Your shade sails are out in the elements all year round. Whether they are brand new or old, having them regularly checked is important for the lifespan of the shade sail and for the safety of those who use it regularly.

So here are 5 things you should check regularly to ensure your shade sails are functioning properly, or download a complete list here:

1 Check the connections

Given the amount of tension they are expected to handle on a daily basis and all the weather elements they are exposed to, these can corrode over time. So, check that there is no rusting on any of the parts and that tension is still ok. If it is a spring, check that the coil is not overextending to the point it will snap as this could cause harm to someone.

check Shade sail connection

2 Check for tears on the shade cloth

Usually, a tear is a result of external objects penetrating the material. This could be from large volumes of water adding too much pressure on the material; the sun wearing down certain parts of the shade cloth; overgrown tree branches pushing into cloth; And sometimes it’s just the material aging.

At any point of a shade cloth tearing, your shade cloth specialist should be notified so that the cloth can be pulled down and repaired straight away. In addition, any underlying issues need to be dealt with. Remember the quicker you deal with the tear, or what’s causing a potential tear could be the difference between a patch versus a completely new cloth.

Tear in shade sail

3 Check the shade cloth for any fraying of threads

You’re looking for any threads that may have snapped and are poking out of the cloth. Usually, this is in the corners where there is the most tension. Fraying of the thread just means it needs to be re-threaded, depending on the age and condition of the shade cloth. Contact a specialist to look into this.

check that no trees are causing shade sail damage

4 Check for water, leaves, or tree branches pushing down onto shade sail cloth

These are a major cause of damage to your shade cloths. Hopefully, your shade sail installer has looked at how the water runs off your shade cloth prior to installation. So stagnant water shouldn’t be an issue. If it is you will need to regularly have the water removed, a better solution would be to consult with your shade sail specialist about changing the angle of your shade cloth. Fair warning this isn’t a cheap option however in the long run it will save you money by preventing the lifespan of the shade sail.

If your shade sail is collecting leaves, use a blower or a hose to gently blow them off. You don’t want these to sit for too long as they will collect dirt and mould which will cause damage to your shade cloth.

Dirty Mouldy shade sail needs clean

5 Check for sun damage

You will start to notice discolouring of your shade sail over time, this is normal and to be expected. However, if it gets to the point where the material is thinned, you may be compromising the UV protection. Talk to your shade sail specialists about getting this assessed.

For a table of recommended maintenance for your shade sail download your checklist here.

Download shade sail checklist

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