A Bad Shade Sail

  • Can cause damage to your building and potentially endanger the people close to them
  • Are very short lived
  • Look & sound terrible
  • Don't provide as much uv protection
  • More often than not will not fit the space intended to be shaded

A Good Shade Sail

  • Won't damage your building or cause injury to people around them
  • Last a very long time
  • Look great and you won't hear them when the wind blows
  • Provide a high level of shade and as much as 98% UV protection

Panting & Pumping, How A Shade Sail
Can Damage Your Building

Shade Sails can cause damage to your building if it is not drum tight when it is installed.

The reason for this is the looser the Shade Sail the more it will “Pant or Pump” in the wind. As the Shade Sail pumps up and down it pulls more and more on the attachment points holding it to the building. Eventually the shade works the attachment points loose and before you even notice your building has a leak exposed to the weather and you now own a leaky building. Sometimes it takes years to notice, at which point it’s too late.

So as long as I make sure my Shade Sails are tight I won’t have a problem right?

Unfortunately no, this is where a good shade differs from a bad Shade Sail. Cheap quality Shade Sails will stretch overtime and pant regardless of how tight you pull it. It will continue to stretch until it can stretch no more and then it will begin to unstitch and fall apart.

Shade Sails made with webbing around the outside as opposed to wire should be avoided as the webbing shrinks over time where the fabric does not meaning that regardless of what you do the Shade Sail will always be saggy and pant because the outside of the Shade Sail will be tight but the middle will not.

Poles, How A Shade Sail Can Damage People

If you are attaching your Shade Sail to one pole or more make sure the poles are of a heavy enough material to withstand the loads a shade exerts on them.

We have been to many jobs to fix others mistakes where the poles have been too light and it has caused damage to people as the poles have been ripped of their fixings or snapped and have been blown around in the breeze.

The worst scenario we have heard of was at a kindergarten where they had a stormy day and the poles snapped and were blowing around in the wind attached to the other end of the shade taking everything out in their path. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Poles are a big part of the cost, and it’s understandable why people want to go for a cheaper option, but if they fail it will cost two to three times as much to fix. When it comes to shades poles must be done properly.

Poles will bend, We have seen steel poles 125mm in diameter, with a 4mm wall bend when on the end of a 8m by 5m shade. When poles flex too much you loose tension and they begin to pant.

Longevity, Aesthetics and Noise

It all comes back to whether a Shade Sails pants or not. A cheap shade will stretch and pant and the more movement it has the greater the stress it places upon itself and the surrounding structure.

The more stress and movement the less the shades will last, it’s that simple.

Noise also becomes a factor with movement. In the wind as a shade moves up and down it cracks at either like a wet tea towel when you flick it. The greater the movement, the more the noise. If you value your sleep on a windy night, you’ll prefer a drum tight shade.

Also a saggy Shade Sail simple looks terrible. All the pictures you see in home and garden magazines of shades are tight and have twist. A tight twisted sail is a good looking sail, otherwise it looks like a tarpaulin you bought and strung up with some rope.

Don’t be Fooled by Warranties

Often shades will be advertised as having a ten year warrantee.

More often than not that is a 10 year warrantee on the UV stability of the fabric only. It often doesn’t include the workmanship and other materials put into the shade. The shade may fall part in a year but the fabric and it’s UV effectiveness will be fine, though it’s still no good to you as it’s no longer a useable shade.

UV Protection

The reason people often buy a sun shade is to provide a cooler area in which to relax and to protect themselves and others using the space from the harsh New Zealand sun.

If that’s true also for you then ensure the shade you are buying provides at least 92% of more UV protection, it should provide more than just a shaded area. If it doesn’t have a UV rating, it's more than likely is protecting you less than you think.

Fitting The Space You Wish To Shade

When it comes to Shade Sails it’s not the shade that actually that costs the money it’s the installation of poles in the ground, fittings onto buildings and the engineering that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that the finished product looks great in the area you wish to install it that takes the price up.

The actual shade itself is the cheap bit

So since the shade is the cheaper bit you may as well order a shade that fits the area you want to cover, rather than build a building around a cheap shade that you bought.

You’ll end up with a better result suited to the surroundings and environment into which your trying to put a shade.

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