Spending Time Outdoors
When summer comes knocking, there is a spring in our every step! You know that the long cold harsh winter is over and it is now time to step outside and enjoy the stunning weather and the glorious sun. After being cooped up indoors for all these months, the clear blue skies and warmth feel really good. Lazing around getting a sunbath, spending relaxing evenings with friends over a beer or arranging barbeque nights are just a few of the things we look forward to. If you have a porch, a patio or a sunroom you are blessed. You can spend hours here relaxing, reading a book or entertaining and socializing with friends and family.
Problems Posed by a Porch or Patio
While an open porch or sunroom is fantastic to have in your house, the lack of any covering or shade can prove to be a bother. The direct rays of the sun could be too harsh and make the heat unbearable; the UV rays of the sun are harmful and could harm your health; there is a lack of privacy as you are left completely exposed to the curious and prying eyes of the neighbors and peeping toms. So, like your windows and doors, there are outdoor blinds and shades that you can add to your porch or patio. They help create a cozy, comfortable and private space for you and your loved ones.
What are Exterior Porch Blinds
Exterior porch blinds or patio shades are manufactured specifically for outdoor usage. Whether the hardware or the screen material, both are made to suit the varying climatic conditions. Spare some thoughts before you make an impulsive buy for there are several things to take into consideration. Choose wisely for a wrong selection could cost you dearly as these shades and blinds are not cheap.
Why Do You Need Porch Blinds?
Before making a decision determine what your needs are:
• Are you looking for increased sun protection?
• Is there too much wind and rain?
• Is there too much glare?
• Are you looking for protection of your outdoor furniture from outside elements?
• Are you looking for some blinds to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space?
Types of Porch Blinds
Once you are able to determine your needs you are in a better position to make a choice. There are different types of porch blinds available in the market.
Protecting your privacy but still preserving your view, these lightweight external blinds are extremely practical. They help protect your outdoor furniture and carpet from harmful UV rays and prevent their premature fading and disintegration.
These retractable blinds are perfect for your outdoors which is exposed to the sun’s harsh rays. The blinds help to effectively block out 80% of the UV rays. The material used is waterproof and colorfast and comes with brackets that help the blinds from flapping when there is high wind. You have the option to hide them away from view neatly when they are not in use.
Patio or Café Blinds
These clear or printed PVC plastic blinds are extremely functional. They are installed around your outdoor entertainment area. When closed, they join together to form protective covering between you and the natural elements like rain, heat or excessive glare. You can choose the amount of tint for these shades.
External Alfresco Blinds
These shades are perfect for semi-opened spaces like verandah or balconies. They are among the best sunshade and windbreak. They help to cut outglares, block UV rays, heat, and rain. You can opt for the see-through fabric to allow natural light to filter through.
Awnings are a great addition to your patio and porch areas. They are equipped with a folding arm extension mechanism which helps to extend the patio, deck by acting as a fabric roof. The folding arm awning can be tucked away neatly in a headbox when you don’t want to use it. They are available in a variety of colors and sizes.
The pivot arm awning or retractable drop arm awning is another effective way of blocking out the sun and the heat. They come with spring-loaded arms which helps to stabilize the awning.
Outdoor Roller and Solar Shades
Like interior roller shades for your windows, there are outdoor roller shades as well that are extremely versatile and functional. They are easy to operate, help to increase your privacy and offer protection against sun and unwanted heat, all while allowing you to preserve your view.
Qualities to Look Out for Your Outdoor Patio Shades
When you are considering outdoor shades for your porch or patio, there are a number of features or qualities you need to look out for.
The minute you are opting for outdoor shades, the first guiding factor is how equipped these shades are in dealing the extreme climatic conditions. If you want blinds and shades to protect your patio from the harsh rays of the sun and the glare then your shades must be able to survive the extreme heat. Repeated and prolonged exposure to heat should not have bearing on its durability and functionality. The hardware of the blinds and the material you choose from not perish or disintegrate prematurely. Many synthetic materials such as Vinyl and PVC have great durability and are well suited for the outdoors. However, make sure that they are certified so that they do not off-gas or release toxic chemicals when exposed to extreme heat.
If you are opting for outdoor porch blinds to block out heat, you must be ready for occasional rains as well. Exposure to rain can cause many materials to disintegrate, warp or peel off and the hardware to rust. The woven PVC material is best for warding off rain.
A light gentle breeze is more than welcome when you are enjoying outside. It helps the air to circulate and the fresh air feels good on your face. But very strong wind, knocking off everything in its path is not desirable. The outdoor blinds you choose for your outdoor space must be able to withstand high wind speed. It should not happen that the blinds are blown away or fail to hold up. They must come with sturdy mechanism and material that will not flap furiously in the wind or collapse.
Ease of Operation
Once you are confident about the material quality of your shades and whether they can survive under extreme heat or when exposed to rain and wind, the next thing to look out for is the ease of operation. The shades or blinds must not be cumbersome to operate. Opening and closing should not pose a pain. Ease of operation is important if you want to take advantage of the weather changes. If it starts raining suddenly you don’t want to run pillar to post trying to operate the cords the pulling the shades down. Cordless motorized control is best as a press of a button will have the shades move up or down as per your liking and need.
The material you choose for your outside porch shades is also an important point to consider. Apart from their durability and longevity, the material must be able to address your privacy needs and cut down glares. If the material is extremely thin and open, it may not only help you to preserve your outside view but also compromise your privacy. Choose the right amount of openness to ensure that your interiors are protected from curious eyes of the neighbors and do a good job in cutting out those glares that hurt eyes and interfere with your work.
Pick up your exterior porch or patio blinds with care and turn your outside space into a safe refuge for yourself, family and friends.