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Many playground installation companies know the importance of constructing a child-safe, UV protectant playground equipment covered protective barriers that are safe for both kids and their parents. With skin cancer on the rise, as well as heat exhaustion in areas such as Austin that get very hot in the summer, schools, child care facilities, and public parks are increasingly being built with a covered protected area not only to protect children and their families but to be compliant with American Disability Act Guidelines. Knowing these regulation and safety concerns, we discuss the differences in many kinds of protective playground shading structures available.

Cantilever Shades

A Cantilever shade is designed with off-centered posts in order to avoid a center post which may obstruct the open space underneath the shade structure. Sometimes constructed of hanging, upside-down L shapes or with suspension braces, cantilever shades are mostly designed with simple, stretched and treated canvas, or alternatively by hardened, shaded plastics.
In either case, they are fairly easy to construct and provide plenty of shade. Besides their use in playground installations, they are frequently used for baseball dugouts and apartment parking lots.

Hip Roof Shades

Hip roof shades are extremely popular with clients because they are so flexible and so economical. If you’ve ever rented a cabana at the beach, chances are it was of a hip roof design. With four or more poles along with an angled pole at the top, all the points join together at the roof to provide strength with an easy to construct structure.

The amazing thing about hip roof designs is that not only are they relatively inexpensive, but they can be joined together to provide a larger overall structure for shade. In fact, many airport parking structures use very large hip roof shade structures to park dozens upon dozens of cars. They are inexpensive, yet sturdy, and typically will last a minimum of 8-years or more.

Sail shade structures

Sail shade structures offer both shade as well as being visually appealing. Many theme parks use them, as they emote a “fun” experience. Often of a 4-pole design, many sail shade structures use two sails, stretched in two opposing directions, to make an inviting yet attractive structure. Most are made to resemble a sail on a boat and there are many colors available offering an infinite opportunity for creativity. Some parks, stretched for budget dollars, offer businesses the opportunity to sponsor sail shade in their park with their own custom designs.

Umbrella Shades

Probably the simplest design, umbrella shades have a center pole and spikes running together to hold a strong treated canvas shade top. They are a little less functional than the others because the main center pole takes up vital interior space, but they are very inexpensive and are great for those on a budget.

Regardless of your choice, experienced playground installation companies can have you out of the hot sun and under the shade in a very short time.

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