Stylish Pool Shade Options For Any Home In South Florida

With how hot South Florida's summers get and the relatively warm winters, it’s no wonder that so many homes in the tri-county area have backyard swimming pools. But as all South Floridians know, there is definitely such a thing as “too much sun,” so having a cool, shaded area near your pool is essential to protect against harmful UV rays and add some shade on sunny days.

Keep reading to learn more about some of the more popular pool shade options that you’ll find around South Florida.

Summer vacation swimming pool

Assess Your Pool Shade Needs

Creating a shaded area to protect from UV rays and the sun’s heat is, of course, the primary function of a pool shade, but there are a few other things you should consider before deciding on the best option for your pool.  Make sure to assess your pool’s sun and UV exposure, your pool’s size and space requirements, and considering various shading options, you can create a comfortable and functional pool area in South Florida.

Evaluating Sun And UV Exposure

The sun can be pretty intense in South Florida, so it’s essential to consider the effects of UV rays on both your skin and the pool itself. To find an effective shading solution, you must first determine the amount of sunlight your pool receives throughout the day. Observe the pool area from sunrise to sunset to understand the sun’s path and identify the most exposed areas.

UV rays can have harmful effects on the skin and can also increase the temperature of the pool during the warmer months. By assessing your pool’s sun and UV exposure, you can choose shade solutions that effectively protect against the sun’s rays. Some popular options are:

  • Parasols provide shade for a specific area and can be set up flexibly.
  • Awnings: These can be placed at different heights and angles to control the level of protection.
  • Pool houses: A strategically placed pool house can shade a large part of the pool area.
  • Landscaping: Tall plants and shrubs are a natural and aesthetic way to provide shade.

Determining Size And Space Requirements

Once you have assessed your pool’s sun and UV exposure, the next step is to determine the size and space requirements of your shading solution. This will depend on factors such as the size of your pool, the areas you wish to shade, and the type and number of shading structures you wish to install.

Keep the following tips in mind when making your considerations:

  • Measure the available space: Accurate measurements will allow you to choose the right size and shape for your shading system.
  • Consider the shade’s maneuverability: In some cases, you may opt for options that can be easily adjusted and moved, such as cantilever shades or portable shading systems.
  • Ensure proper installation: The strength and durability of your shading solution depend on the installation. Ensure that all anchor points are securely fastened and that the shading structure can withstand strong winds, heavy rain, and other environmental influences.
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Add Some Style With Shade Sails

Shade sails are a practical and stylish addition to any pool area in South Florida. They are available in a number of sizes, shapes, and colors and are relatively easy to install.

Benefits Of Shade Sails

Awnings are an excellent option for shading your swimming pool in South Florida. These versatile and attractive structures come in various sizes, colors, and designs so that you can choose the perfect solution for your area. They are made of high-quality, high-density polyethylene fabric, providing excellent sun protection and allowing air to circulate at lower temperatures.

The main benefits of awnings include:

  • Durability: The fabric used to make them resists tearing, fraying, and fading, so your awning will look good for a long time.
  • Easy to Install: Awnings are relatively easy to install, and simple instructions are often included.
  • Wind Resistance: Due to their unique design and secure anchor points, awnings can withstand moderate wind speeds, making them a sturdy choice for the windy conditions of South Florida.
  • Low Maintenance: Awnings are easy to clean and maintain, keeping your pool area neat and stylish.

Disadvantages of Shade Sails

Shade sails have a number of advantages, but they’re not the perfect solution for every pool area. Primarily, shade sails typically don’t prevent 100% of the sun’s UV rays or rain from getting through, so if you’re looking for a total coverage solution, shade sails may not be right for you. In addition, they are a lower-cost option, so if you’re a homeowner who is looking for something larger, permanent, or generally more impressive, you might consider an alternative option. However, even if a shade sail isn’t what you were thinking for your primary pool shade solution, they almost always make an excellent addition if you’re just looking to add an extra shaded space to your pool area.

Retractable Awnings And Enclosures

Retractable systems such as awnings and canopies are popular pool shade options for South Florida homeowners. They offer a versatile, customizable, and practical outdoor shading solution. Let’s look at the benefits of these systems and some maintenance tips to ensure their longevity and functionality.

Advantages Of Retractable Systems

The main advantage of retractable awnings and awning enclosures is their flexibility, allowing homeowners to create the desired shade. Motorized awnings are convenient as they can be controlled remotely at the touch of a button. They can also be fitted with wind sensors that automatically retract the awning in the event of solid gusts, preventing potential damage.

Another advantage is that retractable systems provide adequate shade and UV protection without compromising the view or architectural aesthetics. They can be installed according to the homeowner’s specific needs, whether over the pool or on a patio, adding elegance to the outdoor space. In addition, a retractable roof or canopy can help save energy by reducing the need for air conditioning on hot days.

