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Thread: Pond Shade Structures

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Pond Shade Structures

    Sunday afternoon we had some serious storms move through the Orlando area, with what is being called a 'microburst' hitting my neighborhood. Hurricane-force wind gusts caused quite a lot of damage. Now that the tree that punctured our roof is off the house and blue tarp in place until the roof can be re-constructed, I can begin addressing the collapsed shade structure over the pond. The shadecloth acted as a sail with the strong winds and pulled it over.

    I am debating whether to re-build in the same manner, a wood structure with shadecloth, or go for a metal structure. The metal (aluminium) frame shadehouse (greenhouse with only shadecloth walls and roof) came through fine, as it did during the 2004 hurricanes. Wood is more attractive to my eye. Metal has proven stronger. As I ponder what to do, I figure it is a good time to hear from folks about how they shade their ponds, and the pluses and minuses they have experienced. So, what do you do, and how happy are you with it? How well does it perform in preventing leaves from reaching the pond?

  2. #2
    Nisai creekds's Avatar
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    I helped Kim (Orlando Koi Club Member) install 4" x 6" x 12' post anchored in concrete, with heavy duty springs and turn buckles. The shade sails made it thru the same storm you had. This pictures were taken at the time of installation. She was going to plant vines etc. to hide the post.

    Darrell
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pond Shade Structures-sl732464-640x494-.jpg   Pond Shade Structures-sl732469-640x494-.jpg   Pond Shade Structures-sl732465-640x494-.jpg  

  3. #3
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    Interesting question, and I can add no personal experience as my pond is shaded by large oaks and I have chosen to go 'au naturel'. But I am also therefore doomed to a life of leaves, catkins, acorns, etc. Every choice has it's price, I suppose.

    However, a good friend and fellow koi-kichi has BOTH metal and wooden supports for his fairly sophisticated shade sail arrangement over his 12,000 gal pond situated in full blazing Florida sun. He shared some pertinent thoughts on materials from his years of experience that I thought someone might find helpful.

    First, wooden beams WILL obviously snap in the right winds, and he has lost a couple. And when you set them into the ground he recommends tilting them out at a 10-15 degree angle away from the 'pull' of the connection to the shade sail. This will help to account for the 'bowing' action of the flexibility inherent in wood and pull your wooden post back into a more aesthetically pleasing vertical position when the sales are tightened up.

    As for metal, he conceded it is must stronger, and if visually acceptable vs. wood, probably a better way to go. He's never lost one through several severe tropical storms over the years. He did caution, however, to use 'square stock' and never angle-iron. The twisting action inherent in shade sails being whipped by winds can apparently snap or 'twist off' angle iron poles .

    And sure sorry to hear about the roof damage, Mike! Let's hope that's not a precursor to a 'sea of blue tarped roofs' here in Florida during hurricane season....

  4. #4
    Tosai Snake's Avatar
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    Pond Shade Structures-shade-sail.jpg

    I put this up in 2012 so I don't have any experiences to what you went through not saying I want to either. I used two 6" steel poles and one attachment to the house to put up this shade sail. My UV light isn't big enough for the pond but I figured the shade sail is a one time purchase compared to buying a new UV light and then new a bulb every year. The water was green when I put up the shade sail but it didn't take long to clear up.

  5. #5
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Shade sails do a fine job if shade alone is the goal. They do not do much to prevent tree litter from entering the pond. So, I'm wanting to continue to have a more complete covering, although the sides will remain open.

    A carpenter crew will be giving an estimate to replace my DIY structure. All I've gotten from them so far is a shake of the head and mumbling something about a crazy guy, big goldfish and money to burn.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
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    I am debating whether to re-build in the same manner, a wood structure with shadecloth, or go for a metal structure. The metal (aluminium) frame shadehouse (greenhouse with only shadecloth walls and roof) came through fine, as it did during the 2004 hurricanes. Wood is more attractive to my eye. Metal has proven stronger. As I ponder what to do, I figure it is a good time to hear from folks about how they shade their ponds, and the pluses and minuses they have experienced. So, what do you do, and how happy are you with it? How well does it perform in preventing leaves from reaching the pond?[/QUOTE]

    The problem with sails is that they cach the wind. truckers use heavy meshed screening and if I had to make up sails would use the same material. The material would still block off most of the sunlight
    Regards
    Eugene

  7. #7
    Oyagoi Flounder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post

    A carpenter crew will be giving an estimate to replace my DIY structure. All I've gotten from them so far is a shake of the head and mumbling something about a crazy guy, big goldfish and money to burn.

    Hahaha sound like the same crew that works here.

    Ive yet to find an evergreen.tree that does not drop its leaves or the abundant amount of pollen that my live oaks does this time of year. If someone knows of such a tree please share.

  8. #8
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    I use a shade sail with metal poles. Similar to what I have seen in the pictures here. Any time we have a high wind warning...I take it down. I had one shade sail rip in the past during high winds...and that corner was whipping the top of my pond. Luckily, it did not hit any koi. But, ever since then, I take no chances. It comes down before a storm hits.

  9. #9
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    No doubt, the collapse was caused by the strong wind being caught in the shadecloth and pulling the structure with it, lifting supports out of the ground despite being sunk in concrete. I am told that a 80-mph gust was measured two blocks away. That would explain the number of trees felled in the neighborhood.

    At this point, it looks likely that the new structure will be built similarly, but with a stronger foundation of concrete piers and brackets. There is some rot in the western cedar used 8 years ago, so this time the uprights coming into contact with the ground will be made from treated 4"x6"s, with all overhead pieces being untreated cedar so no nasties drip into the pond. But, I've not made a final decision and will wait until I have quotes on some other approaches. I so like the look of wood over metal, I'll likely go that way, although not as durable long-term.

    There is a pond tour scheduled for the first weekend in May. Don't know if I'll be ready for that. Visitors may get a tour of construction in process.

  10. #10
    MCA
    MCA is offline
    Oyagoi MCA's Avatar
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    I think it was on one of those Holmes Inspections shows on HGTV that when they did the remodeling they put a pergola in the backyard. The key was it was made from hollow black aluminum. It was a solar heat collector with a heat pump and exchanger that delivered heat to the house. I bet one of those would be great for a pond using a stainless steel heat exchanger to keep pond water separated. Granted it would not do much for keeping debris from falling into the pond.

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