If you’re like me, you worry about getting sunburned every time you leave the house. So, if you want to spend time outside but don’t want to get bombarded with UV rays, you’ve probably considered adding a gazebo to your yard. But do gazebos protect from the sun?
As long as your gazebo has a hard top that provides shade, it can protect you from the sun. But, of course, you have to stand in the shade for it to protect you from harmful UV rays.
There are also a number of other ways to avoid UV rays. So, to make sure you get the most from your gazebo, we’re going to talk about the ways to avoid harsh sunlight and enjoy your time outside!
This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and other stores. This means Yard Blogger may earn a commission if you make a purchase using any of our links. Please refer to our full affiliate disclosure policy for full details.
Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
The best way to protect yourself from the sun is to limit your exposure. So if you are going to be spending a lot of time in the sun, make sure you’re protecting yourself.
Here are some of our favorite ways to keep cool and out of the sun’s harmful rays without having to retreat inside:
1. Sun Umbrella – Keep the sun off yourself while you enjoy the outside with this 46” umbrella
2. Sunscreen – It’s vital to wear sunscreen every time you go outside to prevent sunburn and premature skin aging.
3. Sun Shirt – Did you know that some shirts have UV protection built in?
Should Sunburn Be a Concern
Did you know it’s possible to get sunburnt even if you’re in the shade? It’s an unfortunate truth, UV rays are powerful, and they cause sunburns. So while shade helps block UV light, it’s wise to have SPF 15 or higher sunblock on anytime you’re going to be outside.
This means that you can get sunburnt even in the shade of a gazebo. However, how much sun you’re exposed to does affect if and how badly you get burnt. Also, a gazebo with a hard top provides more blockage than a soft top or open-roofed model.
If you are concerned that you are being exposed to harmful UV rays, consider using one of the following options to protect yourself:
- Sunscreen (should be used anytime you’re outside, even if you use another option as well!)
- Sun shirt with long sleeves
- Long Pants
- Wide-brimmed hat
What You Risk By Staying in the Sun Too Long
While it’s common to hear that pale people are the most vulnerable to the sun’s rays, the truth is that no matter your skin’s shade, you are vulnerable to burns and UV rays. While a small amount of exposure is good for you (it creates vitamin D in the body,) overexposure leads to serious risks.
Risks from overexposure to UV rays include:
- Skin cancer, including melanomas, basal cell, and squamous cell types.
- Premature aging of the skin (wrinkles, lines, etc.)
- Eye disease, including blindness, from improper eye protection and exposure to UV rays.
While most of these risks require prolonged or repeated sun exposures to occur, a sunburn can happen in a little over ten minutes! Sunburns can last for at least a week, with the person experiencing painful red skin, skin peeling, and in extreme cases, blistering.
While most sunburns just need time to heal, if you experience blistering, go to an urgent care or hospital, as the burn may get infected. On the other hand, if the sunburn is mild, you may want to treat it at home with aloe, which cools the skin and provides temporary relief.
Find the Shade
Retreating into the shade of your gazebo can help block some of the sun’s harmful UV rays and can help prevent heatstroke, but the outdoor shade doesn’t typically block all UV light.
Some gazebos provide more shade than others due to their designs. For example, if your gazebo has a solid roof made of wood or metal, it will block far more sun than a soft roof made of a gauzy material or an open gazebo.
Material like cotton doesn’t block much of the sun’s UV rays. Nylon and polyester, on the other hand, block most UV rays. Unfortunately, there isn’t a material that blocks UV rays completely, at least not readily available to the public.
If you want to block out as much sun as possible from your gazebo, you’ll need to add black-out curtains and a solid roof. Luckily, curtains are easy to install as long as you have the right tools.
Another common thought regarding materials good for shading the sun is using a sun umbrella or parasol. In fact, a high-quality umbrella can block over 70% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, so they’re not a bad idea!
Blocking the Rays
While an umbrella can be nice for on-the-go sun protection, if you just want to sit and hang out in your yard, it’s not necessarily the most practical choice. If your umbrella is handheld, it can be cumbersome to hold while working in your garden or relaxing in the shade.
So, in many instances, a covered gazebo is still better than an umbrella for sun protection in terms of convenience. As long as your gazebo offers enough shade, you don’t have to carry that umbrella around.
Adding an Umbrella to a Gazebo
If you want the best of both worlds, consider adding a permanent covering to your gazebo in the form of an umbrella. Large, permanent umbrellas offer shade from the sun and protect your gazebo from the rain in inclement weather. A win-win for sure!
A practical way to do this is by adding a protective covering with a high UV resistance level. Polyester is a common go-to for these types of projects due to its low cost and high resistance capabilities. Adding a polyester tarp can help protect you and your gazebo from harmful UV rays.
Protecting the Gazebo From the Sun
Did you know that you’re not the only thing in your yard that can be affected by the sun over time? For example, if you don’t protect your gazebo from the sun’s harmful rays, it will become sunbleached, and the supports can weaken over time.
Additionally, the wood and the roof’s fabric can become damaged from the sun and other weather conditions, leading to your not being as protected.
You can protect your gazebo by adding a cover or sun protection spray to protect both wood and metal.
The UV rays from the sun are no joke, and you should take precautions if you’re going to be out in them. Luckily, finding refuge in your gazebo can help take care of some of the worst of the rays.
If your gazebo has a hard top or even an umbrella-like covering, it’ll help protect you from UV light. Add in some sunblock or long sleeves and pants, and you’re good to spend time outside without fear!