Skip to content

Types of Waterproof Shade Options Guide

Home | Design and Build, Blog | Types of Waterproof Shade Options Guide

Types of waterproof shade options guide

Waterproof shade structures help protect against rain and inclement weather and provide shade from the harsh sun, creating enjoyable environments for various applications. With multiple material and style choices available, navigating through the options can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve crafted this comprehensive guide to help you make informed decisions and transform your business’s outdoor area into a haven of comfort and protection.

This guide will walk you through the various materials along with their benefits and applications, empowering you to choose the perfect waterproof shade option for your organization’s permanent or temporary shade structures. Discover how these solutions can help shield against rain, block harmful UV rays and create a comfortable environment in your projects.

Waterproof shade structures are build to deflect water

Waterproof vs. Traditional Shade Structures

A waterproof shade structure is a type of architectural feature that combines the benefits of shade coverage with effective protection against rain and other forms of precipitation. It is designed to keep the area beneath dry and more shielded from the wind, allowing individuals to enjoy outdoor spaces even during wet weather conditions.

Unlike traditional shade structures that primarily focus on blocking sunlight and providing relief from the heat, waterproof shade structures incorporate materials and construction techniques that help prevent water from penetrating through the cover. These structures are typically constructed with waterproof fabrics designed to resist water and maintain their integrity even when exposed to harsh outdoor elements.

Waterproof shade structures can provide a comfortable and protected environment for individuals to stay dry and enjoy outdoor activities, regardless of the weather conditions. The design and construction of a waterproof shade structure involves carefully considering factors such as wind direction, precipitation type, available drainage systems, slope, climate, and many other factors to ensure an effective structure that meets your business’s needs.

A waterproof option allows for year-round use of outdoor spaces, enhances the usability of commercial and recreational areas and provides a comfortable and enjoyable environment for people to gather, relax or engage in various activities, regardless of the weather outside.

Novashield® Waterproof Shade Option

With Novashield®, you can have confidence in its exceptional quality, durability and performance. The lightweight and flexible nature of the membrane fabric, combined with its outstanding weather resistance and UV protection, make Novashield an ideal choice for architects and business owners seeking a reliable and visually appealing shade option.

The Novashield Fabric

The Novashield Fabric

Novashield is an advanced solution incorporating a woven cloth-backed material with a waterproof layer adhered to it. The fabric is crafted using a state-of-the-art polyethylene (PE) membrane that combines strength, flexibility and durability. The material is engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions while maintaining its structural integrity and impermeability, ensuring a long-lasting and reliable shade solution. Novashield’s properties include:

  • Advanced membrane technology: The PE membrane is engineered to provide superior waterproofing, UV resistance and durability, making it ideal for outdoor applications where protection from the elements is paramount.
  • Fire resistance: Novashield aligns with NFPA 701 and ASTM E84 fire standards and test conditions.
  • Durability: The durable PE membrane is designed to resist fading, tearing and degradation caused by UV radiation, moisture and other environmental factors. The increased durability makes it an excellent choice for outdoor applications that require exceptional longevity with a life span of around 15 years.
  • UV protection: The membrane fabric used in Novashield effectively blocks harmful UV rays, offering sun protection.
  • LEED credits: Novashield is the first membrane structure fabric in the world to achieve Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certification, contributing toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits.

Experience the Benefits of Novashield

Elevate your business’s outdoor spaces and transform how you provide comfort and protection to your customers and guests. With Novashield, you have the flexibility to create customized shade solutions that meet your organization’s specific design requirements. Whether you need to cover a large outdoor seating area, a walkway or a poolside space, the lightweight and flexible nature of Novashield allows for seamless integration into various architectural styles and configurations.

Here are some of the benefits of using Novashield:

  • Low-maintenance: Novashield requires minimal maintenance, saving you time and resources. Its robust construction and dirt and debris accumulation resistance make cleaning easy. A low-pressure setting to spray the sail could do the trick, but check the manufacturer’s warranty and recommendations before starting.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: The modern design seamlessly integrates with various architectural styles, adding a touch of sophistication to any setting.
  • Energy-efficient: Novashield can contribute to energy efficiency by reducing heat transfer. Its reflective properties help to keep the covered area cooler, reducing the need for excessive air conditioning or ventilation and resulting in potential energy savings.
  • Cost-effective: If your business needs multiple waterproof shade structures or your organization doesn’t have a significant budget for your shade needs, Novashield offers a cost-effective option.

