The purpose of a car cover is, quite obviously, to protect your vehicle, but you may be thinking: “what exactly can a cover protect my car from”? Some of the most common causes of vehicle damage are weather conditions such as rain, sun, heat, hail, and snow. However, just because you keep your car indoors does not mean you can forgo a cover—the single biggest culprit for paint damage on vintage or high-value cars is pesky, old-fashioned dust! In this article, we will discuss the main causes of vehicle damage and what to look for in a car cover to maximize protection.

Does a car cover protect your vehicle from rain?

A common misconception car owners have is that rain will damage the paint or finish of their vehicle. However, regular rain is actually entirely harmless—you can consider it a free wash! Acid rain, however, which has become an increasingly common occurrence, is a different story. The harsh chemical content of acid rain gradually damages the paint and finish of an unprotected vehicle. If you keep your vehicle outdoors in an urban or industrial setting, a car cover is necessary to protect your vehicle from acid rain.

Waterproof Covers:

You may have seen some car covers advertised as “waterproof”. In theory, these covers are designed to completely block rain and moisture from reaching the car underneath. These covers are typically made from plastic film or a plastic-coated fabric—similar to the material of a plastic tablecloth you could purchase at a dollar store. The idea behind this design is that if the object is dry before applying the cover, it should remain dry and prevent condensation from forming. This logic is simple enough, but there is a serious problem with these so-called “waterproof” covers.

Covers that claim to be 100% waterproof will prevent moisture from getting in—this is what we want—however, they simultaneously prevent moisture from escaping. Since waterproof covers are usually cheaply made, it is possible (read “inevitable”) for some condensation to form underneath the cover and become trapped. This leads to water stains on the surface of your vehicle or ever more costly damage such as oxidation rust. What is more, trapped moisture can lead to mold and mildew forming on the interior of your vehicle, which, in addition to the ‘yuck’ factor is a non-negligible health hazard.

With this in mind, do waterproof car covers exist? We may not be official MythBusters, but we can confidently say: waterproof car covers are a myth. Moreover, they are a myth that seduces many well-meaning buyers into spending too much money on a cheap and ineffective car cover—one that ends up damaging what it is meant to protect.

Water Resistant Covers:

Water-resistant car covers offer the best protection from water damage. Like athleticwear, car covers should be able to breathe. As “water-resistant”, your cover will block most of the rain. However, when some water does seep in (which is unavoidable in the case of a heavy downpour) it will be able to evaporate through the layers. Thus, the important requirement— that your vehicle dries quickly when it does get wet—will be met!

With water-resistant covers made from specific materials such as superweave or noah, you can put the cover directly on a wet car and expect it to dry within hours. When purchasing your cover, pay attention to whether the cover is made for indoor/light use as opposed to outdoor use. Indoor/light use has limited protection against water, whereas outdoor use is made to withstand rough weather conditions such as rain, snow and hail.

What about acid rain? Water-resistant covers are your best bet for protection against acid rain. What causes damage from acid rain is the chemical deposit and not the water itself. This chemical deposit gets caught in the cover, preventing it from corroding your car’s finish.

Does a car cover protect your vehicle from the sun?

We all know how dangerous UV rays can be against our skin if left unprotected; Cars are no different. So long as your car is exposed outside, the sun actively works to harm your cars’ paint and interior. The best way to prevent this is not to lather your car with sunscreen, but to use a car cover. You may be wondering: “can a cover really protect my vehicle against UV rays and sun damage”? The short answer is yes! A car cover can help keep your paint from fading in addition to preventing your interior components from deteriorating by reducing the overall heat of the vehicle. However, not all covers will offer the same protection. A cover’s functional protection against UV rays is dependent on its fabric composition. Below we will examine two common fabric options: polyester and polypropylene. At CarCover.com we recommend polypropylene for all outdoor covers.

Polyester

Pros: Polyester fabric provides high UV protection while it lasts.

Cons: The biggest complaint we’ve heard about polyester is its lack of breathability. Polyester fibres do not facilitate airflow, so, they tend to trap the heat within the vehicle. Whereas your car will be safe from UV rays with a polyester cover, it will remain vulnerable to heat damage. Moreover, polyester tends to break down in the sun fairly quickly. Thus, if you live in a sunny climate you are bound to have to replace your cover before long!

