ShadeFX Retractable Canopies Protect from Sun and Rain

If you ever had your finger pinched by a door handle, or squinted to see the right knob setting on an appliance, or struggled to get dead batteries out of a remote control, then you have been a victim of bad design. It happens to all of us, and we wish everyday items could be easier to live with; designed better. Good design makes life easier. And, designing your outdoor living space is a great time to get it right, and benefit from all the little things that will provide satisfaction for many years to come.

If you want to design the ultimate outdoor retreat, you need sun and rain protection. To get that over an area large enough for entertaining, a shade pergola should be on your list of ‘must haves’. The beauty and ambiance of a plain pergola has made it a favorite feature for outdoor living but without the addition of a retractable canopy it doesn’t ‘do’ much. Add a retractable canopy and a pergola assumes an entirely new and practical purpose: that of being an outdoor room. Total sun and rain protection provides comfort and relaxation that a simple pergola cannot provide, and ShadeFX retractable canopies do it best.

Most people think of umbrellas when it comes to rain protection.  Therefore they do not consider rain runoff in their plans for a canopy that goes on a pergola.  It’s an easy detail to overlook, and one of many reasons for this article that will ensure you consider the details of design that will maximize the benefits of a ShadeFX pergola canopy for rain protection.

Here’s how to get the functionality you need from your shade pergola so you can use the outdoor living space, even on rainy days.

Tip one: A drop of water hitting a patio or deck splashes up to 24” from the point of impact.  Therefore to maximize usable space during the rain, you want to minimize the number of drip lines coming off a canopy.  A drip line is the edge of the canopy that the collected water runs off.  ShadeFX canopies are designed to be tilted and can direct rain runoff where you want.  Having one drip line as opposed to a few of them can greatly increase the dry area under the pergola when it’s raining.

Tip two: If you have a fence or railing, avoid drip lines that will line up on those surfaces.  This will reduce the chance of water dripping onto the raised surface, splashing into the living area up to 4 ft.  If the runoff has to drain to the fence or railing, dimension the canopy to locate the drip line beyond the railing or deck.  In the picture attached, a ShadeFX™ canopy system is installed with a drip edge beyond the railing in the background. Also, the drip edge that cannot be pushed beyond the privacy screen to the left has a plant box to allow dripping without splashing (to a point).  If the canopy dripped water on directly on these surfaces, a small shower could soak an otherwise perfect event.

Tip three: Locate your furniture, barbeque, or kitchen counter with drip lines in mind. They make the difference between a fully functional outdoor living space, rain or shine, or a frustrating one.  A handy trick for ‘splash management’ is to use the back of a chaise or couch to block the splash radius of a drip line.  The same goes for flower boxes, barbeques and plants.

Tip four: lay things out with traffic patterns in mind.  Avoid the nuisance of your canopy dripping over the stairs, or a path that leads to the pergola.

Include these tips in the design of your outdoor living space, and your outdoor living lifestyle will be free of concern for weather, rain or shine.  And if you do it really right, your fingers won’t get pinched in any handles.

Retractable Solutions for Outdoor Spaces

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