Applications of Novashield

Applications of Novashield

Novashield is a versatile, high-performance waterproof shade solution that finds applications across various outdoor spaces. From commercial settings to recreational areas, Novashield provides reliable protection from the elements while enhancing the functionality and aesthetics of the environment. Its uses include:

  • Hospitality venues: From a poolside lounge area to an alfresco dining section or a cozy patio, Novashield offers protection from wind, sun and rain, allowing guests to enjoy their experience in almost any weather condition.
  • Retail and commercial spaces: Novashield can be used in retail stores, shopping centers and commercial complexes to enhance the customer experience. Create shaded walkways, outdoor seating areas or sheltered entrance zones that attract visitors and provide a pleasant environment for shopping and leisure activities.
  • Educational institutions: Schools, colleges and universities can benefit from Novashield by creating shaded areas for outdoor classrooms, study spaces or gathering areas.
  • Curbside pickup and parking: This versatile fabric can be effectively utilized in curbside pickup parking applications to enhance the customer experience and provide a convenient and protected space for order pickups.
  • Recreational areas: Parks, recreational facilities and sports complexes can utilize Novashield to provide shaded seating areas, picnic spots or covered walkways. These areas allow visitors to enjoy outdoor activities while staying more protected from the wind, sun and rain, enhancing their overall experience.
  • Customization options: Novashield offers versatility and customization options to suit your project requirements. Create a shade structure that provides optimal coverage and complements the surrounding environment, enhancing your space’s overall aesthetics and functionality.

Waterproof PVC for Shade Structures

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a versatile and durable material with many benefits. PVC is inherently waterproof, making it ideal for creating practical barriers against rain, moisture and other environmental elements. It acts as a reliable shield, ensuring that the covered area remains dry and protected, regardless of the weather conditions.

Using PVC in Shade Material

PVC-based shade material is often made of high-quality polyester. This combination of PVC-based shade fabric provides the waterproof and durable properties necessary for effective shade structures.

When choosing a waterproof shade structure, consider these features:

  • Waterproofing: The PVC-based shade material coating on the fabric acts as a barrier, preventing water penetration and keeping the covered area dry, even during heavy rainfall or other wet conditions.
  • Durability: The PVC-based shade material coating enhances the fabric’s durability, making it resistant to tearing, abrasion and environmental factors such as UV rays, temperature fluctuations and pollutants. The PVC-based shade material ensures the fabric can withstand prolonged exposure to outdoor elements without degrading or losing its protective properties.
  • Color and design options: PVC-based shade materials come in various colors, patterns and textures, allowing for customization and aesthetic appeal.

Benefits of a PVC-Based Structure

Benefits of a PVC-Based Shade Structure

PVC offers a host of benefits that make it an ideal material for use in shade structures. Discover how PVC can transform your business’s outdoor spaces into comfortable and functional areas that withstand the test of time while providing optimal shade and protection:

  • Branding opportunities: PVC shade structures can be customized with branding elements such as logos, colors or graphics. Branding provides an excellent opportunity for businesses or event organizers to showcase their brand identity, create visual impact and enhance the overall aesthetic of the space.
  • Eco-friendliness: The material can be an environmentally conscious choice for waterproof shade structures, as it is recyclable at specialist facilities. Additionally, the durability of PVC minimizes waste, reducing the environmental impact associated with frequent replacements.
  • Easy maintenance: PVC-coated shade fabrics are easy to clean and maintain. They can resist dirt, stains and fading and can often be cleaned with mild soap and water, making them suitable for long-term use with minimal effort.
  • Fire resistance: The material complies with NFPA 701 and ASTM E84 standards.
  • Versatility: Due to the lightweight nature of the fabric, it can be used for both temporary and permanent structures.

