Parked cars in the direct sun can get extremely hot, even on a relatively cool day.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the temperature inside a closed car rises most quickly during the first 15 minutes that it is left in the sun, and when temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172.

Parking lot shade structures are beneficial for keeping people and their vehicles protected from the hot sun.  Sun exposure can not only cause significant damage over time to dashboards, paint, and upholstery, but also be a source of potential burns to people that touch hot surfaces such as leather seats, steering wheels, or seat belt buckles when internal temperatures can rise 40 degrees or more in a just a single hour.

When choosing a material for fabricating your next parking shade structure, how can you decide which material – wood, metal, or fabric – will work best for you?  Let’s take a look at the options.

Wood is an inexpensive and popular option that can create a pleasing shade structure for people to keep their cars protected from the sun.  It can match most any building and looks great, and its style flexibility and possibilities are endless.  However, there are some serious drawbacks to using wood, especially in the Florida and Georgia climate.

Wood structures break down over time with exposure to sun and moisture, and we are not in short supply of either heat or water in this climate!  It requires considerable maintenance such as sealing and protecting from water damage, staining or painting, regular cleaning, and frequent repairs.  Additionally, wood is vulnerable to wood-boring and infesting insects, such as termites, black carpenter ants, and bark beetles.

Metal shade structures are another popular option mainly because of the strength they can offer.  It’s overall durability and weatherability are far superior to wood, and requires less maintenance and protection considerations than wood.  Metal’s biggest shortcoming is it’s often budget-busting cost. In the very real possibility of sustained damages to the metal structure from vehicular accidents (i.e. delivery or moving trucks hitting the overhead canopy) or hurricane weather (i.e. falling trees or other large debris), repairs can be cost-prohibitive.

Fabric shade structures may be a surprisingly great option to consider.  It brings cost-efficiency, durability, and style to any parking shade structure.  Fabric shade structures require less maintenance than wood or metal, and the commercial grade fabrics withstand both heat and moisture for 10 to 20 years!  Commercial grade breathable fabric sails significantly lower the temperatures and protect from the sun’s damaging UV rays,.

The parking shade structures and shade sails our team here at Creative Shade Solutions are able to design for you can withstand winds of 90 to 120 miles per hour, and you can choose from flame-retardant, waterproof (only for umbrella or Hip roof structures), or standard cloth sails, and come in a wide variety of beautiful colors to complement your style.  We also can design cantilevered shade structures, shade wings, or other custom shades that best fit your parking shade needs.

Would you like to see what we can build for you?  Contact us today with some information about your parking shade project requirements and we will have one of our top-notch designers reach out!