One of the questions we get a lot is “how long will Sunbrella fabric last?” The answer to that question depends on a few things. First, it depends on what materials were used, how much exposure will the fabric have, and finally what color fabric you choose. All of the standard awning/marine Sunbrella fabrics come with a 10 year warranty, but oddly enough every color doesn’t last the same length of time (I would also dare say it isn’t just Sunbrella, it may be all woven acrylics).
We have noticed over the past 13 years working in the high sun exposure environment down at Lake Powell that darker colored acrylics last longer than the lighter colored options. We have pointed this out to our representatives and haven’t received a real answer. Our best guess is that the darker the color, the more pigment is in the yarn, adding better UV protection. We have seen black fabric that is in constant, direct sunlight at Lake Powell last up to 12-16 years. In contrast, we have seen colors in the range of Hemp Beige to Natural failing in as little as 4 years. Yes, Sunbrella will warranty the fabric, but they don’t always cover the labor to re-fabricate the cover.
So in order to get the most out of your acrylic cover, start by selecting a darker color fabric. If you want a lighter color fabric, keep it out of constant sunlight so that it will last longer. Anytime you have the cover out of the sun and elements, the more time is added to the life.