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Do you have a shade sail in your home? If not the first step begins with choosing the type of shade sail for your property and identifying the spot you will mount it.  

Shade sails can be installed in the garden, terrace or balcony depending on the type of protection you’re seeking and the installation method. Shade sails can be mounted on posts, trees or walls. Additional, there are different shade sail designs to choose from based on the area you want to cover. 

Another critical factor to consider is shade sail maintenance because these structures add beauty and value of your home; thus, you should keep them looking vibrant throughout the year.

Shade sail installation done in Bendigo with triangular shade sails

Properties of Shade Sails 

Non-Waterproof: The fabric of these shade sails is micro-perforated, thus allowing air to enter and circulate. It also blocks out UV rays which are harmful to you thus perfect for sun protection. These type of shade sails are wind resistant but will not protect you from rain. They are ideal for outdoor dining and garden lounge sets areas in less windy locations. It would be best if you twisted or tilt when installing to enhance their water resistance and make shade sail maintenance easy.  

Waterproof

Tightly woven fabric is used to produce these shade sails, thus giving it a water repellent effect. So, water slides over instead of penetrating it. These shade sails are suitable for a home extension. Although these waterproof shades offer adequate protection against sun and rain, they don’t allow air in; thus it’s likely to have area beneath it heating up just like a greenhouse does.  

You can avoid this challenge by mounting waterproof shade sails relatively high up and making them firm. Additionally, it would be best if you tilted them to prevent water from pooling at the top, thus staining them. This will improve shade sail maintenance, especially when sweeping leaves and dirt with a long nylon broom. 

Shade Sails Material 

There are different shade sails materials in the market. The overall quality of the fabric depends on its weight. Thus, the higher the density, the greater the shade sail’s strength. The following are the typical shade sail materials in the market. 

Polyester

The fabric is weather and UV-resistant; thus, it protects your family from sun and rain. It’s also tear-resistant and shape-retaining. The shade sail maintenance needed on this material is minimal because you only need warm water and mild detergent to make it clean. 

Polyethylene

It’s a less tightly woven fabric thus robust, waterproof and has good air circulation. Shade sails made from this material are lightweight, thus wind resistant. Opt for polyethylene shade sails that has stain and UV resistant treatment. 

Acrylic

These are batch-dyed to provide better colourfastness. The shade sails are stain and tear-resistant as well as often waterproof. 

Fixing Systems or Accessories 

Some of the fixing accessories are made of stainless steel. They include; 

Shackles or Carabiner Clips

They are the best for attaching the shade sails to hooks or rings.  

Pulley and Reel Systems

It’s suitable for changing the tension and height of the shade sails.  

Tension System

Used in shade sail maintenance and altering its tension for it can slacken with time.  

Wall Fixings

It should be used with a plug and suitable for angled or flat walls.  

Studs and Bolts

They are used to fasten the shade sails to the pole. You need to tighten them, especially after a storm or strong wind as well as lubricate them to avoid rusting. You can perform these during the regular shade sail maintenance. 

Cables

They are used to extend the distance between the fixing points and shade sails. The drawback of using cables is that they cause the shade sails to become unstable when it’s windy. 

Poles

They can be made of rot-proof wood, aluminium, stainless steel or steel. They are used to secure the fabric to the ground. 

Shade Sails Shape and Sizes  

They are available in shapes such as rectangle, square or triangle and in a wide range of sizes to meet your needs. For instance, you can cover a large terrace with a single shade sail while another homeowner might opt to overlap several smaller sizes to create a graphic effect.  

Shade Sail Colors 

They are all available in a wide range of colours. Bright colours offer a contemporary feel, softer tones a relaxing atmosphere while darker colours provide more protection from UV rays. The later colours are ideal for sunny areas and offer low shade sail maintenance costs because they don’t show dirt, and stains quickly like the lighter colours.  

Shade Sail Maintenance

Triangular shade sails installation job completed in Bendigo

Proper shade sail maintenance can extend the life of the entire structure.  

Cleaning

You can sweep the upper side of the shade sail with a nylon broom to remove debris, leaves and dirt every week. 

Additionally, you can clean it every 6-8 weeks using a garden hose with moderate water pressure. It should be aimed at the top and underside of the structure to remove leaves, birds and insect nests as well as their droppings.   

More so, you can perform a thorough cleaning once in a while using light detergents to remove stains. 

Besides cleaning the sail itself, lubricate the turnbuckles regularly to prevent rusting as well as tighten them regularly because these parts can loosen due to wind. 

Check the tensioning to ensure that the wires are firm but don’t overtighten them.  

Taking the Shade Sail Down

Dismantle the structure when it’s not in use such as before the winter or other lousy weather season such a storm, or cyclones. The shade sail system is not designed to hold the weight of hail or snow.  

That is why it’s essential to take them down before it begins forming or one side to allow the hail or snow to fall off. Don’t drag the shade sail on the ground when you remove for this can cause abrasion damages.   

Storage

Clean the shade sail and dry it properly before storing it. Storing a damp material will attract moulds and mildew, which shortens the life of the sail. Further, store it in a storage bag and keep it in a dry place free of rodents. 

You can contact Bendigo Shade Sail Installations at 0491 604 068 or email at [email protected] for more information about shade sails maintenance.  

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