Cushion season starts now!

Summer Cushion Season Starts Now.

 The best thing about summer is that it comes every year. No matter what happens we know it will show up. Sometimes late, sometimes ineffectively, sometimes with too much rain. But it always comes. 

 And one of the things that also happens every year is that, if you own summer outdoor cushions, you need to get them out of storage. Hoping they are still good enough for one more season.

 Here are the top three things to help you decide if they are OK for another year, or perhaps need to be replaced.

 1. If you squish the cushion and it sounds like cellophane being crinkled, it means the foam inside has started to disintegrate. Replace.

 2. If you accidentally poked your finger through the fabric, this, too means replace. At least the covers.

 3. If you can see how bright the print was once, compared to what it is now, chances are the covers, at least, need to be replaced. How to check? Fold back that tiny bit of fabric running along the zipper teeth. Or check the part of the cushion that sits at the back of the chair, nearest the seat for signs of color change. Or check the fabric underneath a button.

Sun will damage most fabric within one or two summer seasons — the sun in Salmon Arm has the same intensity as the sun in Phoenix. That’s a whole lot of UV rays beating down on your fabric. 

 Unless you have fabric specifically made to withstand this sun, expect damage in the form of color fading and fabric disintegration. The foam breaks down from the UV rays penetrating the fabric, so it, too, is impacted by the summer sun. 

 You have several options for replacing your cushion foam and/or covers. Retail stores that sell outdoor furniture often sell just cushions and you may get lucky and find cushions exactly your size and the color you want.

 A note about outdoor fabric: Sunbrella is a brand made particularly for outdoor use. It offers a guarantee (unheard of in almost any other fabric brand), the fabric is almost impervious to sun-fade, and the fabric can be bleached without any damage. Revolution is another one, same sort of durability, as is Outdura.

 A note about foam: good, firm 5-year foam is about 3.00 a board foot. That’s a piece 1x1x12 inches and costs about 3.00. The seat cushion, 4 inches thick and 24×24 would cost about 48.00. 

 Online, of course, you can get just about anything. Canadian Tire sells a set with a seat and back cushion for 109.00, as does Amazon. If this size and style, and color work for you, these are probably a good two-year solution for you. 

 You can get a custom-size set made online at Northern Patio for a starting price of 335.00. They have a lot of fabrics to choose from, all Sunbrella. Changing the size to a 1-inch larger seat and 1-inch higher back cushion increased the price here to 355.00.

 Custom made locally, from Sunbrella fabric, the 2-cushion set the same size as these examples would be about 275.00 depending on the foam. Using a budget outdoor fabric, which may last several years, or may not, would be about 225.00, depending on the foam. 

 The biggest advantage of having new covers made locally is that you can get the exact size and shape you need, with added options like no-rip ties to secure them to the chairs, added toss cushions to match or co-ordinate, different grades of foam, the exact trim color, etc. etc.

 But it starts with getting those cushions out and taking a good look at them. Spring is on its way. 


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