Block Rain, Not Wind

Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady LakeFebruary 26, 2013

Greetings from Florida.

I'm trying to come up with ideas for blocking rain from entering my lanai (that's fancy-talk for Screened Porch) without stopping airflow. The lanai is attached to the south side of my house, so the north wall is solid (the house), but the east, west and south walls are all screen. I love the fact that it is open on the east and west sides because it means I get a good cross-breeze most days that just feels good. But I also like to watch the daily summer storms as they blow through. The problem is that something like 85% of those summer storms come from the west while 15% come from the southeast. Storm winds + rain + screen = wet lanai == wet viewer.

I thought about getting outdoor shades, but I've seen these in action. 1) They block too much wind. and 2) strong winds look like they're about to rip these shades right out of the aluminum. The person who has these attached to their lanai ends up rolling them up during particularly bad (fun) storms, so they lose their benefit.

Glass/vinyl inserts aren't really an option for me. They're too expensive and talk about blocking wind? Yeah...

I've toyed with the idea of maybe louvered panels attached to the outside, but I don't think I've ever seen these in use anywhere other than up in Michigan where some people would use these to keep the snow of their porches and would prop them open during the summer months. They weren't hugely popular, but there were some. Here in Florida I have yet to see this.

Another option I've thought about is just building a lattice wall on the west side and letting some Carolina Jessamine grow on it. It would block rain and infuse the lanai with the scent of the flowers, But I wonder if it would block too much wind, especially as the growth got thicker.

Anyone have some good options for me to look into? Or insight on the above mentioned ideas?

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