This is the time of year that the weather can be quite frightful for most of those who live outside of the great deserts of the Southwestern U.S.  Even we desert rats have recently witnessed a bit of the white stuff dusting our iconic Saguaro cacti. However, the sun does eventually come out, if not tomorrow, then soon thereafter. With that sun comes the heat, and if you have skylights on your roof then all that wonderful sun can warm things up perhaps just a bit too much. This is why Arizona Sky Shades has sold our exterior mounted skylight shades to all corners of the U.S., regardless of latitude. Our special design supports the shade screen material over the top of the skylight lens for maximum shading of the sun’s heating rays, but still allows for filtered and ambient light to pass through.

In these areas that do experience a true four season climate, we urge our Sky Shade users to remove their skylight shades for the snowy winter months. This is for two reasons:  First and foremost, it is beneficial to take advantage of the solar heat gain resulting from an unshaded skylight.  Second, is that although we have performed a great deal of destructive testing on our skylight shading products to prove real world durability, we feel that it is more prudent to simply  remove and stow away your Sky Shade for wintertime.

However, we understand completely that life gets busy with distractions and is full of surprises, which is exactly what happened this past November to one of our happy customers in Hampstead, NY. On the 15th of November, 2018, the greater New York City area was hit early in the season by a much stronger than expected snowstorm. In fact, after all the snowflakes settled, Central Park received over 6” of snow. The last time NYC saw this much snow before the end of November was in 1938! Most of the City’s officials and residents were caught a bit off guard, including our friend in Hampstead. By the 16th of November this particular FL4646 model Sky Shade covering a Velux skylight was blanketed under 4” of wet and heavy snow — the type of snow that’s great for snowball fights, but wreaks havoc on tree branches, roofs, and powerlines. To get a bit nerdy, 4” of high density snow covering an area of 16 sq. ft.  (4’ x 4’) can weigh upwards of 300 pounds!

All storms pass, and the sun did come out to thaw, revealing a Sky Shade in perfect condition, looking just as fresh as it did on day one! While we would never recommend leaving your Sky Shade in place for the snowy winter season, it’s good to know that our patented skylight shade design is durable enough to stand up to a bit of old man winter, including #snowvember2018.

Why bother?

While all of this sounds cool, events like this may bring up a few questions in regards to the Arizona Sky Shades process. Like—why trouble yourself with an external mounted skylight shade which is subjected to the elements? Why not simply install a shade under your skylight on the inside of the house, protected but still shading? Well, in future posts we will discuss the performance differences in each application.

Also one may ask—I understand that external shading performance is superior to internal shading, but why not simply drape the shade fabric directly over the skylight with some sort of fastener around the perimeter to secure the shade in place? That way there’s no worry about the stresses of Mother Nature on the shade….right? Well, we have our specific design and performance reasons for this as well!

Stay tuned and stay cool!