How to prevent outdoor countertops from cracking & fading

Adding countertops to your outdoor space is a great way to add functionality as well as aesthetics. Unfortunately, just about all materials used to make these countertops, such as granite and marble, are susceptible to damage caused by the outdoor elements. Luckily this damage can be prevented.

It's especially important to take these steps to prevent cracking and fading in an outdoor kitchen.

uncovered countertop

What causes outdoor countertops to crack and fade?

There are generally two main causes of cracking and fading; sunlight and rain

It may sound bizarre that sunlight can mess with your countertop, but the damage is caused by the UV rays contained within. 

UV can damage just about anything, from your skin to concrete. A good example of this is how wood will gradually change color when it’s left outside for a long time. The same concept applies to your countertop. 

Not only do you need to worry about fading, sunlight can also cause countertops to crack. Granite, for example, contains polymers which are particularly susceptible to damage from UV.

Unless your countertop is made from a material that is specifically resistant to UV rays, this is absolutely a factor you need to keep in mind.

You can read more about the effects of UV on countertops here.

Keep in mind, UV rays can also affect indoor countertops as well, when they are regularly exposed to sunlight coming in from a window or skylight.

The other big cause of cracking and fading is rain or any form of moisture. Many of the common countertop materials are porous, meaning when water is present it will begin to soak in.

Even though these materials are often sealed, prolonged exposure to water can, eventually, still get through.

Moisture will eventually cause both fading and accelerated weathering, which can subsequently cause cracks.

Which kinds of countertops fade when exposed to sun or rain?

Just about all stone countertops are porous and therefore vulnerable to moisture. This includes tile countertops, quartz countertops and even a popular choice for outdoor kitchens; granite countertops.

Again, if your countertop is not specially designed for outdoor usage (to resist UV rays), this is another thing to worry about too.

If your countertop is made from granite, marble, natural stone or quartz and it’s not intended for outdoor use, you should definitely take action to prevent these forms of damage. 

How you can prevent damage to your countertop

covered countertop

Although additional sealing and shade can help in protecting your countertop from the natural elements, they are not perfect solutions.

Shade will prevent UV rays from being able to reach your counter, but shading your countertop in such a way that it’s shaded all day can be very tough as the angle of the sun is constantly changing.

Sealing is good for preventing moisture-related damage, but the problem with this method of protection is that water will degrade the sealant over time. 

The best way to protect your outdoor countertops is a canvas cover.

By choosing a cover composed of a fabric that won’t allow water to get through, you will be preventing any form of water damage to your countertop.

The same thing also applies to sun-related damage. If the light from the sun cannot get through the cover, neither can the harmful UV rays.

If you're trying to protect an outdoor kitchen, a cover can be a good and possibly the best option as it will not only protect your countertops but also your outdoor kitchen appliances.

We recommend a custom-fabricated cover, as the fit will be near perfect and therefore the cover itself won’t be subjected to damage caused by wind, or water pooling. There are, however, prefabricated covers available, they just may not be the same quality.

We Ship Everywhere!

No location is too far away for Jean’s Canvas Products to ship a vestibule, outdoor kitchen cover, custom awning, rigid or soft panel enclosure, pergola cover, escalator cover or anything else.  We are able to offer any of these projects as either a Do-It-Yourself Project by using custom generated shop drawings to obtain the necessary measurements, or we can even offer you patterning and installation services at an additional cost.  As long as you have a shipping address, we can get our product(s) to you. Whichever you path you desire to take, let Jean’s Canvas Products be your guide. Every project that we ship out comes in a custom fabricated crate, and includes everything needed for installation including hardware, fasteners, and detailed instructions.


Vestibule/Outdoor Sitting Room

Our experts designed and fabricated a Vestibule/Outdoor Sitting Room for our customer in Fort Lee, NJ. He wanted an additional room as well as keeping the cold from rushing in his front door in the winter.

This is a four (4) season sitting area!  The front and side panels are removable for summer use or simply open the "U" Zippers for fresh air. It offers protection of furniture, carpeting and amenities.  It is actually classified as a "Temporary Structure".

Below is the erection of the enclosure onto the property:

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Vestibule Project

This is one of our recent Do -It-Yourself vestibule projects that was shipped to Ohio.   

Our customer was looking for ways to prevent the cold air from entering his business which was making all of the seating near the door unusable.  Our solution was to custom build a vestibule that not only solved his cold draft issue but one that was also aesthetically pleasing.

