Do Gazebos Protect You from the Sun?

You are free on a hot-sunny day, the best option of a shade is under a gazebo. Then the question: does a gazebo protect you from the sun pops into your mind. Yes, a gazebo can protect you from the sun, but in a limited way. Using statistical mathematics, it can be said that a gazebo gives you about 90% protection from the sun. 

This is so because the direct light from the sun can still pass through into the structure depending on the material used to make the gazebo canopy. Another reason that removes the 10% is that a gazebo always has open sides hence it cannot protect you from the reflected sunlight.

When you sit under a gazebo you cannot be directly under it except when the sun is directly above you. This will allow some sunlight to reach you. 

There are several types of gazebos, and some types offer better protection from the sun than others. This mainly depends on the material used to make the gazebo canopy. Some materials allow the dangerous ultraviolet rays of the sun to pass through. 

Types of Gazebo Roofs and How They Protect you From the Sun

  • Canvas gazebo roof 

Canvas is always made in different colors and patterns, this is why many homeowners prefer gazebos with canvas roofs. Most manufacturers make canvas with a fabric that is already waterproof and sun-resistant. They incorporate compounds that have the ability to absorb the UV rays of the sun.

This ability to absorb the UV rays makes a gazebo cool and dry during a hot-sunny day. You are advised to always apply a sun-resistant spray in frequent intervals for example after every three months. This will increase the lifespan of your gazebo roof. The strong sun rays always make the canvas fabric to be weak and sometimes discolor it. 

The common disadvantage of a canvas roof is that it is always expensive to purchase and maintain. It is expensive to maintain because canvas is vulnerable to mildew and mold, which are costly to clean. 

They also take a lot of time to clean. 

  • Vinyl gazebo roof 

Compared to canvas, vinyl is a lighter material that is used to cover a gazebo. Vinyl is made of a semi-plastic material that contains polyvinyl chloride. This is a polymer that is known for its ability of being sun resistant and waterproof. If you want your gazebo to protect you from the sun this can also be a good option. 

Vinyl also comes in different colors and designs just like the canvas. It can be put up on the gazebo frame easily compared to canvas due to its nature of being lightweight. 

On the other hand, vinyl is also cheaper to buy and maintain compared to gazebo. The only disadvantage is that it is vulnerable to wear and tear when exposed to strong sun rays, heavy rainfall, and sometimes strong winds.

  • Metallic gazebo roof 

Metals such as iron, aluminum and steel are the ones that are used to make metallic gazebo roofs. According to research, metallic roofs are the cheapest among the gazebo roofs. 

Metallic roofs are the best when it comes to protecting you from the sun. The problem is that metals always absorb sun heat which is released on you who is seated under the gazebo. 

Metallic roofs are durable hence they can resist strong impacts and their shape and design is not lost. 

Of course, metals are waterproof which makes it a good option. You are advised to always paint your metallic gazebo roof to prevent rust which is a common problem on metallic roofs.

  • Wooden gazebo roof

This is mainly done by cedar shingles because they make your gazebo look nice and perfect compared to other trees. These shingles create a natural blend with your outdoors. 

Cedar shingles are easy to install hence you can install them yourself which in turn cuts down on the construction cost. 

Shingles are the best sun proof products and it is always cool under a wooden roof because wood does not absorb heat from the sun like the metallic roof. 

The biggest disadvantage of wooden gazebo roof is that it absorbs moisture which in turn attracts mildew and sometimes molds. Another vulnerability of a wooden roof is the attack by insects and rotting. 

Negative Effects of Excess Sun Exposure on the Human Body 

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  • It can cause skin cancer 

UV rays are one of the most stubborn agents of cancer in modern society. Research has shown that 90% of skin cancer is caused by excess sun exposure. This is why you are advised to limit your time under the sun. 

  • It can cause sunburn

UV rays are very strong radiations that contain heat energy. This heat energy can burn cells in your skin. Here also the blood flows to the burnt cell trying to repair them and here is when your skin turns red and it is said you have sunburn.

  • It can lower/damage the immune system 

Research has shown that sunburn has a suppressing effect on the immune system of the body. Sunburn causes a change in the distribution of the white blood cells which are the disease fighting cells in a human body. This in turn lowers or damages the immune system of the body.

  • It can damage the eyes 

Sun radiations are very strong and they can damage the weak tissues that are found in a human eye. Snow blindness is a condition that develops after overexposing your eyes to bright sunlight. 

This condition can disappear in 48 hours but in the long run, it can cause bad eye damage.

  • It can cause early skin ages 

These strong UV rays can make your skin look old at an early stage in life. The strong sun radiations always destroy the collagens and soft connective tissues under the skin. This in turn causes wrinkling of the skin. 


As the saying goes “better little than none’’ is best used here. It is better to have the limited protection of the gazebo from the sun than being hit by direct sunlight. Whatever the type of rooftop of your gazebo it can still protect you from the direct sun radiations which can have harmful effects on your body.