CHOSING A CAR COVER: WHAT REALLY MATTERS

BASIC COVER REQUIREMENTS

DUST TIGHT - SOFT - STURDY - FIT - BREATHABLE

are the basic features any car cover must have

No matter where your car is stored, a car cover must be

DUST TIGHT *

There is no point in using a cover that can't keep dust out. In fact, dust between

cover and car may cause abrasion.

A cover must also be

SOFT on the paint

and

STURDY to protect the car from scratches and to withstand multiple handling.

It must

FIT properly. It should cover the whole car but it shouldn´t be too large. If a cover is too large it

will drag over the floor, dirt and dust will attach to the inside and will be dragged over your car.

And, last but not least, it must be

BREATHABLE, to allow any moist, be it from driving in the rain or from condensation, to escape. 

Condensation can cause considerable damage by corrosion to the body and metal parts, and

mildew in the upholstery of the car. In the North-West European climate it occurs both indoors

and outdoors. [more]

 
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STORAGE CONDITIONS

 

Whether further features are required depends on the type of storage.

                     There are roughly four categories, each with their additional requirements, as follows:

 
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1

HEATED INDOORS

basic requirements:

dust tight - soft - sturdy - fit - breathable

+ UV-resistant, if the car is

   exposed to sunlight through

   a window or glass roof

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+ UV-resistant, if the car is

   exposed to sunlight through

   a window or glass roof

+ Non-hygroscopic

2

UNHEATED INDOORS

basic requirements:

dust tight - soft - sturdy - fit - breathable

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+ Water repellent OR, depending

   on exposure to weather,

+ Water tight

3

CARPORT

basic requirements:

dust tight - soft - sturdy - fit - breathable

 + UV-resistant, if the car is

    exposed to sunlight through

    a window or glass roof

 + Non-hygroscopic

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4

OUTDOORS

basic requirements:

dust tight - soft - sturdy - fit - breathable

+  UV-resistant

+  Non-hygroscopic

+  Water tight

UV-RESISTANT - If the car is parked outdoors, or indoors near a window or under a glass/transparent roof, UV-rays will affect the paint, upholstery and rubbers. A good outdoor cover offers protection from UV-rays but a regular indoor cover won´t, and will itself also be affected and not have a very long life span if exposed to UV-rays. In this case, even indoors a breathable outdoor cover is the best choice.

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NON-HYGROSCOPIC - Because of the risk of condensation, the fabric shouldn´t absorb and retain moist, or the cover will lay on your car like a wet rag.

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WATER REPELLENT - If the carport offers shelter from strong wind the cover won´t have to be completely water tight, water repellent will do.

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WATER TIGHT - An outdoor cover must protect the car from rain, snow, and bird- and tree droppings. It can't protect from condensation, so moist may build up under the cover. Therefore, while being water tight, the material must at the same time be breathable, to allow the moist to escape once it evaporates.

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CAR COVER MATERIALS

Having established the requirements for a cover for your storage type, you'll need to find a material that meets them. 

A few things to bear in mind:

 

WOVEN AND KNITTED FABRICS ARE LESS

dust tight than spunbond and other non-wovens*. Dust will penetrate the holes between the threads of woven and knitted fabrics; spunbond and non-wovens like e.g. polypropylene don´t have these holes.

 

STRETCHY FABRIC IS USUALLY KNITTED.

When it is stretched, the holes between the loops of thread become larger and will let dust through. The further the material is stretched, the larger the holes become and the more dust will penetrate the cover*. 

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woven

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knitted

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non-woven

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COTTON IS ONLY SUITABLE FOR USE

in absolutely dry spaces without any risk of condensation,as it absorbs and retains moist.

WATERTIGHTNESS AND BREATHABILITY

are very hard to combine. PVC, nylon, canvas and plastic are water tight but not breathable. And even the best water tight breathable cover may let some water through with strong and incessant rain.

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SOME POPULAR CAR COVER MATERIALS AND THEIR FEATURES
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None of these materials ticks all boxes, so we decided to develop our own fabrics. As Polypropylene (PP) ticks many boxes and is adaptive, we have taken this material as a basis. By combining several layers of PP, each with its own characteristics, we believe to have created the perfect car cover fabrics, Supertex® and Moltex®.

Supertex® was designed for use indoors or in a carport

The three-layer composition makes it 100% dust tight and sturdy,

breathable and water repellent with a soft inner lining. 

Moltex® was designed for use outdoors or in a carport

Its five-layer composition makes it 100% dust tight and strong,

with a UV-resistant outer layer and a soft inner lining. The middle

layers work like a membrane making the material water tight

yet breathable.

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Supertex®
Moltex®
 

TIPS

If your car is stored indoors in an unheated space, make sure the room is well-ventilated. Air circulation helps reducing the temperature difference between surface and air which helps reducing condensation. A drafty old barn is better than a perfectly insulated but unheated garage!

If you have a heated garage don´t overheat it and avoid the air being TOO dry, as this will affect the leather, rubbers and synthetic materials used in the car.

The ideal conditions for your car's paint, metal parts, upholstery and rubbers are

- air humidity around 50%

- temperature (though much depending on

   humidity) between 10 and 20 °C

Leave the windows of the car slightly open during storage.

A convertible should always be stored with the hood up.

If your car has been freshly painted, say less than six months ago, consult the paintshop or paint supplier before using a cover, as the paint may not be fully curred.

If for a longer period the weather stays too cold to let condensation evaporate, allow car and cover to dry every now and then when the weather permits. Hang the cover out and take the car for a spin!

PITFALLS

Some outdoor covers are made water tight by using a spray, which usually declines in a few months.

Don't expect any car cover to actually prevent condensation: it's physically impossible. Condensation is the result of temperature differences between the air and a surface, in combination with the relative humidity in the air. [more] No car cover can influence this process.

The best any cover can do is to allow condensation to escape once it evaporates, in other words, be breathable.

A ventilation gap on the roof may be a sign that the material itself isn't breathable (enough).

Stretchy covers may look great, but their functionality often falls behind: due to stretching the material, the knit-loops* are widened, reducing protection from dust and scratches.

It may look as if the cover has kept the dust out when in fact you've just wiped it off the car when removing the cover.

Any breathable water tight cover may let some rain through during long and incessant showers. No need to worry, the breathability of the cover will allow the water to escape once it evaporates.

 

COVER HANDLING
 

  • Make sure the car is clean before you put the cover over it, to avoid dust and dirt coming between car and cover as this will cause abrasion.
     

  • Remove or cover (e.g. with a tennis ball) sharp edges on the car such as mascottes, antennae, fins, before putting the cover on.
     

  • Avoid dragging the cover over the floor: put it on the roof of the car and unfold it from there. When removing it work in the reverse way.
     

  • If the cover isn't machine washable, the easiest way to clean it is to leave it on the car and whipe it with a soft sponge or cloth and luke warm water. Don't use detergents or chemicals, these may damage the cover material or the paint of your car.
     

  • Snow must be removed from the cover as it limits breathability.
     

  • In stormy conditions outdoor covers must be removed to avoid them being damaged.