Make vinyl repair and restoration of your outdoor furniture a spring ritual.

Just as the flowers and trees start blooming, and people begin to enjoy Mother Nature’s awakening in shirt sleeves and shorts, thoughts move on to the warmer summer days ahead.

Warmer days mean boaters begin to prepare their craft for the season. Homeowners ready their outdoor furniture for cookouts and parties. 

The ritual for vinyl repair and restoration may start earlier this year, thanks to the unusually warm winter. 

However, before the waves start slapping against the sides of the boat and the cushions are placed on the chairs around the grill, there are a few things people should keep in mind.

As you are getting ready for summer and thinking about your outdoor furniture –  how are you going to take care of the vinyl repair and restoration needed to make them ready for the active season?

Most of the cushions and padding on boats are made of vinyl too and will also need vinyl repair and restoration.

vinyl repair and restorationA little time spent on vinyl repair and restoration now will keep it looking good and prevent it from wearing out. 

“Vinyl can be a durable and long lasting cushion and padding for boats and lawn furniture as long as it is taken care of,”  says Michael Wilson, President and CEO of Fibrenew, a leading leather and vinyl repair and restoration company.

Caring for vinyl must start before the boating season actually begins and before the first cookout and then continue every time the craft is in the water and the hamburgers are on the grill.

A few little-known facts about vinyl repair and restoration:

  • Vinyl is not as flexible in the cold as it is in hot weather, so be careful stepping on cold vinyl – it will rip easily.
  • Use clean water and a general purpose vinyl cleaner (neutral PH) not water by itself, to remove oil, dust, and grime from the vinyl seats and vinyl trim at the start of the season and every time you use the boat.  Don’t use lake water because the minerals and dirt in most lake water will stay on your vinyl – acting sort of like sand paper and wearing it down when people start getting in and out of your boat.
  • Sunscreen, body oils and sea salt also act as abrasive surfaces that break down vinyl as people move around on your seats. Those same oils can get baked into the vinyl as it gets hotter because vinyl becomes more porous in the heat. It’s best to clean the seats after every use, not matter what the temperature is.
  • Tree sap is one of the worst things you can get on vinyl because sun and heat can melt the sap into the vinyl. Clean the sap off quickly if it does land on the vinyl.
  • If you get a hole in a vinyl seat, make sure the inside of the cushion is dry before repair.
  • Pay close attention to your boat cover – it should cover all vinyl surfaces.  Besides keeping the boat cleaner it keeps sunlight from damaging the vinyl. Try to leave a vent when your boat is covered so moisture in the boat can escape.                                                                        

Fibrenew, founded in 1985 in Canada, is an international franchise company that specializes in the renewal of leather and plastics, vinyl repair and restoration, servicing five major markets: aviation, automotive, commercial, marine and residential. 

There are nearly 200 Fibrenew locations in 9 countries around the world.  As a global leader in the environmental movement, Fibrenew prevents thousands of tons of leather and plastics from entering landfills. 

Fibrenew also supports initiatives that give opportunities to women in third world countries. For more information visit

Michael WilsonMichael Wilson, CEO of Fibrenew

It’s not surprising Michael Wilson would grow a business solution to a serious environmental problem because the outdoors and environment are in his blood.

Wilson was born in New Zealand, graduated from the University of Calgary, and sailed to America on a 29 foot wood boat he built in the UK. A true adventurer, he has traveled extensively, including spending four winters in the Canadian High Arctic working as a surveyor in the oil industry, before settling in Calgary and starting a family and business.

Wilson was attracted to owning his own business and having studied environmental science at university it was only natural he would own a green company. He also saw the business potential in keeping damaged leathers and plastics out of landfills, while saving customers money by repairing and refurbishing rather than replacing these items.

He purchased the first Fibrenew franchise offered for sale in 1987; and he liked the business so much he bought the company in 1994.  Today there are more than 200 franchises in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

Wilson is a widower; has two children and two grandchildren, and besides continuing to grow Fibrenew he divides his free time between family, ocean sailing and walking in the mountains. 

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