The summer of 2012 isn’t done with us yet! As record temperatures continue bedeviling much of the United States and the rest of the world, the cooler, refreshing temperatures of autumn seem to take longer and longer to arrive.
The blazing heat may have you staying indoors and away from the backyard and patio you’ve worked hard to renovate and enjoy. But the dog days of summer don’t have to keep you penned up. Take some cool relief from the ideas and tips listed below.
Give Your Patio A Shade Sail Cover
Shade sail canopies combine the functionality of traditional canopies with the versatility of a portable canopy cover. The finished result is a beautiful, elegant canopy that can block most (if not all) of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays while still providing some much needed sun blockage. If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall – those daily showers that only seem to make things steamier – make sure you get a water-permeable canopy. Their specially-constructed fabric allows rainwater to pass through without pooling atop the sail’s surface.
Most sail shade canopies come with installation hardware included, and can be hung over patios, decks, and swimming pools in only minutes.
Cover Your Backyard With a Portable Canopy
Create a shade oasis in your backyard with a portable canopy. Modern portable canopies are easy to set up, block virtually all sunlight and UV rays, and assemble and break down again in minutes. They’re perfect for backyard parties, get-togethers like barbecues and garden parties - especially wedding receptions and birthday celebrations. They’re also incredibly handy to keep around for everyday use.
Set one up in the middle of your backyard and give yourself a place to rest while completing yardwork, an area to sit while the kids enjoy the backyard, or just a place out of the sun to enjoy some fresh air.
Canopies also come ready to take on a wide array of accessories, too, including anchor kits, weight bags, sidewalls, and headbands.
Stay Fresh And Cool With A Misting System
The misting systems that you’ve enjoyed at outdoor festivals, concerts and amusement parks are now readily available to the public. Some even run on city water pressure, meaning there’s no need to buy a pump. Sold with canopy tents or by themselves, misting systems deliver a fresh, refreshing spray of cool water, letting you recharge and relax when the sun gets too hot to handle.
For additional water pressure (meaning additional refreshing power), consider buying a medium- or high-pressure misting tent or misting system.
Screen Out the Heat With A Screened-In Porch
Patio enclosures keep you shaded and protected from mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and other flying pests while remaining easy to install and take down. Their weather-resistant roofs mean they’re ready for years of long life, and you can even match the roof’s color to your house’s paint color or decorative plan. They’re big enough to enclose all of your back porch or deck of just a portion of it.
If your home doesn’t have a back porch, don’t worry. There’s a huge variety of screen houses that give you all the benefits of a screened, enclosed relaxation area but remain freestanding anywhere in your yard. To protect your entire backyard from flying pests, install a mosquito magnet and watch your yard’s flying pest population dwindle to nothing – fast.
Pergolas and Gazebos Are Elegant, Permanent Heat-Stopping Solutions
Besides remaining one of the most elegant decorative elements you can give your backyard, the pergola also makes a great frame for shade sail coverings, sun-blocking (and sun-welcoming) vine and liana growth, and as a shelter for your patio furniture and fire pits and outdoor fireplaces. The rugged, handsome pergola frame will beautify any patio, porch, or deck, helping to your home’s comfort (and property value) while helping shield you from direct sunlight.
Of course, you can give your entire backyard a gorgeous new centerpiece by installing a gazebo. Whether built from scratch or from a kit, gazebos bring undeniable ambiance all by themselves or when decorated with flower beds, LED lights, and patio furniture. And they make great places to relax, hang out, and spend time with friends and family.
Use Your Portable Shelter or Garage To Keep Yourself Cool
When you must beat the heat, re-employ the portable or semi-permanent shelter you use to cover boats, vehicles, and other machinery as an oasis. Most modern outdoor canopies and portable garages are built for the long haul against sunlight and severe weather, so they’re more than capable of keeping you and your family cool. They also make perfect temporary coverings for plants and other pets who need some relief from direct sunlight.
Remember too that the transition doesn’t have to be permanent. Just empty out your portable shelter for a day or afternoon, and enjoy its cooling shade all you want before replacing your machinery.
Keep Your House Cool With An Awning
It’s a sad truth that most people don’t recognize exactly how much direct sunlight affects their home energy bills – especially sunlight that enters through windows and doorways. By installing a retractable or fixed awning, you can block heat uptake that warms your house, while preventing harmful ultraviolet radiation from penetrating window glass and damaging furniture and carpet. There are even awnings specially designed to work with low-overhead doorways, too.
Some modern awnings feature top-flight materials including lightweight aluminum frames and high-endurance acrylic canopy coverings. Many models are also available in dozens of color and style choices.
By the way, remember that protecting yourself from sunburn and other harmful effects stemming from exposure to ultraviolet rays takes more than just a beautiful backyard. Read our guide to preventing sunburns and UV damage elsewhere on this blog.