Shade Sail Installation
Deciding to install a new shade sail at your home involves a few more things to consider than just the colour and size of the shade sail! Although it's not a difficult process, there are some very important factors that need to be considered when installing a shade sail.
Firstly, leave the shade sail installation process to the professionals. It's just not worth the time, effort and money that could all be potentially wasted by not installing the shade sail properly and with high quality fittings in the first place. Shade Sails R Us are shade sail installation experts, we've been doing it for over 15 years. We only use quality posts and fixtures which all influence the performance of the shade sail. The stitching is one of the smallest yet most important components of a shade sail. We recommend to not compromise when it comes to the stitching, poor qaulity stitching can come undone and then the entire shade sail is at risk of tearing. We use Tenara, a 100% monofilament that's used by NASA for the manufacturing of spacesuits and it's also been tested in the harshest desert conditions in the world. The rigging, posts and fixing points all need to be extremely strong to withstand all wind conditions, which puts strain on a shade sail. The fixing points need to be completely rust proof, which is why we use marine grade stainless steel. Rust weakens the fixings and then the risk the shade sail becoming damaged is increased greatly.
These points need to be considered seriously before going ahead with your new shade sail installation. Luckily, Shade Sails R Us are here to answer all your questions and we are happy to give you a no obligation quote.
What does quality really look like? – Things you should look for in your shade sail
Show me two men’s suits – one worth $500 and another worth $2,000 and I doubt I could pick the difference. I just don’t know what ‘quality means’ when it comes to suits. When it comes to shade sails do you know how to identify quality? Here’s some tips to help you…
Fabric: All shade sail fabrics have a UV rating. But don’t be fooled. That figure relates to the sun protection the fabric provides you, not the fabric’s ability to protect itself against UV damage. There’s really no easy way to judge the quality of shade sail fabric. You really have to know what you’re looking at. The strands must be well defined (not shaggy-looking in any way). Take a close look with a magnifying glass. Make sure all the strands are uniform in thickness and spaced evenly. Make sure the coating is well intact – not peeling off or rough at any point. Although there are many companies around Australia (and the world) that manufacture shade sail fabric, we recommend two local companies. We trust them (we’ve met them, learned from them, asked them the hard questions) and we trust their product (it’s stood the test of time for us and our clients).
Stitching: The thread that holds the fabric at the ends (stitching) is one of the smallest and yet most important components. If the stitching fails, the entire sail is in danger of ripping. We strongly recommend that you don’t compromise when it comes to stitching. Get the best. And even though the best is double the price, it usually works out to be around $250 extra per sail. The brand of stitching we have proven over the years is Tenara. It’s 100% monofilament. 100% monofilament thread is the same type that’s used by NASA in the manufacture of space suits. And also the same type that’s used in the harshest dessert conditions around the world. It’s proven. The extra cost is insignificant. We recommend it to you with great enthusiasm.
Rigging: The rigging is the steel cable that supports the sides of the sail and anchors the sail to it fixing points. The rigging supports both the weight of the fabric and the pressure created by the wind as it blows in the sail. The industry standard is 3mm cable. We recommend 4mm and sometimes 5 and 6mm depending on the sail design. And unlike some companies that use a rope-based rigging, we only ever use stainless steel cable.
Design (link to Design Options): This is where it all begins. What’s the use of a strong, attractive shade sail that doesn’t give you the result you want (doesn’t provide shade where you need it)? Or what’s the use of a shade sail that actually detracts from your home or business instead of adding appeal and value? There’s far more to designing a shade sail than taking a few measurements. You must consider things like the angle of the sun at different times of the day and year; available options for posts and fixing points; sail shape options (rectangle, triangle, one large sail or several overlapping sails); surrounding trees; areas that may be affected by runoff water; colours to compliment your home or business; degree of shade you want; how shade will affect surrounding areas (make your home darker, stunt surrounding grass growth) and more. You’re best to start with a mud-map of the area. Include compass points with details about sun angles. Be sure to draw in gardens and other areas that may be affected by water runoff. And take time to think through the design carefully.
Posts: There’s four main things to consider about posts. Firstly (and quite obviously) the posts need to be strong enough to withstand the weight of the sail (in windy conditions). Secondly, the footings need to be secure. This may mean a hole that is up to one third the depth of the height of the post. Thirdly, the angle of installation is important. It’s often best to lean the posts outwards slightly to counteract the inward pressure. And lastly, because most posts are made out of steel, they need to be protected against rust. Galvanising and Powder coating is the most effective.
Fixing Points: Not only do fixing points need to be strong, they need to be totally resistant to rust. Marine grade stainless steel is really the way to go. Remember, these points will be under constant pressure. Not only does rust look terrible, it weakens the fixings leading to failure and potential damage to the sail.