One of the biggest problem for an outdoor layout is the constant cleaning of debris off of the tracks. When I envisioned the outdoor layout, I knew that I would be cleaning off leaves in the fall but I didn’t imagine having to clean the layout every 2 months through the year as pollen, seeds, branches and other items kept falling onto the layout.
I was also not expecting the strong sun during the summer months to wither my plants, heat up my buildings and cars as well as my track.
After some research, I decided to install a solar shade above my tracks. I picked a mesh cloth from Amazon.com with 40% UV protection. I had to order custom sizes and connect 3 different size rectangles to cover my layout but it has worked great. The sides are still open so debris still gets in but that was the tradoff for accessibility.
Now my layout cleaning has dropped significantly and the shade when the sun out is great. I was able to get it high enough with wire cables and ropes on the side so that people can walk comfortably underneath it.