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How To Block Wind On Patio

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chairs on deck overlooking beach

You’ve just built a beautiful patio to relax in the evenings or when you have guests. However, constant wind makes it unbearable to enjoy the evening, and you just realized that the problem is here to stay. The obvious question is how can you block wind on your patio.

You can block wind on the patio by using a wind barrier to act as a shield. You can also opt to plant trees/shrubs that break down the wind velocity or a combination of both.

You can DIY a wind barrier, buy a wind barrier, plant a wind barrier or all three depending on your situation. A wind barrier can double as a privacy barrier in some situations. A wind barrier that doesn’t block your view, is a little bit trickier, but is doable as we’ll show below.

How to Keep your Patio Wind-Free

Nothing beats the experience of spending a few hours on your patio, sipping a beverage, as you watch the sunset. However, the experience might be compromised by the strong winds that turn a relaxed evening into a battle to keep hair out of your face.

Although we cannot control the wind, we can influence the direction it takes. Furthermore, we can also determine how fast it reaches us, and to some extent, the amount of wind that reaches our patio or balcony. 

Wind barriers are commonly constructed in areas that experience fast and strong winds. Without these barriers, the outdoor experience wouldn’t be as conducive, and people would often struggle to create the desired experience outdoors. Remember that not all wind barriers are the same, as they vary in size and the materials used. 

Trees/Shrubs as Windscreens

A natural wind screen is planting trees and shrubs in your backyard. Also using them in planters on your deck or patio. Trees take time to grow, so if you need something fast, it will cost you more for a bigger tree or shrub.

Using a tiered method works best, ex. larger tree, large shrub, then smaller shrubs or perennial will block a lot of wind. These living fence ideas will work to control the wind as well as beautify your backyard.

Fence as Windscreens

A wood fence will do wonders to blocking a lot of wind in your backyard. Do make sure that your fence has gaps to let some wind through, or your fence may not last long with wind bearing down on it all the time with nowhere to go. If you want a different fence style, here’s some wood fence ideas.

A shadowbox fence works well in this situation. The fence is constructed with fence boards installed on front and back of the fence rails. This allows privacy while also allowing some wind to come through.

Are Trees Better than Artificial Wind Barriers?

Wind barriers double up as a fence and wind barrier, but they also have some limitations. Although they offer a quick fix to patio wind problems, they don’t provide permanent solutions like trees/shrubs. Here is how the two compare:

Artificial BarriersTree Barriers
They’re susceptible to wear and tear.Once they’re fully grown, they don’t require much maintenance. 
You can have them up in as little as a day. Trees take time to grow.
They also offer privacy by acting as a fence.They offer beauty even when they’re young. 
You can set them up even in small spaces.They require more room to grow and blossom. 

Buy a Wind Screen

There are several different types of wind screens that you can buy for your backyard patio. Depending on your situation one of these will probably work, especially if you’re not a DIY enthusiast.

A retractable wind screen can function also as a privacy screen but be put away when it’s not needed. This works well for a patio or pool deck.

A roll-up wind screen will work if you have a covered patio. The one in the link, is able to be anchored down on the ground or deck railing to help stabilize it in strong winds.

A mesh wind screen can be added to your chain link fence to help reduce wind and gain some privacy. Lower height mesh wind screen can be added to your deck railing or balcony.

Clear Wind Screens

All the previous wind screens also blocked most of your view on your patio or deck, while also blocking the wind. What do you need when your patio faces the ocean and you don’t want the view blocked? If you have an out of this world view from your backyard patio but still need a windscreen, you have two choices. Plexiglass or Glass wind screens.

These type of wind screens can be added via railing, i.e. deck or balcony railing made of tempered glass. Tempered glass is the best glass for safety. It shatters into very small pieces when broken rather than large shards with regular glass.

Plexiglass is cheaper than glass but can be scratched more easily and will need to be replaced more often. Both will need to be cleaned often to keep that unobstructed view beautiful. To be a proper wind screen, you’ll need to have a height between 4-6 feet.

If you plan on having a glass wind screen, I would advise you to hire a local contractor to build it. It will last a long time and you want to make sure you have a quality product to showcase your wonderful views.

If you have the DIY gene in your DNA, below we’ll show you how to build your own plexiglass wind screen.

DIY Clear Wind Screen

If you’re willing to get handy and have a little carpentry background, you can construct your own windscreen. If you’ve never made one before, the following steps will guide you through the entire process. 

This particular project is a plexiglass screen within a wood frame that is added to your deck railing.

Necessary Tools

Having the right tools makes this project possible, especially a miter and table saw.

You’ll find it hard to accomplish your project if any of these tools are missing. 

Materials

The basic materials for building a wind barrier for your patio are 2x2x8 wood, plexiglass and screws. You will need an outdoor appropriate wood, like cedar, redwood, cypress or any South American hardwoods.

Because the wood pieces are only 2×2, don’t use treated pine or regular pine. Thin pressure treated wood warps when it dries and regular pine will disintegrate in the weather.

Plexiglass or Acrylic or Polycarbonate sheets are all similar and can be ordered to size online or local local home depot or lowes. The thicker bigger sheets will cost a lot more than thinner sizes.

Measurement and Cut Wood

If you want to make a 3×3 or 4×4 panel, cut each piece of wood 36″ or 48″, mitered on both ends with a miter saw. Next you will make a groove down the middle of each piece of wood on a table saw. Use Caution when using the table saw with small pieces of wood.

The groove is to hold the plexiglass securely within the wood frame. The groove should only be 1/2″ to 3/4″ deep in the wood. That will be your table saw blade height. Next, find the middle measurement of your wood. If your wood is 1.5″ wide, then 3/4″ would be the middle.

Set your table saw fence to 3/4″. Depending on the thickness of your plexiglass, you may have to make a couple of passes for a wide enough groove.

Assemble The Panel

Put silicone caulk into each groove, then spread glue on each mitered end of your panel. Install the plexiglass to one wood piece, then the other three. Use the corner clamp to get a tight fit. Pre-drill your wood with a smaller diameter bit, then using a 2″ screw, install a screw on each side of the corner. Your frame is not assembled.

Screw the Barrier to the Wall

A proper wind barrier for a patio should be attached to the wall or railing for stability. Clamping the panel to the railing at the desired height, will make it easier to install. Pre-drill through to the railing, then use an appropriate length screw and finishing washer to secure panel to railing. Put a couple of inches in between the panels to let some wind through.

Conclusion

Spending a few hours on your patio can be therapeutic, but the wind could make this experience unbearable. Buying or constructing wind barriers and planting trees and shrubs could go a long way to keeping the wind velocity at a minimum. All three methods are great, and if there is enough space, you could use all three.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Jena,

    I live in a townhouse style end unit condo. My deck is literally a wind tunnel. Other end units don’t have this issue, it’s the lay of the land. I’m curious if you have any suggestions on how to block the wind?
    I could possibly plant, but in a large pot only. Privacy and something to block extreme wind would be a welcomed concept.
    Thank You!!

    1. Hi Sue, thanks for the question. Not knowing any specifics to your townhouse deck, you could try to put up heavy vertical barriers to block some of the wind. A heavy duty trellis anchored properly in the ground for flowery vines or even a horizontal or vertical slatted fence section next to deck to give privacy and wind blockage.

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