Polypropylene

Pros: This 100% non-woven material offers good breathability and airflow to ensure the car’s temperature will not rise. This protects the inner components, paint, and finish by keeping them nice and cool. Polypropylene also protects against sun fading as it offers high UV protection. Unlike polyester, it does not disintegrate due to prolonged sun exposure.

Cons: Slightly more expensive to manufacture than alternatives.

What Is the Best Car Cover Material?

The best car cover material depends on your specific needs and the climate in which you live. For storing a car outdoors year-round in a seasonal climate, we recommend a durable, weatherproof, breathable cover option like our gold shield 5L (5 layer). These high-quality covers, which come in custom and semi-custom fits, are made of water-resistant Polypropylene. They are guaranteed to protect your vehicle outdoors rain or shine. To explore our size and style options, explore our online catalogue at CarCover.com.

Does a car cover protect your vehicle from hail?

As we all know, a hailstorm can sneak up in a blink of an eye, leaving little time to locate shelter for one’s vehicle. In the event that a garage or carport is unavailable, a car cover can offer significant and quickly accessible protection for your vehicle, thereby protecting you from hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damages.

As you are shopping for car covers, you will notice most covers on the market claim to protect your car from scratches and dings. However, this claim does not typically include hail. A reliable hail cover should have five or more plies. A 5L cover can provide a barrier for hail up to the size of a nickel. In the case of a severe hailstorm, you can install your car cover on top of blankets for added protection. At CarCover.com all our models come with straps that are designed for stormy conditions. These straps ensure the cover and additional blanks remain in place in case of high winds. While our car covers are guaranteed to protect your vehicle against mild to moderate hailstorms, we recommend you find indoor parking if you anticipate catching the tail of a hurricane!

Does a car cover protect your vehicle from snow?

A very basic car cover can do wonders when it comes to protecting your car against winter weather. Water resistant covers are made to allow moisture out when it rains, but they ensure a fabric buffer between snow and ice. This buffer protects your paint job from water damage and reduces frost on windows. What is more, a car cover can protect your vehicle from falling ice, road salt, and chemical-filled slush splashed from city trucks. Car covers also make snow removal easier—simply install your cover before a snowstorm and when you remove the cover, and the snow and ice will come off with it! You can say goodbye to frigid mornings of brushing and scraping your vehicle and enjoy an extra cup of coffee before you leave for work!

Does a car cover protect your vehicle from dust?

Car covers are most often used to shield cars from the outdoor elements, but you should also use a cover if you store your vehicle indoors to protect it from dust particles, debris, pollen, mold, and animal hair. In fact, indoor covers are equally, if not more important that outdoor ones. Dust does not merely necessitate dusting your vehicle; it can permanently damage your paint and finish. To protect from dust you should purchase a 5 layer Polypropylene car cover. Although the 5L is breathable, it has a microlayer filter out even the smallest dust particle.

Does a car cover protect your vehicle from Heat?

We all know the stifling feeling of stepping into a car that has been sitting in the sun all afternoon. However, it is underappreciated how much damage heat can do to a vehicle. A car left in the summer sun acts like an oven that cooks a vehicle’s interior causing leather to crack and plastic to melt. Moreover, heat can cause your battery to deplete faster and increase the risk of flat tires due to overinflation. A car cover, in addition to protecting your paint from UV rays, will keep the interior of your vehicle at a stable temperature preventing both functional and aesthetic damages due to heat.

Conclusion

From rain to snow to heat to dust, there is a multitude of elements which wreak havoc on your vehicle. You may not be able to protect your vehicle from all damages, but a high quality five ply polypropylene cover will put you ahead of the game. Remember, a high-quality car cover is an investment; you pay now in order to avoid wasting more time and money later! What is more, our covers at CarCover.com come with a lifetime warranty and come with a storage bag what can conveniently fit in trunk of your vehicle. With our Gold Shield 5L cover you will be ready for all weather in a moment’s notice. Do not hesitate, protect your car today!