Applications for PVC Shade Structures

PVC shade structures suit a wide range of applications, making them versatile for creating comfortable and functional outdoor spaces. They provide shade, protection and aesthetic appeal to commercial, recreational, hospitality, educational, public and residential spaces, as well as:

  • Commercial establishments: PVC shade structures are commonly used in commercial settings such as restaurants, cafes and outdoor dining areas. They provide shade for customers, allowing them to comfortably enjoy their meals and beverages while being more protected from the sun’s rays or light rain.
  • Public spaces and parks: PVC shade structures can benefit parks, plazas and public gathering areas. They provide shaded areas for people to rest, relax and socialize, making the outdoor spaces more inviting and comfortable.
  • Concert spaces: Due to their lightweight nature, PVC shade structures are ideal for creating grand spaces for concert areas.

PTFE Waterproof Shade Structures

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), is a high-performance material used in shade structures. These structures offer a harmonious blend of functionality and aesthetics, creating comfortable and visually appealing outdoor spaces.

Shade Structures Made From PTFE Material

PTFE is known for its unique combination of chemical resistance, low friction, high-temperature tolerance and electrical insulation capabilities. The fabric is highly resistant to chemical attack, making it suitable for use in environments where exposure to corrosive substances is a concern. It can withstand a wide range of chemicals, acids and solvents, ensuring the longevity and performance of shade structures even in challenging conditions.

  • Low friction: PTFE has an extremely low coefficient of friction, making it a self-lubricating material. This property allows for smooth movement, which helps reduce wear and tear, especially in areas where mechanical components come into contact with the fabric, such as in retractable roof systems or temporary structures.
  • High temperature tolerance: PTFE can withstand high temperatures without losing its physical properties. This heat resistance makes PTFE suitable for shading applications in hot climates or areas exposed to direct sunlight.
  • UV resistance: PTFE has inherent UV resistance, protecting against prolonged sun exposure’s degrading effects.

Benefits of PTFE for Shade Structures

Benefits of PTFE for Shade Structures

The benefits of PTFE go beyond durability and functionality — these advantages shape the entire experience of outdoor spaces. Renowned for its unique properties, PTFE offers many benefits that elevate shade structures to new levels, like:

  • Durability: PTFE is resistant to UV radiation, weathering and chemical degradation, ensuring PTFE fabric membranes maintain their structural integrity even in the harshest outdoor environments.
  • Low maintenance requirements: The smooth surface of PTFE resists the excessive adhesion of dirt and pollutants, and rainwater easily washes away debris, keeping the fabric clean and reducing the need for frequent cleaning or maintenance.
  • High strength: The fabric membranes possess high strength, allowing them to withstand significant loads and stresses. The added strength makes them capable of spanning large distances without the need for extensive supporting structures. With PTFE shade material, architects have more design flexibility to create expansive, open spaces that provide ample shade coverage without sacrificing aesthetics.
  • Light transmission capabilities: PTFE fabric membranes possess unique light-transmitting properties. During the day, natural light passes through the membrane, creating a diffused and pleasant lighting beneath the shade structure.
  • Color stability: Another advantage of the UV resistance of PTFE is that it maintains color stability over time.
  • Sustainability: PTFE fabric membranes are recyclable at specialist facilities, contributing to sustainable practices in construction. At the end of their life span, the membranes can be processed and transformed into new materials, minimizing waste and supporting circular economy principles.

Applications of PTFE Shade Structures

Applications of PTFE Shade Structures

PTFE fabric membranes are widely employed to construct architectural canopies and permanent installations. These canopies provide shade and protection while adding a striking visual element to the building’s exterior in applications like these:

