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Shade sail for cool outdoor living

It’s Too Hot to Do Anything

This might be a controversial opinion, but the ocean water in Myrtle Beach in the summer is a little too warm. Going to the beach and jumping in the ocean seems like a logical solution, a reprieve from South Carolina’s oppressively hot and humid July. But it does little to make the heat of mid-summer more tolerable. Instead, I’d rather sit in the shade with a cool misting fan and an ocean breeze.

All of this waiting around for the sun to set before heading outside for some exercise had me thinking. What could I do to make my backyard living more tolerable during June, July, and August? I thought about planting more trees for the shade their sprawling limbs provide, but that’s a decades plan in the making.

Instead, there are some small and mid-size home projects and renovations that can reduce direct sunlight and provide some cool relief from the heat and humidity.

Investing in a Porch Upgrade

South Carolina and porch living are like two peas. However, not all porches were designed with this kind of heat in mind.

The first problem may be out of your control. Depending on how your home is situated, you may find your porch receives too much direct sunlight during the parts of the day when you’d like to be out there. One solution is the installation of a retractable awning or shade. It’s easy to find convertible shades that match almost any home style. Plus, in our connected age, many models include smart sensors for automatic adjustment, programmable settings, and associated smartphone apps.

Sometimes all a porch needs to make it more hospitable is some circulating air. Ditch the portable fan and opt for attractive outdoor ceiling fans. Not only will they increase your comfort, but they will also add to your porch’s curb appeal.

Bring Shade to Backyard Spots

If you don’t have 50 years to wait for your tree to mature, why not bring large amounts of shade with backyard shade sails. When installed above a well-designed outdoor living area, they become beacons for outside relaxation and socializing.

Shade sails are easy to install and provide good coverage if you need to keep adults and children out of direct sun. Shade sails last about 5-10 years and come in a variety of inviting colors to give your backyard a little spark.

Add an Outdoor Misting System

Sure, you could just grab the garden hose, but hear me out. An outdoor misting system can integrate within a covered porch, backyard pergola, or any other outdoor structure where you can install some misting nozzles and small hosing. It’s like lounging alongside the produce in the grocery store, casually misted as needed. On a day with 90+ degree heat and off-the-charts humidity, a cooling/misting system would absolutely bring me outside more often.

Be Safe When You’re in the Sun

Heat stroke is serious and can even lead to death. Heat-related illness is the number one cause of weather-related fatalities. You can be safe by keeping hydrated, staying out of direct sunlight for extended periods during the hottest part of the day, and paying attention to heat advisories.

If you have an idea for a home project that will help you stay cool this summer, let’s chat.