Shade Solutions for Vinyl Roof Decks
It’s hot! Regardless of where you live, you’ve likely noticed that there’s a fine line between enjoying the sun on your vinyl roof deck to finding it a bit overwhelming. Part of maximizing the enjoyment of your vinyl roof deck or patio is ensuring that you can also access shade when needed. Tuff Industries has pulled together a few key ideas to add shade to a deck:
Solution One: Canopy Awning
Awnings can require a type of roof structure which is bolted directly to your roof deck or patio. They come in a variety of colors and fabrics, which can be removed in the fall for easier maintenance and to help it last longer. You can choose to fully or partially shade your deck, depending on what type of result you are looking for, and the fabric can withstand winds and other inclement weather.
However, this is a permanent shade option – this type of awning does not retract, so should only be considered if you want shade all the time.
Solution Two: Pergola
Pergolas offer a more sophisticated style and are available in a variety of designs and materials to blend in with your home. The pergola refers to the structure, after that you’ll have to decide how you want to add shade, either with fabric or by introducing climbing plants that will fill in the gaps.
Depending on the material, a pergola can be heavy. Your vinyl deck should be assessed prior to installation to ensure that it can withstand the added live load weight.
Solution Three: Retractable Awning
Akin to an overhead garage door, a retractable awning runs on rails that are attached to the exterior of the home. You can manually (or if motorized, with a clicker or button) pull back the shade section for when you want sun on your deck. On the edges of the awning, you can use screens or added shades to block late or early sunshine.
These types of structures come in set sizes that might not be a good fit for your deck. You also have to remember to close the awnings when not using them, as if a strong wind comes up it could catch the awnings and damage the frame. As this is a heavier structure, you’re going to want to ensure that your deck can handle the weight, you may also need a professional to install it.
Solution Four: Trees and Plants on Vinyl Decks
Often overlooked as a source of shade for large areas like roof decks and patios, many plants and trees can provide shade, particularly if you are looking for something later in the day when the sun is headed towards the horizon (or also want to add privacy). Evergreen trees and bamboo varieties are a great choice, as are climbing vines when combined with an attractive trellis.
Of course, this type of shade requires a bit of extra care. You’ll also want to keep an eye on planter sizes and weights, in case you have to move them in the future.
A longer-term, more permanent solution would include planting larger trees around the deck, in the ground. Although you might have to wait several years for results, you’ll add value to your property in the interim.
Solution Five: Tracked Canopies
If you’re planning a new build and want to include a vinyl roof deck it might be wise to consider a retractable canopy. This type of system includes individual canopies that can be slide open or closed, depending on where you want shade. You can also use screens or shades along the side for added privacy or shade.
These systems tend to be more costly than other alternatives, as they must be built into your deck system for structural support (usually requiring the services of a professional). However, they do offer you the most flexibility in choosing where you want shade.
Solution Six: Portable and Low-Cost Shades
There are many shorter-term, low-cost options to add shade to your deck, patio, or roof deck – which offer you the benefit of immediate shade that you can also take with you, should you move. Patio umbrellas can shade a person or two while portable shade canopies can cover a table (but should be secured so they don’t blow away in the wind). If you have a convenient area for them to tie into, shade sail canopies can also work to block a specific area of sun and some in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Just remember to take them down as part of your fall maintenance routine.
Before you purchase a vinyl deck shade solution, consider the option that will work best with your deck. Some shade solution may stand out when you don’t want them to, or reduce the attractiveness of your outdoor space. You’ll want to spend a bit of time analyzing where your deck could use shade to determine which solution will provide the best results. Remember that you are trying to add to your deck’s comfort and enjoyment, not detract from it. The solution you choose should either blend in with your current deck’s look, or stand out due to its beauty (such as pergola with climbing vines). When in doubt, check houses in your area to see what their owners have done to add shade to their patios and decks, or talk to a home improvement professional.
Of course, your deck might need a bit more of a makeover before you can fully enjoy this year’s sunny weather; in which case now’s a great time to book a vinyl deck consultation.
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