You want your porch to be a relaxing, comfortable place to experience the great outdoors. But if it isn't protected from blowing rain, sitting on your porch can become a soaking wet experience that keeps you indoors. Is there a way to keep rain from blowing on your porch? We've done the research to bring you the best solutions.
There are several ways to prevent rain from blowing on your porch. These methods include:
- Install an overhanging awning
- Screen-in the porch
- Add storm windows
- Hang rain curtains (our favorite option!)
All of these options have positive and negative aspects, but don't worry; we'll help you sort through which one is best for your situation! Continue reading for a detailed explanation of each option, as well as other things to consider when protecting your porch.
Ways To Prevent Rain From Blowing On Your Porch
Let's take a closer look at the 4 ways to prevent rain from blowing on your porch.
Install An Overhanging Awning
Blowing rain enters your covered porch because the wind forces it in at an angle, allowing it to miss the roof. One way to help this problem is to extend the "roof" of your porch by installing an awning.
Though an awning will not completely stop the rain from entering, it will form a barrier to push the rain away from the actual porch.
Some awnings are more permanent and stretch out between standards, like the one below. These need four corners on which to hang, which might require some structural installation.
Other awnings are retractable and roll up against the building when not in use. These retractable awnings can be installed on top of roofs or along gutters.
Awnings provide more shade and essentially extend the size of your porch. They are relatively cheap compared to other methods, such as screens and windows.
Screen-In The Porch
Adding screens to your porch can be an effective way of eliminating some blowing rain. It also prevents mosquitoes and other bugs from entering the porch, which is a nice added benefit.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks to this tactic. First of all, screens still contain small holes that would let some water into the porch. Secondly, if you want to install sturdy, long-lasting screens, you will need walls and pillars to attach them to. See below how this beautiful screened-in porch uses a short wall (often called a "pony wall") to support the screen?
This porch below does not have a pony wall, but has extra columns and crossbeams to hold the metal or fiberglass screens.
A porch with sturdy screens requires more work and money than other methods. If you would like to install your own, check out this roll of fiberglass screen on Amazon:
If you love the idea of a screened-in porch, make sure to browse these 18 Enclosed And Screened-In Porch Ideas.
Add Storm Windows
The best way to guarantee that blowing rain can't enter your porch is by installing glass or fiberglass windows. These windows can be either permanent or seasonal.
Adding windows to your porch changes the feel of the room, making it less of a porch and more of a "three-seasons room." This method essentially removes all weather elements from the porch. Test your knowledge to see if you know the 15 Types Of Porches.
Adding storm windows is also the most costly way to prevent rain. Similar to installing screens, you will need to have some sort of structure to hold the windows. Installing windows is also a complex process that will likely require the help of a professional.
Hang Rain Curtains
Rain curtains are our favorite option for keeping the rain off your porch. They are effective, relatively affordable, and easy to install. Rain curtains are usually made out of heavy, waterproof fabric. Additionally, they are fairly simple to remove during the winter months to help them last for many years. They can also be used as shade and wind protection.
Rain curtains will not protect your porch from every drop of water, as they can blow in strong winds and expose portions of the porch. They are also not as durable as windows or professionally-installed screens. Still, they are versatile enough to protect the porch from most rain when necessary while still letting your porch feel open and spacious.
How Are Rain Curtains Hung?
Most rain curtains come with grommets strung along the top. Some, like the curtains seen below, come with grommets big enough that a curtain rod will fit through them, which is ideal.
These curtains have tabs at the top to fit on a curtain rod.
How Do You Keep Rain Curtains From Blowing In The Wind?
No matter how heavy-duty your curtains are, a strong wind will still move them. You can fix this by putting eye bolts at the bottom of each side of the structure where the bottom of the curtain meets the wall. Thread some sort of rope or wire through the bottom of the curtain and attach it to each eye bolt, as pictured below.
A pet tie-out wire works great for this since it already comes with a built-in way to attach to the eye bolts.
Some curtains, like the ones below, come with grommets on the bottom and top, allowing you to thread the wire or pipe through the bottom.
If your curtains do not have bottom grommets, you will have to cut holes in the bottom using a sharp pair of scissors or a box cutter.
What Is The Best Material For Outdoor Curtains?
The two best materials for outdoor curtains are:
The highest-quality, most durable fabric for outdoor curtains is olefin. Olefin is also known as polypropylene and is a fully synthetic material that dries quickly, resists staining, and is heavy enough to not blow excessively in the wind.
Polyester is a great option for those on a tight budget. The dyes in polyester fabric fade in the sun and will need to be replaced every couple of years. However, they dry quickly and are durable enough to handle rain, sunshine, and wind.
Avoid curtains that are made out of cotton or canvas. These materials do not dry quickly and can produce mold and mildew if they stay wet for too long.
What Are The Best Outdoor Curtain Rods?
When looking for a curtain rod, avoid tension rods (like shower curtain rods). These rods will not hold up in strong winds or rain and will fall down. Instead, look for curtain rods that have standards that attach permanently to the columns or walls of your porch.
This rod's standards screw into the wall or column, and then the rod telescopes into them. It is a more sturdy, permanent type of rod.
Or, for a more budget-friendly option, install eye bolts at the same height on two different structural points. Then, purchase a galvanized pipe long enough and narrow enough to fit inside the two eye bolts and hang the curtain on this pipe.
This is not necessarily the most attractive or professional-looking fix, but it is sturdy and affordable.
How Do You Keep The Porch Cool?
In addition to installing an awning or hanging curtains to deflect sunlight, you could also consider installing a ceiling fan to keep your porch cool on hot summer days. While a ceiling fan will not produce cold air, it will create a breeze to cool you off. A professional electrician will be able to give you an estimate for how much it would cost to install a ceiling fan and could help you choose the right fan for your situation.
For extreme heat, you could also consider purchasing an outdoor mister. A mister converts water into cool mist droplets and then sprays it throughout an area. The droplets are small enough that they will not soak you or the items on your porch.
If you're looking for even more ways to get some shade on your porch, check out How To Add Shade To A Porch? [15 Solutions]
How Much Should A Porch Slope?
Because it is difficult to keep all moisture off your porch, it is important that it slopes away from the house at a 2% grade.
This slope allows rainwater and snowmelt to run away from the house, saving the foundation from long-term water damage. A 2% slope means that for every ten feet away from the house, the surface should be .2 feet lower. Any contractor or builder will be able to correctly slope a new porch, so don't be afraid to contact one to make sure it is done correctly.
When trying to keep blowing rain off your porch, consider using an additional awning, putting up screens all the way around, installing windows, or hanging rain curtains.
Awnings, screens, and windows can be more expensive to apply, while curtains are cost-effective and simple. Whatever you choose, we're sure you'll enjoy your dry porch!