Hot summer days are an ideal time for spending time outdoors and enjoying long, lazy afternoons in the comfort of the backyard. Although warm weather and sun are pleasant and inviting, spending too much time on direct sunlight is, actually, unbearable and can be quite harmful. Even with the help of countless sun protection factor products, sun exposure can cause various problems, from sunburns and early aging to eye injuries and even skin cancer. The best possible sun protection you can get is staying in the shade, so here are a few ideas about how to make your backyard safe, fresh and comfortable during long summer heats.

How much shade is enough?

Before heading off to buy a dozen umbrellas, take a look around and try to estimate how much shade you need. See if there is already a natural shade coming from trees or house where you can set up a seating area. Know that your backyard needs to be at least 50% in the shade to make it safe and heat-free, so there will be a need for some strategically placed artificial shading. However, if you happen to live in a sunny region, the shade should cover around 75% of your backyard. With these percentages in mind, it will be much easier to organize the space and choose the right option.

Trees and greenery

Most refreshing backyards are the ones that are abundant with greenery and that use trees as a natural shade. Still, if you happen to have a rather bare looking backyard, think about few years forward and invest in some fast-growing trees, since three years from now you will be able to cool down in the shade of a young, yet a large tree. As far as greenery goes, consider planting hardy banana, a great looking plant that grows incredibly fast and creates perfect shade with its long and wide leaves.

Sail shade

Investing in shade sails is the perfect way to protect from harmful UV rays, as well from agonizing heat since the fabrics usually contain UV inhibitors. They come in different colors and sizes and are quite easy to install. You can mount shade sails on trees, columns or house exterior walls and you can easily take them down if needed. Whether installing a big one, or few smaller sails above the patio, children’s play area or pool, these shades will stand as an attractive addition to your outdoors.

Umbrellas

The most common choice for creating shade, umbrellas are great and versatile items that can provide perfect shade at minimum cost. With so many different designs and materials, you can choose from simple market umbrellas that are easy to move around to heavier, cantilever umbrellas that cover large areas. Also, you can look for modern-design umbrellas with the pole on the side instead of in the center. This type of umbrellas look fabulous and provide more space for the shaded area. Again, make sure to choose umbrellas with quality fabrics that will withstand harsh sun and block UV rays.

Pergolas

Pergolas are incredibly lovely and a fabulous focal point in any backyard. Put some fabric underneath or above the pergola and create instant shade. Consider adding a fast-growing wisteria since it will make your pergola more pleasant and cool during hot days. For more privacy and protection from the sun, you can enclose pergola and create an airy outdoor room. All of the cities that are on the sunny side of the map must have companies that can help you install shutters or awnings. So finding a manufacturer for plantation shutters in Sydney, Perth and any other big city should be a breeze.

Canopy

A simple, yet clever way to block the sun and to create shade wherever. Light structure and some quality fabric in a bright color will add more charm to your backyard, while it will protect you from the sun and ensure pleasant afternoon. You can opt for fabric canopies that you can install on the deck rails, but make sure to invest in showerproof, UV and fade resistant fabrics.