Maintenance Of Retractable Awnings

Proper maintenance is crucial to the longevity of awnings. Here are some essential maintenance tips:

  1. Cleaning: Clean the fabric and frame of the awning regularly with a soft brush and mild soap solution. Rinse thoroughly to avoid soap residue.
  2. Lubrication: Lubricate all moving parts with a silicone-based spray as required. This will keep the mechanism running smoothly and working properly.
  3. Inspection: Check the fabric, frame, and motor (if applicable) regularly for signs of wear or damage. Deal with any problems immediately to prevent further deterioration.
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Permanent Shade Structures

In South Florida, reliable and sturdy pool shading options are essential to protect yourself and your guests from the intense sunlight. Permanent shade structures offer long-lasting solutions for creating a comfortable and stylish outdoor living space.

Pergolas And Gazebos

Pergolas and gazebos are versatile shade providers that add style and functionality to your pool area. They have an open lattice roof and are usually made of wood or aluminum. The density of the roof slats determines the degree of shading, and pergolas can be adorned with vines or fabrics for additional sun protection.


  • Wide range of design options to suit any style
  • Easily customizable for varying degrees of shade
  • Can support climbing plants for additional greenery


  • It may not provide complete sun protection depending on the density of the roof battens.
  • It may require regular maintenance (especially with wooden pergolas)

Gazebos, on the other hand, are freestanding structures with a fixed, pitched roof. They offer better protection from the sun while still providing an open, airy feel.


  • It provides more even shade
  • Stable construction
  • Often comes with built-in seating or space for garden furniture


  • It can take up more space
  • It requires more material and effort to construct

Pool Houses And Cabanas

Pool houses and cabanas are excellent options for more privacy and protection. These enclosed structures can be used for various purposes, such as lounges or guest accommodation.

Pool houses are spacious, fully enclosed structures with amenities such as bathrooms, kitchens, or living areas. They provide a comfortable interior space that is ideal for entertaining or relaxing.

Pros Cons
Total privacy and shade More expensive to construct
Additional living space Requires more space for construction
Potential for added amenities (bathrooms, kitchens) Needs regular maintenance

Cabanas, smaller than pool houses, are semi-enclosed structures with a roof and curtains or walls for added privacy. They take up less space and can be customized to fit your outdoor lifestyle.


  • It provides privacy and shade
  • Esthetically pleasing
  • It can be customized for different design styles


  • It may not offer the same level of amenities as a pool house
  • Requires some maintenance depending on the materials used

Natural And Eco-Friendly Shade Options

Integrating natural shade into the design of your pool area enhances the aesthetics, offers numerous ecological benefits, and creates a comfortable, environmentally friendly oasis in your garden.

Landscaping For Shade

In South Florida, it’s important to create shaded areas around the pool to create a comfortable environment while protecting yourself from the harsh sun. One natural option is landscaping with shade trees and plants. Ideal trees and plants for shaded areas around your pool include:

  • Oaks: These large, sturdy trees provide ample shade and have a robust root system, making them ideal for the South Florida climate.
  • Croton: As an accent plant, croton can add a pop of color while providing shade for the surrounding area.
  • Indian Hawthorn: With its dense foliage, Indian hawthorn is often used as a bedding or foundation plant. It creates a shade canopy.
  • Pinwheel Jasmine: Fan jasmine is an attractive, shady accent plant with delicate flowers.

In addition to these plants, you can also experiment with other native plants that can tolerate the South Florida climate and provide natural shade.

Environmental Benefits Of Natural Shade

Natural shade providers such as trees and plants not only provide a cooler place for your pool and garden furniture but also offer several ecological benefits:

  1. Lower Energy Consumption: Trees and plants can help lower the temperature in your yard by providing shade, reducing the need for air conditioners and fans to cool the space.
  2. Air Purification: Trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide and pollutants and release oxygen, improving the air quality in outdoor spaces.
  3. Ecosystem Support: Native trees and plants provide habitat and food sources for native wildlife, promoting a biodiverse ecosystem in your garden.

Erosion and Water Control: Plant roots absorb water, helping to control stormwater runoff and prevent soil erosion. This can be especially important in South Florida, where heavy rainfall is common.

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Speak To A Shade Pro About Your Pool Shade Options

If you’re ready to learn more about the pool shade options for your South Florida backyard, get in touch with the shade pros at Valrose today! We’ve built custom pergolas, cabanas, gazebos, awnings, and other pool shade structures in South Florida since 1984.  Click here to schedule a time to speak with a member of our team, or give us a call at 305.893.5553 to speak to someone now.

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