Summer is finally here and you’ve been waiting all year to use your deck! But now the deck is too hot and it’s burning your feet. What can you do?
Here are 5 things you can do to keep your deck cool this summer so you can enjoy your outdoor living space even in the hottest summer weather.
1. Hose Down Your Deck
The quickest and easiest way to cool down your deck is to hose down your deck with a garden hose. You’ll want to make sure you run the hose until you are running cold ground water, and then spray the deck for several minutes. Spraying your deck with cold water does two things: first, the cold water absorbs some the heat from the hot deck boards and carries it away.
Second, the remaining water on the deck boards will begin to evaporate, further cooling the deck boards (similar to evaporating sweat cooling your body). Once all the water has evaporated, spray down your deck again until it’s in the shade.
2. Use Outdoor Rugs
Outdoor rugs are a good way to insulate your feet from the heat of the deck (and your deck from the rays of the sun). Outdoor rugs can also add a splash of color and bring your deck together by defining the space, making your deck more like an outdoor living room.
What type of outdoor rug should you use? Don't use rugs with rubber, vinyl, or latex backing, because they can leave marks on your deck. You also never want to use any rug that will hold moisture, because held moisture can promote mold and mildew growth under the rug and stain your deck.
Do use polypropylene rugs, which are affordable, durable, and reversible. Polypropylene rugs do not react to deck surfaces, protect your deck from UV rays, and do not absorb water. Because they do not absorb water, you can easily cool your deck and polypropylene rug with cool water and it will not hold moisture creating mold and mildew. But even though polypropylene rugs to not promote mold and mildew growth, it is recommended to move and clean under the rug regularly to remove any trapped dirt.
3. Use Cooling Misters
Along with hosing off your deck, you can use cooling misters. Cooling misters can cool the surrounding air by as much as 20°F-30°F using the cooling effect of water evaporation (but this time in the air). Cooling misters work well after you’ve already hosed off your deck with cool water and can help maintain cooler temperatures throughout the hotter parts of the day.
There are two main types of cooling misters: portable floor misters and hose mister systems. Portable floor misters usually involve a water mister and a fan to blow cooled air over a smaller area. Portable misters great because they can be moved to various areas, don’t need any special installation, and can be used immediately. The down side is portable misters can be a little more expensive and only cool smaller areas of your deck.
Hose mister systems are usually installed hanging from a patio cover, pergola, or patio umbrella. Hose mister systems can be cheaper, run off most water spigots, and cool a much larger area. The down side is hose misters need to be suspended from some sort of structure and they need to be installed with brackets (however most systems can be installed yourself).
4. Use Umbrellas, Shade Sails, or Awnings
Shade is a great way to keep your deck from absorbing direct sunlight and keep it cool. Patio umbrellas are a great feature for not only creating shade, but creating a gathering place for you and your guests to eat and drink around. You can also use a hose mister system with a patio umbrella with for extra hot days.
If you already have a seating area on your deck and would like to shade a larger area, you can use shade sails or retractable awnings. Shade sails are less expensive, but need firm anchor points like the roof fascia and wood or metal posts. Shade sails should also be taken down when not in use to prevent tearing in the wind. Retractable awnings are more expensive and a bit more difficult to install, but can be quickly and conveniently rolled away when not being used.
5. Build a Pergola or Patio Cover
A more permanent shade solution is to build a pergola or patio cover. Pergolas are great for creating shade while still allowing light through, can be covered by translucent Suntuf panels to protect from rain, can be lifted onto the roof with SkyLift roof risers, or be built with low maintenance Trex composite or Alumawood. Check out our gallery of pergolas and Suntuf pergola covers here.
Patio covers are designed to be an
extension of the original home. They can be gable end, hipped, or shed depending on the style of the home. They can also be freestanding, attached to the side of the home, or laid on top of the roof to blend in with the existing roof-line. Both pergolas and patio covers are more expensive initially, but are very low maintenance solution that can increase the overall value of the home. Check out our gallery of patio covers here.
If you need help with your deck or building a pergola or patio cover, don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.