Sun protection for roof terraces – 4 variants presented

It can be endured on a roof terrace. Only if the sun means it particularly well, it could become dangerous without suitable protection. Here you can find out which variants are suitable as sun protection for roof terraces.

Sun protection for roof terrace
© Hermann –

Roof terraces have their very own charm. You sit high above the rooftops and look over the city that surrounds you. Especially in summer, a roof terrace invites you to relax and linger. Here you can spend many pleasant hours with your family, friends and acquaintances. But no matter how beautiful a roof terrace is, in midsummer there are often temperatures here that make its use almost impossible.

In order to be able to enjoy the roof terrace also in the high summer, it is therefore indispensable to attach a suitable sun protection. So nothing stands in the way of a comfortable stay on the terrace even in tropical temperatures.

What possibilities roof terraces offer, I would like to explain to you here once exactly.

4 sun protection options for roof terraces

❖ Awnings as sun protection

Awning as sun protection for roof terrace
© U. J. Alexander –

The easiest way to protect yourself from the UV rays of the sun is the awning. These are not only relatively simple in design, but can also be quickly retracted and extended. In addition to protection from the sun, they also provide protection from light rain. In case of wind, however, awnings should always be retracted.

“Important: If you live in a rented apartment, you must ask the landlord in advance whether the installation of an awning is permitted.

The costs for an awning are very different. On the one hand, it depends on whether you decide on an awning with hand crank or whether the retraction and extension should function electrically. The second variant costs much more, of course, but is much lighter in functionality. On the other hand, it also depends on the size of the area to be shaded. The bigger the model, the more expensive it is. But be careful – the bigger the awning, the bigger the wind attack surface.

“My tip: Especially with roof terraces it is often the case that the standard dimensions do not fit. Who needs it more individually, can have a sun protection made to measure e.g. with

❖ Sun sail as sun protection

Sun sails as sun protection for roof terraces
© Peter Adrian –

As a second variant I would like to introduce you to sun sails. These can also easily be used as sun protection for roof terraces. They are available in various designs and colours, so that everyone should find something to suit their taste. In my opinion they are optically a more beautiful alternative to the awnings, but everyone decides for himself. The only disadvantage compared to awnings, however, is that awnings cannot be retracted and extended electrically.

For the attachment of sun sails you need additional stable attachment points. For roof terraces it is advisable to install a stable mast on which the corresponding sail can be suspended.

“Important: Be sure to purchase sufficient UV protection. The corresponding models are marked “UV Standard 801”. You can read about the criteria according to which textiles receive this “badge” in the guide.

❖ Sunshades as sun protection

Sunshade as sun protection for roof terrace
© Hermann –

Not to forget the classic parasol. It can also provide sufficient sun protection on a roof terrace. But you should be careful here, because not all parasols are suitable for this. The normal parasols are often too small, which is why traffic light parasols are often used, as they are simply available in much larger sizes. Due to the free arm, these umbrellas offer considerably more space underneath than parasols with a central mast, but they also have a decisive disadvantage for roof terraces. They offer a large attack surface for wind, which is not well distributed by the lateral arm. This means that even at a low wind speed the glider could fly over the terrace.

So parasols with a central mast are much better, and even strong wind speeds can’t harm them. The all-weather umbrellas from, for example, can be installed up to a wind force of 84 km/h. They are also absolutely waterproof.

In order to avoid more damage, it is better to close the glider when you are absent and when there is a strong storm.

❖ Fixed roof construction

Fixed roofing as sun protection for roof terrace
© school photo –

After the possibilities mentioned above, which can be dismantled and cleared away at any time, I would now like to suggest you a fixed roof construction. Here you have a little more work to do to set it up, but then you have your rest.

However, such a fixed construction can only be considered in the case of private property and only if it has been approved under building law. You can find out whether a permit is required and, if so, to what extent, from the competent authority in your place of residence. Unfortunately, I cannot make a concrete statement about this here, as the regulations differ from state to state.

If you want to choose a fixed canopy for sun protection, you can choose between wood and aluminium for the frame. Aluminium is much more weather-resistant, but wood radiates a little more cosiness. The disadvantage compared to aluminium is that wood has to be painted regularly. Polycarbonate sheets are often used as the roof.

Which variant you ultimately choose depends, of course, on the local conditions. With the right sun protection, nothing should stand in the way of cosy and sheltered hours on the roof terrace despite the intense heat.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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