UV Rays: Protecting Your Space

This spring, I found myself with a lengthy stretch of time at home. Normally, that would be a great thing during the summer--time to relax outdoors, time to sit outside and read, and time to enjoy the sunshine. Because I am careful about protecting my skin and want to reduce my chances of developing even more skin cancers, it’s frustrating to be at home and feel tied to staying indoors. Determined not to live the vampire life all summer, I started doing some online research to extend sun protection to my patio. As it turns out, there are several sun-smart ways to shake things up around my yard.

Bring on the shade

My patio is in the sun from dusk till dawn. There really is no escaping the sun--or so I thought. Patio umbrellas are one way to provide a little shade and enjoy being outside without getting too much sun. In my search, I found a company recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Sunbrella umbrellas provide sun protection for your patio and come with the seal of approval from a respected organization in the fight against skin cancer. The Sunbrella brand is offered online and in stores by several different retailers.

Searching for more ideas

I was tempted to just buy the umbrella, I have to admit. My patio, however, calls for a little more coverage from the sun. I have tried umbrellas before, but they only provide shade for a short time as the sun moves across the sky. My time on my patio, even though well-protected, would still be very limited. I continued my search.

Maybe an awning would help

Awnings were the next stop in my online search. A quick Google entry yielded literally hundreds of awnings of all sizes and types--retractable and motorized. An awning would provide more sun protection for my little patio for a longer period of time. I quickly realized there are many manufacturers who offer UV-resistant fabric. It is worth noting that Sunbrella also offers a wide variety of awning fabrics. Sunesta, like Sunbrella, receives praise from The Skin Cancer Foundation as a provider of quality products effective in the fight against skin cancer.

Considering sun protection late in the day

I am one of those folks who likes to beat the heat and sit outside on my patio late in the evening. Because of my home’s position, the sun falls across my patio until the sun sets. An awning won’t exactly help when the late afternoon sun illuminates my patio table and chairs. Google never disappoints. I found the answer--a retractable screen. A retractable screen wouldn’t limit access to my patio, but it would provide protection and shade whenever I wanted it. Alutech United, Inc. offers screens and shades that block over 75% of the sun’s UV rays.

Things to consider when shopping for UV protection products

As you shop for products that offer UV protection for sun protection on your patio or in your yard, keep in mind the verbiage in the descriptions on websites and in ads. Some products profess to offer UV protection, but they mean the fabric itself has been treated to prevent fading and damage to the material. Other products offer sun protection against UV rays for users. Always opt for the latter when looking to protect yourself and your loved ones from the sun.

Maximizing sun protection on my patio

I decided to go with both a retractable awning to protect me and my patio from the sun and a 10ft retractable screen to protect from the late afternoon heat. I now have a nice little area to sit and actually enjoy being outdoors without stressing myself and constantly looking at my watch to see exactly how much exposure I have allowed myself. A little research has paid off in a big way--summer isn’t as scary for this skin cancer patient anymore.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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