To the average automobile owner, car covers may seem like an unnecessary luxury used mostly by car collectors or by the enthusiastic young adult male who just invested in his first set of wheels. But, practical reasons abound for using car covers, and any automobile owner can benefit from using them on a regular basis.
Protection from Natural and Human Influences
One of the more obvious reasons for using car covers is to protect a vehicle from environmental damage. Depending on where you live, your car takes a multitude of abuses just by sitting on a driveway, along a street, or in a parking lot. Wind blown sand, sea salt, tree sap, bird droppings, dirt, dust, falling twigs or other debris, and weather conditions like rain, ice, and snow can take an expensive toll on a car’s exterior.
Additionally, car covers protect your car’s interior from sunlight. Interior temperatures are reduced to a more comfortable level on hot, sunny days when a car cover is in use, and interior fabrics and materials are protected from damage by the sun’s harmful UV rays. Materials like vinyl, plastics, upholstered fabrics, and leather that are exposed regularly and over extended periods of time to UV rays can become discolored, weakened, and cracked. Additional protection can be obtained by using an Auto Windshield Cover. Environmental conditions quickly age a vehicle’s interior and exterior, and car covers are one easy way to dramatically slow down that process.
Car covers are also useful for deterring theft because they keep expensive interior components out of view. And, car covers can prevent the innocent, but curious, passerby from peeking into car windows and leaving fingerprints on your car’s exterior. Thicker car covers can even prevent minor dings caused by careless neighbors in the parking lot.
Choosing the Right Car Cover
What is the best kind of car cover to choose? Comparing the available materials is an important first step. If your vehicle is kept outdoors for most or part of a day, look for a cover made with breathable material. Breathable car covers allow condensation to escape from underneath. Over time, moisture that is unable to evaporate from under car covers can cause mildew or corrosion and discoloration. Look also for a car cover that offers excellent protection from weather. The best materials are the newer, high-tech, multi-layered materials that that are lightweight, rugged, breathable, and can handle extremes in temperature and weather conditions. These materials will protect more effectively than cheaper materials like plastic or vinyl.
A car cover that fits properly is another important factor when it comes to choosing the right one for your vehicle. Covers that are too large for the vehicle can fill with air like a balloon on breezy days. If not secured well, a ballooning cover can tear or blow right off of the car. Even if the cover does not blow off of the car, the extra bit of loose fabric that whips against the car’s finish repeatedly on windy days can damage the finish over time. Car covers that fit snugly and that are equipped with elastic hems, ties, or drawstrings are the best choices. Even better are custom car covers that are made to fit your car exactly. Custom car covers generally cost more, but many automobile owners believe the extra expense is worth it.
Overall, taking care of our big investments, like vehicles, is more important than ever now that tough economic times make it difficult to trade in our existing vehicles every few years for shiny new models. Protecting a vehicle with a high quality car cover is a simple and practical way to keep that car’s exterior and interior in good condition for as long as the car continues to run.
Why do you need a RV cover? Your RV is responsible for giving you and your family lots of fun, togetherness, and can usually reduce the overall cost of your vacations. But studies have found that families really only use their RVs for an average of around 26 days a year. That leaves more than three hundred and thirty days each year that you actually don’t even use your RV. So while it’s parked, it needs to be protected. Things like the sun, wind, insects, and more can all have a huge impact on just how long your RV lasts. You already get oil changes, check tire pressure, and so on, but many people ignore this method of protection. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you start shopping for an RV cover.
For starters, you’ll want to match up the RV cover to your type of RV. It doesn’t matter if you own a fifth wheel, Class A, Teardrop, Travel Trailer, Class B, Class C, Truck Camper, or Folding Camper type RV – there’s a cover that fits every type of RV perfectly, so you’ll be able to find exactly the one that you need. Start by determining the type of RV you own and then match it to the RV covers available. It’s an obvious first step, and an easy one to take.
