Problem Solver - August 2011
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Beautify Your Site With Shade Elements

Providing shaded spots for your patrons to relax is a smart idea, but not just because you want to ensure they can protect themselves from exposure to the harmful rays of the sun. When you incorporate shade elements into your site, you create an architectural focal point and a beautiful aesthetic that makes the site more pleasing to the eye, and more inviting for potential visitors.

Q: We'd like to provide more shade at our site. What are our options?

A: Trees offer an abundance of shade, but if your site is bare, it can take a long time for them to grow tall enough to shade a significant area. On top of this, falling leaves and other debris can make a mess of an aquatic center or playground. For these reasons, you should think about installing shade structures in these areas.

There are numerous shade options, from independent structures to those mounted directly on your playground posts, with either waterproof PVC canopies or fabric covers that can be removed during off seasons or during storms. Shade structures are also available as umbrellas in a wide range of sizes, offering protection for individuals sitting around a picnic table or large groups playing on the playground.

Q: We're looking for an aesthetically pleasing solution for our site. How can we find the right fit?

A: You can find a number of shapes and sizes for umbrellas and shade covers, and they are also available in a virtual rainbow of colors. You'll be able to mix and match colors and shapes to suit the context of your site.

For an aesthetically pleasing pool concession area, look for umbrellas that match your pool's color scheme—or go with a cool blue, always pleasing to the eye on a hot summer day. Over your playground, you might want to look for color-coordinating shade toppers that blend in with the colorful equipment.

If you're installing umbrellas over a wider area, look for a solution that can provide a streamlined look by linking the umbrellas as a continuous structure. This both looks attractive and provides better weather protection for patrons underneath.

You also can go the extra mile to customize your umbrella or shade structure to your site using accessories such as lighting and misting, to provide an extra element of beauty in the evening or comfort on a hot summer day.

Q: What else should we look for?

A: Talk to your manufacturer about the qualities you are looking for in a shade structure. In addition to ensuring they will block harmful UV radiation, you want to be sure you are purchasing shade structures that are durable and easy to maintain.

Look for solutions that can handle the types of weather typical of your area. You can find shades that can handle wind speeds up to 90 miles per hour. If your area is prone to hurricanes, you'll also want to learn about the ease of removing the canopy quickly when a storm approaches.

Look for canopies and umbrellas that are waterproof, UV resistant and anti-fungal. This will keep them looking like new for a longer period. On top of this, you can find shades and umbrellas that are coated to make them easier to clean.


Miracle Recreation: 888-458-2752