Problem Solver - August 2012
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Providing Shade at Pools & Water Play Areas

When people come to your pools and water play areas, they know they're going to be spending a lot of time in the sun, but you can provide comfort and safety by offering a place to cool down and escape the sun. Exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays is the leading cause of skin cancer.

Q: We want to provide shade for swimmers and patrons at our facility. What should we consider?

A: There are many ways to provide shade at your facility. Instead of a more expensive wood or metal shelter or cover, you might want to consider fabric shade structures that are economical, attractive, durable, and actually cool the air better than hard structures. Available in many shapes, sizes and colors, you will be able to find a shade option that perfectly suits your facility. Fabric umbrellas, sails and more can provide up to 99 percent UV screening, protecting your patrons from sun exposure.

For a simple option, you might opt for an umbrella with a single center support post. Available in diameters as large as 25 feet, you can provide 1,500 square feet of shade with just one support, limiting obstacles on your pool deck.

Q: We'd like to add umbrellas to provide shade, but are concerned about safety. How can we provide shade close to the pool?

A: Look for a cantilever design. With support columns only on the back side of the canopy, this leaves the front and two sides obstruction-free. This is especially suitable for pools where you don't want columns near the edge of the pool where children might run into them and fall in.

Q: Is there a way to provide shade that can be placed in different areas depending on our patrons' needs?

A: You can find collapsible umbrellas with a generous 14-foot diameter canopy and an offset support post that stays out of the way, allowing ample room to arrange seating underneath. An added advantage of such umbrellas is portability, which makes them a simple, movable solution. Another benefit of such umbrellas is that they require no permit or extra expense of installing a concrete footing.


Shade Systems Inc.: 800-609-6066