Match up the size as well. While most of the different types of RVs are fairly standard sizes, it’s still a good idea to make sure that the RV cover you’re buying is of the same size that your RV cover is. Don’t make the mistake of buying an over sized RV cover just because you think it will make things a little easier. A snug fit is what you’re looking for since it will ensure that wind doesn’t peel your tarp off, that no animals or insects can get beneath the tarp, and that your RV looks neat and professional while it’s under cover.
You need to pay attention to the material your RV cover is made from, as well. You need a durable material that will resist tears and rips as well as water. A good, moisture proof material is the key thing to look for. You don’t want a material that will support the growth of mold or mildew, or allow water to penetrate through it. On the other hand, you do need a breathable material so that the air underneath it doesn’t become too stagnant. It’s a fine line to walk, but quality RV covers will strike the perfect balance with relative ease.
Once you’ve found the right RV cover you should also pay attention to accessory covers. Your RV is important, but it’s not a solid unit in the real sense of the word. The tires, for instance, can be protected from the sun as well to help prevent dry rot. LP gas tanks should be covered to shield them from weather and insects – there are cases of insects building nests inside the actual nozzles of an LP tank. Even your AC unit on your RV could benefit from a cover. There are RV accessory covers designed to fit every one of these and more, so be sure that you take the time to look into each of them and consider whether or not they’re a good fit for your RV.
All that’s needed to create a shady spot in an outdoor living area is one of the many available shading options. A few of these options include patio umbrellas, awnings, shade canopies, and shade sails. Patio umbrellas are a popular choice for shading the small area occupied by a dining table or cozy seating area. Awnings are another shade option that allow homeowners to shade most or all of a patio or deck. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not prefer the look of awnings, which can appear old fashioned and clash with more contemporary decor. Shade canopies are a third shading option for outdoor spaces, but they are intended for temporary, rather than permanent, use. All of these shading options have their place, but when it comes down to it, they leave little room for creativity, and they don’t offer the right solution for spaces with non-traditional shapes and sizes. Shade sails offer homeowners a more updated and versatile means of shading outdoor living spaces. They are readily available in standard shapes and sizes, but custom shade sails can be made to meet custom needs. Rectangles, squares, and triangles in a variety of appealing colors give homeowners the creative freedom to design the look of their outdoor spaces and create as much or as little shade as desired. A unique architectural and artistic effect can be achieved with careful planning and placement of two or more shade sails. Because of their versatility, shade sails are an appealing shade solution in an endless variety of situations. Not only can they protect patios, decks, and porches, they can also provide shade for entry ways, children’s play areas, swimming pools, outdoor restaurants and cafes, and more. Shade sails are easy to install and can be attached to homes, trees, or patio columns. They can also be a completely free standing structure supported by wood posts or steel columns embedded in concrete footings. Shade sails can be left up year round or used seasonally; they are easy to take down and store. While looks are an important factor in choosing a shading option for outdoor areas, performance is just as important, if not more. The best quality shade sails are constructed from superior outdoor fabrics that can block up to 95 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Shade sail fabric is most often water resistant rather than waterproof. This allows the sail to breathe more effectively, which keeps the shaded area much cooler. Shade sails should be expected to withstand extreme temperatures and resist fading and mildew. Because of the number of advantages offered by shade sails — versatility, attractive appearance, and effectiveness — homeowners are often surprised to learn that they are less expensive than many other types of shading options. But, low cost is an additional advantage that makes shade sails an increasingly appealing shade solution for homeowners and business owners. When combined, the advantages that shade sails offer set them far apart from the other shading options available. Patio umbrellas, awnings, shade canopies, and most other shading options simply can’t provide the same affordable performance and stylish appearance.
- Shade cloth by the roll. Be sure you have enough fabric to cover your structure, plus 25 percent more.
- Measuring tape. Be sure to measure twice, and cut once.
- Utility knife, or another sharp cutting tool.
