A break in the weather

We’ve had a break in the weather these past few days. Meaning, 60 degrees and sunny here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Yep you heard right. Sunny… in Seattle… in February!

There was just enough blue in the sky to venture out in the backyard only to find some shades of green on the neighbors beautiful patio sets. Not the Evergreen you bring up when you brag about living in the most gorgeous place on earth.

So, we thought if you find yourself with a break in the weather, why not do a little PRE-Spring cleaning in the heart of Winter? After all – the birds are chirping in the morning and the frogs are out at night – which in our neck of the woods means Spring really is right around the corner!

Grab yourself 10 minutes and a brush and you’re ready. Here’s a great source for doing a quick clean up:

Winterize Your Patio

A break in the weather

Exposing the Elements…

lignin

We’re pretty confident most of us have it, and it’s most likely right outside your door.  We’re talking about your wooden patio furniture! Your tables, chairs, chaises, adirondacks, benches and umbrellas. What the heck is this lignin? Well put on your Chem 101 hats. Lignin is a complex polymer of aromatic alcohols derived from wood, and constitutes 30% of non-fossil organic carbon and a quarter to a third of the dry mass of wood.  Sooo, it’s a big make up of your wooden furniture right outside your door.

Being in the protecting business, we’re taking a closer look at the effects our beloved sun’s UV rays  have on wood (lignin in the wood to be technical here).  The lignin in our wooden furniture absorbs UV and causes discoloration and structural weakness.  Studies have shown that discoloration and structural weakness is noticeable after only 250 hours of UV exposure, or roughly 31 sunny days! Yes, that can even happen here in the Great NorthWet Northwest.

Real world example: Fig 1.

Fig1_Lignin_BP
Ever seen this happen to your favorite table? Lignin is photo-degraded by light (especially UV light) quicker than the other cell wall polymers. This decreases its water resistance, and can result in the buildup of yellowish to brown color. The effects of the degradation by light in the visible wavelengths usually follows, which causes lignin to become greyish or bleached in appearance over time.

Stained Wood – Light Damage:

Fig2_Lignin_BP
Figure 2. The 10 year test results of the National Park Service’s Wood Stain Durability Test are shown above. The upper half of the test board was exposed in a window  to north light. The bottom was covered during the test period. Comparison of the corresponding exposed and unexposed areas reveals the extreme susceptibility of certain commonly used wood stains to damage by light. **

“The aniline dyes (what gives the wood stain it’s color) proved to be extremely light sensitive with noticeable fading even on a year to year basis.” – National Park Service

Fig3_Lignin_BP

The weathered look has its place, just not where you want to sit down and relax, or to serve your favorite BBQ dish on. When painted wood is exposed to UV for years, you’ll find cracking and flaking over time. Fig 4

Fig4_Lignin_BP

So how can our covers help?

  1. All of Classic’s woven covers possess UV protection factors greater than 50, which is rated ‘excellent’   Fig 5.

    Fig5_Lignin_BP

  2. All of our woven patio furniture covers  block at least 99.93% of all UV radiation due to their special backing.
  3. Choose a model with a UV protective-coating for longer lasting protection.
  4. Save money and convenience
  5. Check out how to properly store your patio furniture whether it be between seasons, showers, or weekends.

Protection like this has never been easier!

 

Sources:
Basic Wood Anatomy and Behavior. Erica N. Skadsen 4/2007
“INFLUENCE OF LIGNIN CONTENT ON PHOTODEGRADATION IN WOOD/HDPE COMPOSITES UNDER UV WEATHERING” Chaochanchaikul et al. (2012).
“Photodegradation” BioResources7(1), 38-55. http://www.ncsu.edu/bioresources/BioRes_07/BioRes_07_1_0038_Chaochanchaikul_JS_Infl_Lignin_Photodegr_HDPE_UV_Weath_2000.pdf
**Photo Credit: Mike Wiltshire, National Park Service.

Exposing the Elements…

Dads & Grads

DandG_SocialShare2 Tassels and Tie Time Everybody! Trying to decide on that perfect gift for the guy who’s given so much? What about that beaming grad who’s worked so hard. We think it’s time for both of them to relax waterside this summer – in a boat with screaming reels! Nighttime fireside more their thing? No problem – we have everything from fire pit covers to log carriers. Take them camping or use them at home between roasting the perfect marshmallow. We’re extending our thanks to all those dads and grads and offering 20% off NOW until the end of June. {6/30/14}  Celebrate the hard workers in your life this June with Classic Accessories.

Dads & Grads