Looking for Shade? We’ve Got You Covered with These Landscaping Tips!
As the summer continues in full swing, your body can’t get a break from the soaring temperatures. Don’t let the weather drive you indoors when there are so many things to enjoy outside! The key is finding a place that’s warm but not too hot for entertaining, reading a book to pass the time, or taking a comfortable siesta. Here are some cool ideas for hardscape structures to provide a cool atmosphere for you to enjoy the rest of your summer!
What is a Hardscape?
A hardscape is an area outdoors where the landscaping offers both aesthetic appeal and functionality. When building a hardscape, you have three things to consider for the maximum “cool” factor: shade, using light colors to reflect radiant heat, and airflow. The first step is to evaluate your outdoor areas to find the best place to find shelter from dusk to dawn, and then to transform it into your new hardscape haven.
Doing a thorough evaluation of your outdoor spaces is the first critical part of finding the best place for your hardscape design. Things to consider include the position of the sun throughout the day, surfaces that absorb heat like dark walls and paved areas, and where the airflow stops and picks up. The best way to monitor the sun throughout the day is by taking hourly photos during full sun and then going back to look at them from varying vantage points.
Maximizing the Cool Factor with Shading Tools
Placing permanent structures is the key to maximizing shade that will provide a cool spot from the hot sun. When you sit in the shade, you aren’t bombarded with radiant heat that can be overwhelming and unhealthy! Shade also allows you to enjoy the evening hours more because the pavement doesn’t take so long to cool down after being heated all day long. The best place for permanent shade is over things like decks and patios. They are also an excellent way to entertain.
Trees are one of the best ways to enhance shade and cool things down. They have a natural cooling effect and they also lower the ambient temperature of an area. Find a tree variety with dense leaves for maximum coolness. After choosing the best type of tree, you will want to plant it in a position where it can block the most sun all day long. Most importantly, if that isn’t possible, plant it where it will block the majority of the sun by correct positioning.
Pavers and Decks
When choosing which type of deck or paver material you are going to use, always think in light colors. Light colors will help to reflect radiant heat rather than absorb it. Reflecting the sun’s rays will lower the ambient air temperature and provide a cooler environment. Look for a material’s Solar Reflectivity Index, which measures how well a paving material will reflect light and cool things down.
Painted Exterior Walls
Just as you want to find materials for pavers and decks that will reflect light, you want to look for paints that will do the same. If you are using an outdoor wall with paint, choose a color and product with a high Light Reflective Value. Neutrals and pastels often provide an LRV that is above 50 percent, and the higher the value, the better.
Most importantly, when designing your hardscape, find a place where you have good ventilation and airflow. In Augusta, breezes at dusk can be hard to come by and when the air stops, so does the coolness. Air circulation helps to increase sweat evaporation and make us feel cooler. It can also combat the high humidity that we often experience. A fence or wall with good ventilation is the key to keeping things cool, so consider walls with slats, openings, or fence pickets to reduce stagnant airflow!
As we head deeper into summer, finding a place to hide from the sun is becoming increasingly difficult. If you design a hardscape appropriately by considering all these things, it can be your outdoor haven for shelter. Before you begin your project, it is a good idea to consult an experienced landscaping company like Rollins Landscaping to get it right! We put the cool in your desire for a sheltered place to enjoy the great outdoors. Contact us today to get started!