- Attachment hardware. Ideally, the attachment points will not be visible from underneath the structure. Choose screws, nails, or 1 inch staples.
- Drill, hammer, or staple gun to attach your choice of hardware.
- Safety glasses or goggles.
- Unroll the shade cloth across the structure you wish to cover, and pull it loosely into position. Leave 8 to 12 inches or more of overhang on all sides.
- Attach the shade fabric to one of the longest sides of the structure first using your chosen hardware. Start at one end and pull with medium pressure as you move along the edge. Pulling with medium pressure means pulling out the wrinkles and making the fabric slightly taut. Attach the shade cloth to the structure at approximately every 12 inches.
- Finish attaching the outside edges of the fabric to your structure, continuing in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. Make sure that the fabric’s knitted knot lines remain straight as you go along.
- When attaching the shade cloth along an edge of the structure where excess fabric will need to be cut off, be sure to leave enough room between your attachment points and the outer edge so you can easily cut the fabric. To do this, move your attachment points in from the edge of the structure in from the outside edge, beam, or post.
- When joining the edges of two rolls of shade cloth, avoid overlapping them.
- Attach the cloth to any interior support beams, if necessary, and trim off all the excess shade fabric around the edges using a utility knife or another sharp cutting tool.
Canopy DimensionsWhat size canopy do you need? Measure the length and width of your existing canopy in inches. Then, calculate the required square footage for the new play set canopy. To calculate square footage, use the following equation: length in inches x width in inches divided by 144. Knowing square footage is essential so that the manufacturer can produce a product that fits your play set exactly.
Stock Canopy or Custom CanopyMany commercially produced play sets use standard size canopies. For convenience, stock canopies are available in four industry standard sizes:
- 38in x 79in
- 48in x 86in
- 58in x 94in
- 86in x 134in
Choosing a MaterialVinyl 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.
FastenersHow will you fasten the canopy to the play set structure? If you are purchasing a replacement canopy, make note of how the existing canopy is fastened. Is it attached using snaps? Grommets? These are the two most common fasteners used on play set canopies. The manufacturer should be able to provide you with either option. Be sure to measure the distance between each fastener on your existing structure so that the manufacturer can provide you with a canopy that has fasteners spaced at the same intervals. Purchasing a replacement play set canopy is not a difficult process, but it involves a bit more preparation than many homeowners realize. Once you know exactly what kind of replacement canopy you need — considering size, color, material, custom versus stock, and fasteners — you should feel confident that you will receive exactly the product that you require.
Your RV probably logs a lot of miles if it’s anything like most people’s. An RV vacation can give you and your family the ‘together time’ that is so hard to find these days. It can also save you money since staying in an RV park is much cheaper than renting a hotel room for the night. They are also great for tailgating at sporting events. But as much as you probably love your RV, you don’t use it as much as you’d like. Most people only get their RV on the road for about twenty six days out of the year. That means that your recreational vehicle is parked for more than three hundred days every single year. While it doesn’t sound like a big deal, storing your RV improperly can cause some very significant problems to develop.
Problems with RVs often occur during their downtime. Basic issues like damage to the exterior of an RV caused by the sun or paint damage due to bird droppings are a couple of the more common issues. Other problems include things like insect invasion, rodent issues, damage done by debris, and much more. Plenty of people keep their RV’s fluids changed, but they fail to take the next steps needed to really ensure that their RV remains in top shape. Storing an RV properly and using a quality RV cover is the best way to keep yours in great condition. And remembering a few key steps will help you store yours properly.
For starters, get in there and clean. Nobody likes to open up their RV and get ready for a trip only to find that the carpets are caked with mud, there’s rotting food in the fridge, and mildewing clothes on a bed. Clean it with all the care and attentiveness it deserves and be sure to use any cleaning products just as directed. Basically, get your RV’s interior into pristine shape. Now move outside and give it a thorough washing. There are special brushes that can help you reach hard to get to spots if you need them. Be sure to use a quality cleanser and not just something that won’t get the job done. Once you’ve got the entire RV cleaned give it an hour or so to dry before moving to the next step.
