Buying a Shade Sail - what YOU need to know
Over the past few years, shade sails have become a very popular and practical shade solution because of their versatility, stylish looks, cost effectiveness and the low level of maintenance they require when installed correctly using quality products.
Shade sails can be used in both domestic and commercial applications. Installing shades over your swimming pool, patio, outdoor entertainment areas and carport are now very popular in a domestic setting. Commercial uses for shade sails and structures include applications such as childcare centre shade, car park shade, smoker’s area shade and cafe eating area shade.
If you are considering installing a shade sail at your home or business, there are some factors you should take into consideration. It is important that these factors are thought through carefully to ensure you receive the best product possible. Home or business owners purchasing a shade sail should be aware that there are not only varying levels of quality but also variations in the quality of installation methods.
Here are a few tips to consider when making the purchase of a shade sail:
- UV protection of material: Not all materials the same level of UV block. In other words, some fabrics will allow more UV radiation to penetrate the fabric to reach you underneath than others. You would think that the more expensive the material the better the UV blocking would be, this is not always the case. Make sure you check the fabric physically (ask for samples and/or swatches – this will also help give you a more accurate idea of the colours available) not just out of literature provided by the shade company.
- Fittings and stitching: Make sure you use quality fittings and stitching or you will pay the price a few years down the track. PTFE thread is the thread of choice for many shade sail fabricators as it does not rot, stretch or deteriorate over time, unlike other, cheaper threads. Fittings should be marine grade stainless steel to prevent rusting and seizing up over time which could lead to failure of the fittings. You don’t want your sail collapsing on your guests or family or taking to the skies when the wind picks up, do you!
- Quality of installation: The depth of post footings, strength of fittings, how fittings are fixed to walls are all things look at when choosing a company to install your shade sail. Installation quality of your shade sail is not an area to try to save money in. It will result in a loose or saggy shade sail or worse a shade sail that could come loose and tear or break away. It is well worth spending a little more time and money to ensure your sail is installed correctly the first time round – then you can sleep easy knowing that no harm will come to it.
- Quality of fabric: It’s a sad fact that some fabrics simply aren’t as quality as others, even if they look great in the swatch books. Poor quality fabric will quickly shrink or stretch, the colours will fade and the cheap materials used during weaving can deteriorate, leaving your sail vulnerable to tearing. Look at the guarantees on the fabric and compare to see which will offer you the best cover. Remember – while quality fabric may not be cheap, the extra cost of using it is nothing compared to the cost of replacing a poor quality shade sail or paying for repairs to property (or people!) damaged by a failed shade.
The team at NuRange are more than happy to answer any queries you have – even if the sail you are inquiring about is not one of our own, or if you are just looking for advice before purchasing your first sail! Feel free to flick us an email at [email protected]