This project all began with a few photos and measurements.  Our customer had several ideas and from there we made sketches.  They were approved by the customer and the blueprints were then drawn up and we were ready for production.  We handed them off to our welding and sewing departments

It is an aluminum frame that was MIG welded.  Once completed, it was sent over to the powder coating specialist for a white finish.

At the same time .030 clear vinyl was cut and was given to our sewing department.  They stiched the clear vinyl to the red vinyl and did the arch work.

The vinyl was then affixed to the white frame and the final touch of zip strip was added.   

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Project under construction step by step:

Got Shade?

Pergolas are a great way to beautify your backyard. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and really offer a great look. Unfortunately, shortly after installation of a pergola, many homeowners and business owners alike experience a bit of buyer's remorse. The fact of the matter is, that pergolas do not offer the amount of shade beneath them that many people are looking for.
Their open design is intentional for aesthetic appeal, but it is not conducive to providing shade. If shade is what you are looking for, but you love the look and feel that a pergola offers, than a custom canvas pergola cover is exactly what you need.

A covered pergola will still look exactly the same as an uncovered pergola from across the yard or patio, but once you get underneath, the difference is night and day. The Before and After pictures show the vast difference in shade under a covered pergola. Do you have a problem with pigeons or seagulls dropping unwanted gifts from above? Do you have a pesky crabapple or mulberry tree raining down relentlessly? A pergola cover can not only protect you from these undesirable occurances, but can keep you a few degrees cooler while it does so.

Being as pergolas are typically built without any pitch to them, keeping rain out is another problem all together. Without adequate pitch for the water to run off, a solid cover just is not practical. After a good rain, the amount of water weight held between the rafters of your average pergola will cause even the best built cover to stretch, sag, or even tear completely. This is why the recommended fabric for pergola covers without pitch is a mesh material called Coolaroo.

Coolaroo is a professional grade architectural shade fabric. It is constructed to block up to 98.8% of harmful UV sun rays, has a specialized lock stitch knit for better air movement, is backed by a 10 year manufacturer's warranty, and considering the slew of benefits is also relatively inexpensive. Coolaroo will still let rain water pass through it, so you won't have to worry about your custom pergola cover being damaged due to rain. Just make sure that everything you keep under the pergola is built to withstand getting wet, or simply bring it inside if you hear rain in the weather forecast.

If you can't take the heat... beat it! Keep cool under your pergola by adding a custom cover, and get the most out of your investment.


An outdoor dining area is a wonderful thing for any restaurant. It provides your guests the comfort of the outdoors, the ability to enjoy a scenic view, or simply some fresh air while dining. Many restauranteurs have found that the revenue created from their outdoor dining area can rival the revenue from the remainder of their seating. So the pressing question for business owners is: "How can I continue to reap the benefits of my outdoor dining area when the summer months come to an end?" The answer to this question, of course, is to enclose your outdoor dining area. An enclosure will allow you to retain enough heat to make it comfortable in the outdoor dining area even when the temperature drops. Also, it can be a way to keep air conditioning in if you are in a hotter climate where refuge from the heat can be the attraction. Guests can still enjoy the view and still feel like they are outdoors, and most importantly, they can still eat and drink at your establishment without being uncomfortable.
In this specific example, we have a business that has thrived as an outdoor eatery since 1954. A classic Drive-In style, family oriented restaurant here on the Jersey Shore, The Circus is and always has been a seasonal business. The customer had previously installed rope-and-pulley curtains to provide refuge from driving rain. These curtains made it possible to still keep the dining room full in the face of a rainy day. The years had not been kind to the clear vinyl in the roll-up panels. Wear and tear is inevitable in a product like this one, and years of exposure to the elements left these curtains looking less than ideal. The solution is a rigid panel system with clear vinyl stapled into the frames of each panel. These panels will keep the elements out, and the comfort in. U-Zip windows in each panel make it easy to roll up one, or all of the windows in the enclosure for ventilation, or to bring back the fully outdoor feel from the original design. With the windows zipped closed, the ambient heat from the nearby kitchen should be enough to keep this area cozy through the fall, and perhaps into winter.
The dramatic facelift that this enclosure provided should provide enough curb appeal to attract new customers, and the improvements show your loyal regular customers your commitment to providing them the best experience possible. The owner of The Circus will undoubtedly recoup his initial investment in a short time, and the possibility for an exponential return on his investment exists due to the extension of his otherwise seasonal business. By making it possible for guests to enjoy this outdoor dining experience well into October and November, they will realize yearly sales totals that they never thought possible. Make the most out of your outdoor dining area. Turn a seasonal oasis for guests into a year-round revenue generator for yourself. Think about an enclosure for your outdoor dining area, and make your space more valuable.
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