system is much better. You can also add clamps to help secure the pool cover.

Finally, place a cover pump or a siphon drain in the center of your winter pool cover. This prevents standing water from rains or snows from becoming a problem. Rips and tears can occur when too much weight builds up in the center of a cover, or the cover could be pulled down into the pool. Few things are as troublesome as trying to fish a heavy winter pool cover out of a swimming pool in the dead of winter.

If you’ll keep these basic steps in mind when you shut down your swimming pool you’ll have a worry free winter and a hassle free spring set up. It may take a bit of time, but it’s well worth it for the results you get.

BBQ Gas Grill Covers – All You Wanted to Know About Them

 

Grill Cover

For plenty of people, a gas grill is a major component in their life. From entertaining guests to just cooking dinner for the family, a grill is one of those things that some people just can’t live without. With that said, it’s important to keep your gas grill protected. It’s an expensive investment and you want to make sure that it lasts for years instead of falling to pieces before it’s time. As a result, buying a quality gas grill cover is an important investment and one that you should really make as soon as you purchase your grill. If you leave your grill on an uncovered deck, patio, or anywhere else the elements can impact it, you need a cover.

Don’t make the mistake of just throwing a sheet or a piece of plastic onto your gas grill, either. Plastic won’t provide a good fit and will blow off in the slightest wind, and a sheet won’t provide protection against moisture and could actually increase the rate of deterioration or rust. Not only that, but either of these cheapskate options will look really bad on your deck. A quality grill cover will look great and give you the top level of protection that you want.

Some of the things that can really influence your gas grill’s longevity include things like the sun, the rain, and even the wind. In high winds debris can be blown through the air and tossed into your grill, leaving it with scuffs and scratch marks. Even stainless steel grills need to be protected, since the moisture level your grill endures can cause damage to the overall look but as well to the interior grill slats or burners. Rusted burners are an all-too common problem and one that you really need to take care if in order to maintain your grill’s high level of performance and make sure it lasts for years. A simple cover will prevent most rust problems outright, and combined with regular maintenance your grill will stand the test of time.

There are plenty of different grill cover styles, as well. Each quality cover is uniquely shaped and sized to fit the different types of grills out there today. Whether you have a patio cart, a hickory cart, a smoker, a fryer, or just a standard grill you’ll find the exact cover for your needs. They’re usually available in a number of different colors and designs as well. College fans can even find collegiate gas grill covers that bear their favorite team logo so they can let everyone know just who they’re rooting for during football season.Grill Cover

Good grill covers often come with special features as well. Things like zipper closures or Velcro closures, pockets, and more are all potential features you’ll find. Closures can help prevent animals and insects from finding their way into your grill. Nothing is worse than opening your grill to cook some burgers and finding a wasp nest under the lid, and these features can protect against this issue. Simply put, if you’re one of the millions who love to grill then you need to take care of your grill no matter what type it may be. A quality cover does just that.

Buying Patio Furniture Covers – Finding Yours

Outdoor Custom Patio Furniture Covers - For Maximum Protection

If you’re one of the millions who enjoy entertaining guests or just spending some quiet time outside on your deck, veranda, patio, or gazebo, then the odds are that you’ve invested in your patio furniture. There is an entire industry that has sprung up where patio furniture is concerned, and it offers the chance for homeowners to select from a huge range of different furniture options and find the one that matches their taste and style perfectly. But once you’ve invested in quality patio furniture, you need to keep it protected. This is important no matter the time of year, but when the days turn cooler it’s even more vital since your furniture won’t be getting the same amount of use it normally would.

Patio furniture covers are the answer here, and they’re available for anyone looking to keep their furniture safe and protected. But like anything else, there’s a big difference in the different types of outdoor furniture covers out there. Not all of them are created equally, and it’s important to pick the one that is right for you and your furniture. First, it’s a good idea to remind yourself of just what it is that you’re buying patio furniture covers to protect against. Then you’ll understand why choosing the right type is so important.

Your patio furniture takes more abuse than you probably realize. The sun alone can cause some serious damage, fading colors and cracking wood or wicker. Rain can lead to mildew, mold, rot, or rust, and falling limbs or debris can damage the surface of your furniture. If you have a glass top patio table, one rock flung by an end-of season mowing could shatter it. Over the winter, snowfall can sit on furniture for days and cause major damage as well. Even animals could pose a problem, from droppings to chewing to nesting. All of these issues and more face your patio furniture, and protecting it is important.

To start with, you’ll need to take a close look at the materials used in construction of your outdoor patio furniture covers. Cheap covers are just that – cheaply made. They’ll usually be made from low-grade fabric, vinyl, or plastic. You can expect one season of protection from these covers, maybe two if you’re lucky. After that, the combination of sun, rain, and other elements will start to wear them down. Look for material that is designed to last for years, not months. You need material that sheds water and blocks the sun and can withstand exposure to both. But you don’t want a heavy cover that will be hard for you to take on or put off. Additionally, think about covers that have cloth backings to help fight against scratching and debris damage.

Next you’ll need to select your patio covers depending on the size you need. A custom fit patio furniture cover provides a perfect fit and delivers maximum protection for your furniture. Plenty of people have bought cheap, low quality patio furniture covers only to find out that they’re either much too big or far too small. In either case they won’t work properly. Larger covers will create pockets of material that can turn into pools of standing water, and smaller covers just won’t work at all. Either buy a patio furniture cover that matches your outdoor furniture closely or pay the extra price for a custom cover. You’ll be glad you spent the extra money to do so.

Finally, think about additional features that could help provide a little added convenience. Storage pockets, leg ties, and zipper closures are all potential features to think about here. Cheap covers basically fit over your furniture and hang there, but quality covers provide a little something extra and ensure that you get a total, perfect closure that won’t allow animals or insects to squirm underneath them.

Don’t just throw a bed sheet over your furniture and assume it’s protected. The material will wick and soak up water and cause more problems than it prevents. If you’re serious about protecting your patio furniture, you need quality patio furniture covers. It takes only a few minutes to find the best ones, and it’s an investment that will serve you well and keep your outdoor furniture looking great for years to come.