How to Create Shade in a Pool


Most of us rely on the sun to heat our pools in the summer. But there are some hot days when it would be nice to cool off in the pool without putting on a thick layer of sunscreen. For those days that exceed 90 degrees, why not just use some of your existing patio furniture to create some temporary shade in your pool? Putting a patio umbrella in the center of an above-ground pool is one simple way to take a break from the sun's damaging rays while still enjoying the water.

Things You'll Need

  • Umbrella base
  • Patio table umbrella
  • Foam pipe insulation
  • Sail shade
  • Loosen the fastener that holds the umbrella to its weighted base, and remove the umbrella from the base and/or center table hole.

  • Place both the umbrella and it's base next to your pool entry point. If possible have someone available to hand these to you after you enter the pool.

  • Use a folded towel beneath the umbrella base. The towel will protect the pool liner from being damaged by the base.

  • Submerge the umbrella base in the center of the pool. Check to see that the towel is still beneath the base.

  • Insert the bottom end of the umbrella into the submerged base and hand tighten the fastener that holds the umbrella into the base. In the event that the fastener is out of reach, you may have to complete this step underwater (see warning below).

  • Fully open the umbrella and lock it into position.

  • Install foam pipe insulation (used to insulate hot water pipes under homes) around the exposed umbrella shaft to keep swimmers safe from bumping into the pole while swimming. Foam pool noodles/sticks can be used as well.

  • Consider installing a sail shade, if you'd like to create more permanent shade for your pool. Sail shades are triangle-shaped canopies that come in a variety of styles and can offer a larger area of shade.

Tips & Warnings

  • While an umbrella might not be an ideal structure in a pool with lots of active children, it's an effective way for a mother to cool off with her baby without risking a sunburn on baby's sensitive skin.
  • If completing Step 5 underwater, make sure you are in good health and capable of holding your breath for at least 15 seconds.
  • Don't leave the umbrella in the pool for extended periods; pool chemicals may corrode the umbrella.
  • Closely supervise children when using a pool umbrella. Never dive or jump near the umbrella.

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  • Photo Credit Luxury swimming-pool with orange parasol and comfortable bed image by Ivonne Wierink from
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