  • Stadium roofs: PTFE fabric membranes are extensively used in stadium roofs to cover spectators while allowing natural light transmission. Their durability, lightweight nature and design flexibility make them an excellent choice for covering large areas without compromising aesthetics or functionality.
  • Walkway covers: PTFE shade structures find application in creating covered walkways and outdoor corridors. PTFE’s light-transmitting properties ensure a pleasant ambiance during the day, enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Transportation hubs: They can be utilized in transportation hubs, such as airports, bus stations and train stations, to provide shelter for passengers and vehicles. These structures offer protection from the elements and serve as gathering points, ensuring the comfort and convenience of travelers.
  • Outdoor dining areas: By providing shade and protection from the sun, these structures enhance customers’ comfort, allowing them to enjoy al fresco dining experiences without being exposed to harsh sunlight or sudden rain showers. PTFE’s light transmission properties contribute to a pleasant dining atmosphere.
  • Retail promenades: PTFE fabric membranes are used in promenades to create covered walkways and gathering spaces. These structures provide shelter for shoppers, protecting them from inclement weather while they explore and enjoy an outdoor shopping experience. PTFE shade material’s design versatility allows for the integration of branding elements and lighting features, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the retail environment.
  • Parking lots: Due to PTFE’s durability against resistance to UV radiation, it’s suitable to use as covering in a parking lot that sees sun exposure for most of the day. At the same time, PTFE lets some light pass through to help maintain visibility during the day in your business’s parking area.

how to choose your waterproof shade material

How to Choose Your Waterproof Shade Structure Material

With these three options in mind, consider a few factors to help you make your choice:

  • Budget: Novashield shade structures are ideal if your business has a strict budget. If you have more room in your budget for a customizable option, consider PVC-based material, or choose PTFE for something extremely durable.
  • Climate: Any of these three options will help protect against rain and precipitation. PTFE provides enhanced UV resistance, making it suitable for warmer, sunnier climates. PVC-based materials or Novashield could suit your business if the surrounding climate experiences more storms, as they can be durable and resistant to debris.
  • Temporary or permanent: Novashield is a cost-effective option that suits both permanent and temporary uses. PVC-based materials are lighter, so they can be easier to move in temporary structures, though they suit permanent applications. PTFE offers the maximum flexibility for use in permanent shade structures.

Custom Waterproof Shade Structures

USA SHADE Has Experts to Assist in the Design Process

Our specialists have understood that designing and implementing custom waterproof shade structures requires careful planning and attention to detail for over three decades. That’s why we established our Design Development Department (DDD) to provide your business with unparalleled expertise and support throughout the design process. Our DDD utilizes state-of-the-art 3D/CAD rendering and animation software, taking visualization capabilities to new heights.

Comprising a team of skilled experts who deeply understand shape, form and function, ensuring that your business’s shade structure meets your functional needs and captivates with its aesthetic appeal. Through our creative vision, we transform concepts into detailed 3D renderings, allowing clients to visualize the final product before construction begins. This level of insight is invaluable in ensuring that the design aligns perfectly with your vision.

The USA SHADE DDD sets us apart from our competitors and empowers our clients with a distinct advantage. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, creative expertise and meticulous analysis, we ensure that your organization’s shade structure project is executed with precision and excellence. From concept to reality, our DDD is committed to delivering exceptional design solutions that exceed your expectations.

Partner with USA SHADE’s DDD and experience the difference of working with a team dedicated to bringing your business’s shade structure vision to life. Let us elevate your design process and create outdoor spaces that are both visually stunning and functionally superior. Contact USA Shield to start your waterproof shade project

Contact USA Shade to Start Your Business’s Waterproof Shade Project

Our 120,000-square-foot fabrication plant in Dallas, Texas, sets the stage for excellence, certified by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) for meeting or exceeding the highest standards in steel fabrication in the creation of our shade structures.

Equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and specialized tools, our fabrication plant combines cutting-edge technology with skilled craftsmanship. Every step of the process, from cutting raw steel to fabrication and welding, is meticulously executed by our American Welding Society (AWS) certified welders and supervised by a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI).

We only work with the highest quality materials. Our fabrics are carefully selected to meet the project’s specific requirements and our client’s preferences. These fabrics offer excellent UV and weather protection and light reflectivity.

At USA SHADE, precision and attention to detail are ingrained in our fabric tops and panels. Our advanced computer-controlled cutting technology ensures precision load analysis and tight tolerances, while heat-sealing and GORE® TENARA® PTFE thread create robust and long-lasting seams. Our fabric patterning, sewing and cutting teams combine their expertise with the latest advancements to deliver exceptional results.

Ready to embark on your waterproof shade project? Contact USA SHADE for a quote and benefit from our unmatched cutting-edge fabrication capabilities and commitment to excellence.