23 Jun How important are UV stabilized artificial hedges, plants, flowers and grass for exterior use?
Exterior artificial hedges, plants, flowers and grass are becoming more and more popular due to constantly changing weather conditions, water restrictions and replacement costs. You will find a lush green wall at the airport waiting hall, city gallery reception or a hotel lounge area. Its not necessarily a replacement, however its there to fit a need. Poor light, difficult and low maintenance areas for a reduced budget.
But be aware not all exterior artificial product, is created equal!!!
Just because foliage is plastic, doesn’t make it suitable for use outside. At the risk of this sounding like we are stating the obvious, if something is going to be outside 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, it’s going to meet some pretty fierce conditions: wind, rain and bright sunlight. ever not all exterior artificial, is created equal.
There are some big differences between exterior artificial foliage and its interior relatives.
First is the part you don’t see. Most artificial foliage has a wire support through it, to keep its shape. Indoors, the wind is not that strong but outside it can be gale force. This means that the supporting wire has to be strong enough to resist it. The wire in exterior grade foliage is a thicker, heavier gauge. This means that when the wind blows it can hold its shape, without shredding or being blown away.
There is a great deal of artificial material being sold as plastic exterior, however this product is simply not manufactured for exterior use unless it is UV stabilized.
The important difference in the plastic is probably the one nobody really talks about -because it’s plastic, it doesn’t mean it’s OK to use outside. There’s plastic and there’s exterior quality plastic. If you look at a set of curtains, the parts which are exposed to the sunlight are a different colour to those facing into the room. That’s the effect of the ultraviolet element in sunlight. This is commonly called “UV” The plastics in exterior grade foliage incorporate a chemical which protects against ultraviolet light. It’s incorporated at the polymer stage, not added later, so it’s part of the basic material.
UV stabilizers are used in plastics to prevent the material from short to long term degradation effects from light, more frequently ultra violet light.
UV Stabilizers work by absorbing the light and protect the material from colour fading, therefore increasing the life and maintaining the appearance of product.
A quality UV protected product is an ideal replacement to living plants and trees and will survive the elements.
The choice of exterior material is now quite extensive. From the simple topiary, to a Bougainvillea hedge. A majestic Palm to an elegant Black Olive.
However, using an interior fabric artificial or a plastic product without the UV quality in an exterior project, will in the short term, fail.
“Choose the correct product and allow the sun to shine, without the fear of turning blue.”
BUT ALWAYS ASK THE QUESTION, “UV OR NOT UV”
Hedged In UV stable hedge panels come with manufacturer guarantee 5 years indoor and 3 years outdoor.