Pools and sunshine go hand in hand, but sometimes not even a swim can help you cool down – especially on those blistering hot summer days – that is, if your pool does not have adequate shade. Without shade, your pool deck might become unbearably hot and harmful UV rays might get the best of you since sunscreen can only protect you so much when you are jumping in and out of the water. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to shade your inground pool so that you, your family and your guests can have a more enjoyable time swimming! 

How much shade do you need for your pool?


Before you decide on how you want to shade your inground pool, you should ask yourself these six questions about your family’s needs:

  1. Would you be happy with a small area of shade over part of your pool? 
  2. Do you want your shade to be permanent?
  3. What about having the ability to shade your whole pool when needed? 
  4. Do you want your pool deck to benefit from the shade as well?
  5. Could you utilize natural shade?
  6. What kind of budget do you have, and how much coverage will that provide?

How to shade your inground pool


1. Shade sails



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Looking for a stylish addition to your pool area that also provides you with partial shade? A shade sail may be the perfect option for you! Shade sails are pieces of fabric that are stretched between posts, which are anchored in the ground or your patio. The sails themselves are made out of heavy-duty mesh fabric that allows water to drain through while keeping harmful UV rays out. They come in a wide variety of colours and styles, so you can certainly find one that matches your pool area’s decor. 

One of the best things about shade sails is that they can be custom designed for your needs, so you can decide what parts of your pool and pool deck will be covered.

The only real downside to installing shade sails is that they are vulnerable to wind and will need to be taking down on extra windy days or when a storm is coming.


2. Pergolas

Pergolas are a common backyard feature, but have you ever thought about putting one over your pool? A pergola can be designed to give you the perfect balance of sun and shade. Placing a pergola over one end of your pool can also create a beautiful look for your backyard. 


3. Retractable shade canopies



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If you are looking for a way to shade your inground pool whenever you want to, at the flick of a switch, a retractable shade canopy might be the right choice for you. These large canopies can provide you with reliable sun protection to an entire section of your pool and deck with ease.

During the heat of the day, you can easily cover your pool and pool deck and then once it cools down in the evening, you can open it back up. This option is a very stylish way to provide shade but will cost more to install. 


4. Permanent umbrellas

Permanent umbrellas offer great shade coverage for your pool deck, and unlike moveable umbrellas, you do not have to worry about taking them down should it get windy. Permanent umbrellas use a concrete footing, dug deep into the ground to securely anchor them. Since they require minimal maintenance, it is easy to see why these are a poolside staple.


5. Cantilevered umbrellas



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Unlike traditional permanent umbrellas, cantilevered umbrellas are offset so they can provide shade for areas further away from the main column, making them perfect for shading the side of your pool. Some cantilevered umbrellas come with a pivot option so you can adjust them as the sun angle changes throughout the day. 


6. Shade trees



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Trees are a great way to provide natural shade – and privacy – for your inground pool. If you are building a new pool, is there a location in your backyard that already has some great shade-giving trees? If you have an existing pool that does not have any nearby trees, you will need to get planting. 

Keep in mind that if you are putting in new trees, they will take time to grow and may require some pruning in order to ensure they provide the right amount of shade for your pool.

Just remember that if you are going to use trees to shade your pool, you may need to perform a bit more pool maintenance in order to clean out any tree or wildlife debris that falls in your pool. Also, tree roots can be damaging to your pool structure, so be sure to consult your pool contractor before building or planting. 


7. Building your pool in existing shade

For those looking to build a new pool, you have the advantage of being able to select where to place your pool in relation to the existing shade your backyard may already have.

To find the ideal spot for your pool, make note of where the shade lands at the time – or times – of day you would most likely be using your pool. Just keep in mind that the sun’s angle will change throughout the year, so it may be best to observe your backyard during the summer months if you can. 


For those pool lovers who want the pool experience minus the sun, perhaps an indoor pool is the right choice for you.