How to Make your Outdoor Area More Sun-Safe for your Family

With Melbourne summer fast approaching, it’s time to consider the sun safety of your home. Sun safety is particularly important to Melburnians as Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Creating sun conscious outdoor spaces can go a small way to protecting your family from the sun’s UV radiation alongside improving the durability and longevity of your home. Before summer, consider these techniques to passively improving your home’s sun protection from Melbourne’s driveway experts. A little work now can go a long way to protect your family’s home and health. 

Make sunscreen readily available to guests 

Making your sunscreen bottle accessible is a simple and easily applicable step to reduce the risk of sunburn in any household. Rather than having the lotion tucked away in the back of a bathroom cupboard, consider creating a designated sunscreen bottle location outdoors to remind your family and guests to stay sun conscious. This could be as easy as placing a bottle on the shelf near your alfresco dining spot, one side of your outdoor bar or with your collection of gardening tools. Wherever you choose to place communal sunscreen, always encourage sun safety precautions like hats, sunglasses and sunscreen usage in your guests during those outdoor barbeques to do your part to reducing sun damage.

Invest in permanent structures to provide shade 

If your home is unobstructed by the afternoon sun, you might find the area particularly uncomfortable during the hot summer season. Whether it’s too much glare from the setting sun or a hot concrete driveway, an outdoor alfresco that is not optimised to combat the climate will not be used effectively due to the unwelcome atmosphere. Fortunately, fixing this issue could be as simple as investing in some shade structures, protecting your plants and skin from the sun’s harsh rays. 

To reduce the risk of the harsh Melbourne sun damaging your health or the longevity of your home, consider creating partial shade by constructing a covered patio area or installing a pergola. Simply building a taller fence or permanent roof in the correct location will obstruct the afternoon sun from heating your outdoor living area. In summer, this home renovation will protect your family from sunburn risks and strained eyesight. It will also keep the interiors of your home cooler and may benefit plants that do not thrive under direct sunlight. If your outdoor space has concrete features, permanent shade is a great method to summer proof your concrete driveway. It will keep your concrete surface cool to the touch, prevent reflective glare and reduce the likelihood of your topical coloured concrete fading from sun damage. 

It is also possible to create permanent outdoor shade without a costly renovation. Planting trees is a great opportunity to add more sun protection to your backyard, although it may be years before your trees have fully grown. Whether it’s through a renovation or some creative gardening, creating a sheltered space will allow full outdoor enjoyment with little need for protective hats and sunscreen.

Furniture and temporary solutions for seasonal use

For many Melbourne homes, your outdoor space may only become uncomfortably hot during summer. This could mean that a permanent installation would prove irritating during the cooler seasons when your family enjoys sitting outdoors to take advantage of the minimal good weather that winter offers.

If space is a factor that makes permanent solutions like solid roofs difficult, consider installing removable shade cloths or awnings to match your durable outdoor summer furniture materials. Rolling shades, patio curtains or pop-up canopies can help minimise sun damage to skin and eyes during the hot summer months and be removed as needed. Shade sails can prevent sun damage to your home’s exterior, your car’s paint and, of course, your skin.  

For a greener solution, leafy, hanging plants can be picturesque while also shielding your outdoor area. Additionally, outdoor umbrellas offer sturdy solutions that suit any outdoor space and come in many sizes and fabric colours.

Choose the right concrete

If you’re looking for ways to keep your outdoor space cool in summer, opt for lighter coloured concrete. Put simply, the lighter the concrete, the less heat it absorbs from the sun. This helps to keep the space cool unlike darker shades of concrete which absorbs more of the sun’s heat.

However, if you’re placing concrete in an area that is unshaded or near windows with no protective blinds, lighter coloured concrete can be too reflective and create too much glare. By listening to our Melbourne driveway experts’ recommendations and choosing the right tiling for your patio or pool tiling, you can ensure that your concrete is sun conscious, and your family can reap the benefits during the hot summer months.

In need of expertly installed concrete?

As trusted installers of Melbourne driveways and concrete, the team at A Better Driveway is here to offer you their knowledge and experience in premium concrete services. Our professional team has all the expert knowledge to help you realise your backyard renovation or concrete vision. 

To add value and street appeal with concrete entries, footpaths, driveways and pool decks, contact us today by filling out our online enquiry form or calling on (03) 9308 6112.