Difference Between Waterproof And Water Repellent Covers!

(Last Updated On: July 16, 2023)

Difference Between Waterproof And Water Repellent Covers!

Now you many ask Difference Between Waterproof And Water Repellent Covers! This is very important to know unless you pay a little attention to these two words, both waterproof and water repellent seem to be the same.

They might look like they are interchangeable but when it comes to describing outdoor fabrics and materials such as covers, they should be taken into consideration according to the real meaning.

This knowledge will greatly affect your current or future purchases. The difference between waterproof and water repellent covers is not a huge one, in fact, any water repellent surface can be turned into waterproof. Let’s see what actually differentiates these two words from one another.

Waterproof covers:

Waterproof covers will always repel water totally and completely. Not a single drop of water can seep into a waterproof cover. Even if the cover gets old or worn out, no water gets in! Not even air, it’s as simple as that.

One or two sides of a waterproof boat cover are vinyl, vinyl-coated, or laminated. Waterproof covers are not breathable at all, it means what’s on the outside, stays outside, and vice versa! No water seepage or absorption at all, but this can result in the pooling of water. Moreover, you need no maintenance for waterproof covers, unlike water repellent ones that require re-coating with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent).

Waterproof covers are great at shedding all the moisture from rainwater, ice or snow off of it but it can also capture and lock in this moisture because of their dense surface. A surface that allows no air inside the cover.

Water Repellent covers:

Water repellent boat covers are usually made of acrylic or polyester material which is very tightly woven. This taut woven fabric prevents water seepage but is breathable in nature. The water repellent quality of such fabric is enhanced by imbuing via coating or treatment.

It is called the Durable, Water Repellent (DWR) coating that wears off with time. They then require a re-coat and just you can get a double or a triple coat and go full-board waterproof just like that. This is also why DWR coating is sometimes referred to as “waterproofing sprays”.

Water repellent covers are breathable and are more popular amongst boat owners because of this quality. With air vents and air pockets, these covers let air under the cover and prevent molds, mildew, and rusting of the surfaces.

They do deflect large amounts of moisture from rain, snow, or humidity but if somehow moisture seeps inside through the cover, it quickly gets evaporated or dried by the air circulation and breathable surface. Hence no moisture stays and turns into nasty mold.

For boats water repellent covers are preferable. Although waterproof covers do manage to repudiate all the water coming its way, the water-repellent ones take the stage! Because of their permeable surface, these cover sallow air to pass and prevent damage caused by moisture retention.


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