Summer is upon us with the option of hosting backyard cookouts and get-togethers, so once the yard work is completed, it is always great to have a shady outdoor space that you can enjoy. Here are some tips to help you make your backyard patio cooler and shaded so you can enjoy the outdoor space.

Install and Maintain Your Awning

Your backyard patio awning installed on your home can provide you shade from the sun, but over time the sun and weather can break down the material in its canvas. One of the most common types of awning damage, next to an arm breaking, is a tear in the canvas. If you leave the canvas torn, it will continue to unravel, and the damage will grow until you will need to replace its entire canvas. If you have a retractable arm that has been damaged, contact an awning repair professional to order and replace the part.

Your local home improvement store or RV repair shop will have the equipment for you to repair a torn awning. You can find canvas repair tape to patch a large tear or contact cement to seal up the edges and patch the tear. Be sure you clean and dry the area you are repairing well to remove dirt and dust.

Cut to remove any loose threads from around the damage, and apply the contact cement onto the edges of the fabric to seal the edges and to press the damaged together, sealing the tear. Contact cement usually requires you to allow it to cure slightly before pressing the tear together. You can also make a patch with an extra piece of canvas cut slightly larger than the damage. Use the contact cement to adhere it onto the damaged area.

Install and Plant Cooling Surfaces and Vegetation

In addition to a shade-producing awning, the type of surfaces around your patio can make your patio space cooler. For example, rock and bare soil will absorb and reflect more heat to make your patio uncomfortable. Planting a lawn and several trees to shade the space throughout the day can cause the pavement to absorb less heat. Pavement is well known for increasing the air temperature of your backyard when it absorbs and radiates heat from the sun.

You can also paint or apply a solar or reflective pavement coating to your concrete, asphalt, or other paving to help it stay cooler. Cooling pavement sealants protect your pavement, making it more attractive in addition to reducing your outdoor air temperature. Talk to a local paving company about some awning repair options to get the most use from your backyard this season.