A deck has got to be one of the best places to relax and unwind, irrespective of the time of year. The majority of decks will need some sort of shading device to protect their users from the harsh summer sun. In windy areas, it can be difficult to find a shading solution that does not blow away or become damaged by the wind.
The priority for deck shading devices such as pergolas, awnings, shade sails, and umbrellas in windy areas is anchoring them to solid surfaces, keeping them in place. Heavier items are less affected by the wind, as are surfaces that allow the wind to pass through them without acting as a sail.
Naturally, certain shading devices are better suited to shady areas than others. However, most typical shading devices can be used in a windy area, provided you purchase the correct type. This means that the quality, strength, fixing, and design are all considered in windy conditions.
Deck Shade Ideas For Windy Areas
It can be a real challenge to create a shaded environment on your windy deck. If you live near the ocean, you will most likely experience high winds. The same goes for if your home happens to be built on a higher floor. Surrounding buildings also tend to funnel airflow, potentially creating a wind tunnel that travels through your deck area.
In all likelihood, you have gone through at least one umbrella that self-destructed at the first sign of wind. Many typical shading devices will act as a sail when the wind picks up due to their increased surface area.
Many shading devices can easily be damaged in windy conditions, so it’s important to choose those designed with the wind in mind, or those that are at least strong enough to withstand the wind.
Umbrellas are notoriously bad when it comes to wind. If you picture any typical beach scene, you will most likely see cheap beach umbrellas folding in on themselves after the first gust of wind. The same principle applies to patio umbrellas.
Umbrellas are extremely versatile, aesthetically pleasing, and effective shading devices. Thankfully, you do not have to give up on the idea of using an umbrella on your deck simply because you happen to live in a windy area.
However, to incorporate an umbrella onto your windy deck, you need to carefully choose the umbrella and consider several other factors about the umbrella and the surrounding space. Cantilevered umbrellas are unfortunately not an option for a windy deck.
An umbrella used in a windy location must have a sturdy center pole. You should purchase the highest quality umbrella available, ensuring its materials are of outstanding quality and durability. Irrespective of the quality of the umbrella, it is always advisable to fold it up during extremely windy conditions or when left unattended.
To ensure your umbrella remains in place, you have two options. You either need to bolt it down to the deck or purchase an extremely heavy base for the umbrella. Heavy umbrella bases can be made of granite or concrete. Alternatively, umbrella bases can be filled with sand or water to give them extra weight to prevent your umbrella from blowing away.
Another safety measure to keep your umbrella in place would be the addition of hanging weights placed at the top of the umbrella. These weights will help hold the umbrella down, ensuring that it is less likely to blow away in the wind.
Pergolas are an excellent way to provide shade in a windy area. A pergola will be sturdily built and bolted into place. Provided it is built using high-quality materials properly, a pergola will not blow away or become easily damaged in windy conditions. A pergola over your deck will be built onto the deck itself, and its heavy nature will ensure it remains in place.
While the pergola’s structure will provide dappled shade, several additions can increase the amount of shade provided. Firstly, you can plant some wind-resistant creepers that will grow over the pergola, increasing its shade provision. Alternatively, a retractable awning can be installed so that you can move out of the way under extremely windy conditions.
A DIY alternative could be to attach a porous knitted shade cloth to the pergola using heavy-duty zip ties during the summer months. By removing the shade cloth during winter and leaving it up only during wind-free conditions, you will have an effective solution for providing shade on your deck when necessary.
Shade sails tend not to function very well in windy areas due to their large surface area that literally acts as a sail when the wind picks up. However, certain shade sails are made using porous fabrics that allow the wind to pass through them. Provided your shade sail is of very good quality and its attachments to the supporting structures are sturdy, you should have no issues.
Trees are, of course, not a quick, short-term solution for providing shade. They are, however, extremely effective at providing shade, even in the windiest of areas. Trees provide a host of extra benefits in addition to shade, provided you are careful in your tree selection.
Avoid trees with fruits or seeds that will make a mess on your deck. Choose a fast-growing tree variety if you need relatively quick results. However, a larger, slower-growing tree will provide unparalleled shade for your deck.
Of course, a solid roof is another option for providing shade on a windy deck. This will limit you in terms of the ability to alter the amount of shade on the deck. However, you can rest assured that a well-built, high-quality roof will be unaffected by windy conditions.
Awnings have come a long way in terms of their design. Awnings today are available in various designs and are well-suited for windy environments, provided you select those with sturdy framing designed for use in the wind.
Contemporary electrically-powered awnings can be installed with wind sensors. These clever sensors will measure wind conditions and close the awnings when a certain (unbearable) wind speed is reached.
When it comes to providing shade for your deck that happens to be located in a windy area, there are more options available to you than you previously might have thought. Provided you choose shading devices of the highest quality and attach them to a solid surface, you ought to have success with most types of shading devices.