Your shade sails can potentially be a big investment and something that you want to get the most out of when you’re outdoors, but they’re also something you don’t want to have to replace or reinvest in every year. Whilst that’s probably quite extreme, there are certainly some tips to prolong their life and avoid unnecessary wear and tear.
Quality Shade Sails Will Last Longer
Ok, this isn’t strictly a tip, but the better the quality of your shade cloth and shade sail fittings then the easier it will be to prolong that lifespan. Some poor quality shade sails have fixtures and fittings that aren’t repairable and are often prone to breaking. A lot of shade cloths just aren’t up to Australia’s harsh and often very changeable climate, so the better the product at the start the more likely you can keep them in tip top condition for longer.
Incorrectly installed shade sails are probably the number one reason for a short lifespan. If tension is too high, then they will be under constant stress. Not enough tension and they have too much movement and this will cause friction and movement on the fittings leading to breakage. The right way of fixing them is also important. The height, how many sails are attached to each pole, the poles mounting etc will all have a big impact when the wind hits potentially causing tears and damage to the poles. If in doubt, consult your shade sail company.
Stow When Not in Use
Whilst this is potentially a pain, if you are not at the property or live in an area of Australia where there might be a stormy season (like QLD for example) then the best way to avoid damage is if they’re not there at all. Shade sails are designed to withstand most weather conditions, but there are certainly limits! After you have taken them down you’ll know how quickly it can be done, and it also gives you a chance to clean them.
Clean Them Regularly
Cleaning allows you to get rid of potential build-ups like dust and dirt and also leaves and twigs which can add to the weight and also start to turn into a mess which under the right conditions can eat away at your shade cloths coating if left unattended, and if not, damage can at least leave stains and discolouration. Prevent any build-up with a regular clean. Cleaning the ratchets and anchoring cables and oiling them (if appropriate) will also help.