One of the most important considerations when you have a balcony is how to protect your balcony space (and your furniture) from the rain. Apartment balcony rain protection can vary considerably depending on your budget, the layout of the balcony, and whether or not you’re allowed to add any permanent solutions to your space.
The following ideas will cover a range of both temporary and permanent balcony rain protection solutions.
1. Tarp Cover
A tarp is one of the easiest rain covers to install on apartment balconies, making it an ideal choice for renters who need temporary coverage.
If you’re working with an exposed balcony (like in the picture above), installation is a bit more involved as you’ll need to anchor the tarp to structures on either side. You can use a variety of items including string light hangers, poles, or lattice screens, etc.
While a tarp is an easy and cost-effective solution, it isn’t the most attractive of rain cover options, so just be aware of that point up front.
While there are many types of outdoor awnings, retractable awnings are a popular type of balcony rain protection. They are temporary in the sense that they can be extended or retracted whenever you want, but they’re permanent in the sense that they require installation.
Retractable awnings can be installed in a variety of different balcony layouts, which makes them ideal since they are an option for many apartment renters or owners… just make sure your renter agreement or HOA allow them before purchasing.
3. Outdoor Shades/Blinds
Outdoor blinds are another method for providing balcony rain protection, and their major advantage is that they can be raised or lowered depending on the weather and your preferences.
Outdoor blinds can be installed in a variety of ways, just like retractable awnings, which again makes them a viable option for many apartment dwellers. It should be noted that outdoor blinds can provide a lower or higher range of rain protection depending on the style and installation method. For example, tighter blinds made with thicker material–such as wooden blinds–will usually provide more rain protection than thin blinds made with light material.
When shopping around, make sure that you look for waterproof options like these ones.
When we think of general rain protection, we think of umbrellas, and this is also true for balconies.
Umbrellas can be used as a balcony rain cover to cover the entire space or just parts of it – it’s really going to depend on your balcony’s layout and your specific needs.
Check out our Balcony Umbrella Buyer’s Guide for more specific information on styles and recommendations.
5. Roof-style Cover
Roof covers are slanted roofs that cover the balcony, protecting it from the rain.
They are a permanent solution designed to create a cohesive aesthetic with your balcony rain protection. Most apartment owners will choose to install roof tiles that match or at least aesthetically work with the roof or building material of the apartment.
Since they are permanently installed, you should remember that there will always be less light coming in from the top of the balcony area.
6. Light Lean-To
Another method for protecting a balcony from rain is a light lean-to structure. These are similar to roof-style covers but are less heavy and can be designed to be practically invisible – or highly decorative, depending on your preferences. One benefit of light lean-tos is that they can be installed with outdoor curtains surrounding the frame, which can provide additional rain protection.
7. Balcony Enclosure
If you don’t mind creating an indoor-outdoor space, then you might want to consider fully enclosing your balcony. This is a permanent solution – so isn’t available to renters – but enclosing your balcony with walls will allow it to be fully protected from the rain, as well as other outdoor elements.
If you don’t want to sacrifice light, consider installing glass walls or walls with large glass windows that will not completely take away the open feeling of the balcony.
If you are in need of balcony rain protection, make sure that you consider one or more of the above ideas to keep your balcony protected from the rain. Luckily, there are plenty of temporary and permanent solutions to suit your individual needs!