Monday, February 17, 2014

Is a Wooden Patio Furniture Durable?

Wood patio furniture items just naturally look appealing and feels comfortable. That is why many of us like to have them in the backyard garden or patio for relaxing. Then there are many advantages of the wooden outdoor items, like not getting so hot under the sun. However, their durability is still in question especially when it comes to the worst outdoor conditions.

Are they durable? Well, it depends on several factors.

First, the type of wood they are made of. There are just few wood types that are proven to be really resistant to outdoor elements such as hot sunlight, UV rays, rain, and snow. When you buy wooden furniture, just look for the following wood:
  • Teak
  • Cedar
  • Redwood
  • Ipe

These woods are also resistant to destructive bugs and insects.

Other woods that you can find like pine or birch are not as great as the list above but they can be treated for durability. They can be pressure treated, oiled, or painted with weather and bug resistant coating. These types are cheaper. If you have to buy them, ask the manufacturer or dealer for these characteristics. This may help you determine what to do and what to add to increase the durability.

Secondly, how you took care of them also affect durability. Even the best wood outdoor furniture need proper care and maintenance. Their natural and artificial resistance will degenerate over time. You need to oil them or apply a good protective coating once a year or so.

Any wood, can get their color change or fade to gray. But it does not necessarily mean they get weaker. Its just a natural process of the wood getting dehydrated. It should not make a big problem because you can bring back their original look or make something better by applying oil, stain, and paint.

Please do not forget to buy a patio furniture cover. A good cover will guard your furniture against sun, rain, snow, and dust. Patio umbrellas are also beneficial for your outdoor furniture as they can block hot sunlight and UV rays.

If you take good care of them, you will enjoy your pieces of wooden patio furniture for a longer time.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Can Patio Umbrellas Block UV Rays?

Yes, patio umbrellas can block UV rays but the amount they can prevent depends on the quality of the umbrella canopy.

Beautiful patio umbrellas make a great addition to your patio design but don’t get overwhelmed by their good looks. You must keep in mind that the primary purpose is sun protection.

There is no definite answer how much UV rays can be blocked by a certain type of umbrella canopy fabric. Some sellers say 80 percent and some say up to 98 percent. Additionally, there are many types of fabric that a patio umbrella can be made of. This somehow makes confusions.

To help you avoid much confusion, you just have to remember some pointers in determining the best outdoor umbrella in terms of UV blockage. These include fabric characteristics and the method of making.

Fabric characteristics that can block UV rays:
  • Weave and Thread Count - the denser, the better protection. UV rays can hardly penetrate dense materials.
  • Color - umbrella fabrics are generally solution-dyed for UV protection. The darker the color means more dye and better protection.
  • Weight - this concerns the weight of thread. 7 oz or higher means better at UV blocking. For example, an 8 oz, 600 thread count Polyester is great.
  • Coating - Some fabrics are coated with UV protective agents.

The method of making add another level of protection. Some umbrella canopies have multiple layers of fabric and fibers.

Here is a list of best known fabrics for patio umbrellas, offset umbrellas, commercial umbrellas, and other outdoor umbrellas. Try to look for these when you are buying a patio umbrella.

  • Solution-Dyed Acrylic
  • Solution-Dyed Polyester
  • Olefin & Acrylic Umbrellas
  • Spun Polyester Fabric
  • Heavy Gauge Vinyl

Sunbrella is a famous brand of umbrella fabrics. They’ve have been tested and proven to give up to 98 percent UV protection in shade applications. Recommended by many umbrella manufacturers. In fact, Sunbrella fabrics have been awarded the "Seal of Recommendation" by The Skin Cancer Foundation, an international organization dedicated to the prevention of skin cancer.