That drying period is a good time to check under the hood and make sure that your fluids are all where they need to be and to take a look at the tires and ensure they’re ready for storage as well. Also use the time to check the various accessories your RV may have. Things like the AC unit, the LP gas tanks, and even the septic holding tank are all important to button down before storage. If you have a BBQ Gas Grill that you store in your RV, make sure it is clean, inside and out. Make sure they’re all properly sealed and ready for storage when you’re getting ready to shut down your RV.
Now you’ll want to use your RV cover and properly cover the recreational vehicle. It’s not a good idea to cut corners when it comes to RV covers. There are covers out there for every type of motor home and camper, so be sure that you find one that provides a snug fit and quality protection. This is important because using a tarp or poor quality cover could really come back to haunt you. They’ll tear, rip, and blow away in wind. Take the time to order a quality RV cover and to install it properly. You won’t regret it.
Once you’ve got the RV cover on, add any accessory covers you may have. Many RV owners use tire covers, AC covers, or even gas tank covers to make sure they’re fully protecting their motor home. This is a great idea, is less expensive than most people think, and will give your RV the level of protection that it needs during any period of non-use.
That’s all there is to it. Once these steps are done you should be able to relax and know that your RV is in good shape until you’re ready to use it again. It usually takes a couple of hours for most people to button down their RV and get it stored properly, but it’s an investment in time that is very wise to make. With a little effort and a quality RV cover, your RV will be ready to go whenever you are.
Your car may very well be your pride and joy. Lots of automobile owners purchase a car and look at it as a work of art, or at the very least as an investment that they need to put forth plenty of effort in protecting. And even for those who park their vehicle in a garage or under a carport, there’s still a good chance that the car can get a little bit of slight damage. But with the help of quality car covers, that’s an issue that doesn’t usually arise. If you want to keep your car in pristine shape, a car cover is probably a good idea.
Car covers offer a lot of protection from a lot of different things. Leaving a car out in the elements will cause UV damage, for example. There’s no escaping the sun unless you shield your vehicle from it, and it can not only damage the car’s finish, but actually harms the upholstery and interior of the car as well. Scratches are the bane of existence for many car owners and the fact is that there’s no surefire way to protect your vehicle from them while you’re on the road. But once you park, putting a cover over your vehicle will shield it against falling debris, dings and scratches from other sources, and more.
Even something as simple as dirt settling onto a vehicle can cause major problems. That dirt could actually scratch the paint in minor ways. Those minor scratches can grow to major problems, and it’s important to avoid them at all costs. Parking your vehicle in a garage will help, but there’s still the issue of dust settling on the car. This can remove that fresh, just-washed look and may even trigger microscopic abrasions that could grow into easy to spot ones. If you’re serious about protecting your car, going an extra step beyond just parking in a garage is a good idea.
It’s pretty obvious that covering your car with a vehicle cover is a good idea, but just what to look for when shopping for a good cover is an issue that some people are confused about. Basically, you want to find a car cover that offers all-weather defense and is water repellent yet breathable. Look for heavy-duty covers – buying a low quality cover is basically like putting a bed sheet on your car and hoping for the best.
Buy according to your vehicle, as well. Don’t buy an SUV cover and put it on your sedan just because the SUV cover is on sale. The cover needs to fit perfectly or it may blow off in a high wind, and it could fall off if a pet bumps against it. Not only that, but in most cases when you put an improperly sized cover on a car you may eliminate any guarantees of protection that the cover has. And finally, be sure to get a cover that gives you a warranty. The best covers will offer at least a two to four year warranty, and it will let you know that you’re buying a quality cover you can count on. Keep these basic points in mind and protecting your car will be a snap.