Five Facts You Must Know When Shopping for Car Covers!

By David Bynon

When looking for the right car cover for their vehicle, car owners will see two words that seem to be the same thing, but they are very different. I'm talking about "outdoor" versus "waterproof". Outdoor speaks specifically to the ability to be used outside in light weather conditions. Waterproof is different because it has a specific claim of resisting high moisture levels.

The purpose of this article is to share the subtle differences between car cover fabrics that will protect your car when it's parked outside. If you're in the market for a new cover, this will help guild you through the maze of materials and the various claims they make related to their performance.

Based on more than thirty years of use experience, I'll use Coverking and Covercraft fabrics as my examples. I realize there are other choices, but these two companies are the recognized leaders in the industry. Plus, both companies use a five-star rating system that's become common across all sites that sell these products. The ratings make it easier to evaluate and choose the material that's right for you.

For the sake of clarity, an outdoor fabric is one that is suitable for light weather conditions, but not for heavy or extended periods of precipitation. Here, too, you will find fabrics that have many different qualities. For example, the Triguard material is a 3-layer fabric that's okay for light use. It's great for a vehicle that you might have tucked away under a carport, but definitely not made for an automobile parked on the street or in the driveway getting full exposure.

If you need an outdoor cover that can take the abuse of the sun's UV rays, look at the Silverguard material. It works great in full sun, even when used daily. You'll see this fabric a lot in hot, sunny climates, but not in the South where afternoon summer rains are common. For the South you need a waterproof material that can breathe. For comparison, the Sunbrella material has the same sunny climate protective qualities.

A nice step up from the Silverguard or Sunbrella fabric is Covercraft's Block-It. It is very capable in all-weather conditions, including extended rain. The four layer polypropylene system is not 100% waterproof, but it's darn close. What it offers is great breath-ability. That means any small amount of moisture that does make it through the fabric or past the seams will be able to evaporate without causing any issues. Plus, this is a material that works indoors, as well. Many people use it as a dust cover because of the impact protection provided by the thickness. If you have a busy house with kids and pets, it's ideal.

When you talk about needing 100% waterproofing, you have to look for a cover that claims all-weather protection. What this basically means is that it can withstand extended periods of rain fall, drizzle, fog, salt air, snow and ice. The material most commonly associated with these qualities is Noah.

Created by the Kimberly-Clark company for Covercraft, Noah was the first true waterproof system. One of the qualities making it so unique is its weight. At just 4.45 ounces per square yard, it's super light weight making it easy to handle, fold and stow. It's an all-weather champion, too. The watertight capability is enhanced by its ability to breathe and block UV light. It's a champ in the South, North, East and West. When you require serious all-weather protection, put Noah on your evaluation list.

Not to be over-looked, Stormproof by Coverking is the latest in modern microfiber technology. It uses yarn with fibers so small that water can't get past the weave, yet moisture vapors under the cove pass through with ease. Unlike older fabrics treated with water repellant chemicals, Stormproof does not need a coating so its water repelling capabilities don't wear off. Lesser fabrics will fail after a season or two unless you treat the fabric again. The big surprise is the super soft, plush feel. It's amazing!

Don't make an uninformed decision when it comes to protecting your automobile. There are many different in outdoor and waterproof covers, so be sure you get the best car cover for you based on your environment and how you plan to use it.

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