Here are some frequently asked questions:

Are shade sails a good idea?

Yes, but it depends on your circumstance. If you are happy to have a semi-permanent structure that could be in place all the time or most of the warmer part of the year, then you should consider a shade sail.

Professionally made shade sails will use high grade shade cloth that offers UV protection, most awnings, umbrellas, and cheap mass-produced shade sails do not offer UV protection.

Shade sails that are well integrated into their surroundings area very attractive addition to a home, they will protect you from the sun and UV, offer you shade and, likely, enhance the value of your property.

Are shade sails effective?

Yes, they are. Sitting under a good quality shade sail on a summer’s day could be compared to sitting under a large leafy tree. The air will be cooler and more pleasant add to that the value of UV protection.

If you have children who like to spend hours in the pool a shade sail over the pool or part of it will inhibit sunburn (potential for skin cancer), the same applies to outdoor play area as well.

Can I make my own shade sail?

Not really. For a shade sail to be effective and safe it should be very well tensioned this requires that the construction of the sail itself is very strong, something not achievable in-home construction. Purchasing from a professional shade sail maker such as ourselves you will get a shade sail with a 15-year warranty.

Do shade sails blow away? How much wind can a shade sail withstand?

Yes, if not properly installed or mounted. Shade sails need tension, lots of it! If not tensioned, then they will start to flap up and down in the wind. This movement will have a negative mechanical effect of the mountings which will likely fail. A properly tensioned high grade shade sail should withstand constant wind of 60mph (102kmh) and gusts of up to 100mph (160kmh).

How do you attach a shade sail to a house? Should a shade sail be tight or loose?

Remember tension is the shade sails friend – they must be very, very tight.

This depends on where you want to attach it and the construction material.

If you want to mount it very high, from the roof, it is possible to use specially made Shade Sail Anchor (Roof Extenda Bracket) (https://www.shadeaustralia.com.au/roof-extenda-bracket).

If you are mounting to a fascia board, use a four-hole eye plate so the load is spread. Please remember that a lot of tension will be exerted on the mounting point and in high wind situations could rip off the fascia board unless properly secured – we recommend using a long-threaded rod anchoring the fascia board back to a strong internal roof joist.

If mounting to a wall also use four, or even six, hole eye plates. If the wall is cladding and you will be bolting or screwing through to joists behind the cladding always be mindful of it being strong enough. With brick, stone, or concrete secure bolts using CHEMICAL INJECTION ANCHORING.

In all instances we suggest you use marine grade stainless 316 for fittings.

How long does a shade sail last?

It depends on the supplier and quality. Readily available pre-sized sails from large online vendors with low prices expect them to last as many days as the price – if you are lucky. These sails also have no monofilament in the fabric so do not offer UV protection. They also have no warranty.
For long lasting sails you should expect to spend much more money. With these sails you should expect between 5- and 15-years use, depending on the vendor. We offer a 15-year warranty.

How much do backyard sails cost? How much do professional shade sails cost? How much do shade sails cost installed?

Prices vary from very cheap to very expensive – basically you get what you pay for.
Cheap sails range in price from less than $20 to around $300. These sails from Amazon or eBay and low-priced boxed shade sails from hardware stores will not last long. These sails will not take tension and will break on the edge or in the seams if treated like a real shade sail and subjected to tensioning. They will have no warranty.

Middle range premade sails will start at about $150 for a small lightweight Residential grade shade sail 3M x 3M x 3M (approx. 9ft x 9ft x 9ft) and going as high as $900 for a Commercial grade shade sail of 5M x 7M (approx. 17ft x 24ft).

The Residential not be used for tensioned permanent installation and should be taken down in bad weather and stored through the winter months. If well cared for they will have a useful life of 10 years or more. They will have a 5-year warranty.

The Commercial Grade sails are designed to be tensioned and should last up to 18 years if well maintained. Warranty of 15 years.

What is the best material for a sail shade? What is a good GSM for a shade sail? What is the best quality shade cloth?

Seek out vendors who specifically say they use shade cloth and can provide technical specification.

You cannot use plastic sheeting, tarpaulin, polythene, or any fabric/material that is opaque and does not allow airflow. Shade cloth is knitted polyethylene with a monofilament to block UV transmission. The “gold standard” shade cloth is Gale Pacific who invented knitted shade cloth in the early 1970s. After several years of testing and development, they launched their first range in 1976. They are now one of the world’s largest manufacturers of shade cloth.

For shade sails the minimum GSM (grams sq. Meter) should not be less than 180 and this only for lightweight low tensioned sails. 340-350 GSM is an ideal weight for highly tensioned shade sails. Heavier weights suitable for longer spans are available.

We only supply Gale Pacific shade cloth since we consider it the best quality and put to the test with thousands of sails delivered worldwide, we have never had a failure of the shade cloth.

What is the best colour for a sun shade sail?

There is no best colour.

There are several considerations. Are you going for appearance or for UV protection. Below is a table for Gale Pacific Commercial 340 showing the shade factor and the UV protection. These values would be typical of most real shade cloths so it up to you to work out which is best for you.

If you didn’t find the aswer to your question here, please feel free to send us your question. We’ll answer you within few hours.

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