Important things to know about impermeable or water-proof shade sail fabrics
Waterproof fabrics offer exactly what the name suggest – they don’t let any water through. They are a good choice when you want comprehensive protection from both the sun and rain. They will keep the area directly under the sail, dry. But there’s some important things to consider before you choose a waterproof fabric.
Ventilation: As well as stopping water, waterproof fabrics stop air-flow. This means they can slow the process of ventilation – hot air rising away from the shaded environment underneath. They can also inhibit the air flowing into the shaded environment. This may make this type of fabric a slightly hotter option.
Catch the breeze: Waterproof sails respond to wind exactly like a sail on a boat – they ‘catch’ the breeze. This can put tremendous strain on both the sail and the fixings. Think of all the boats that limp home from yacht races with a broken mast. The energy of the wind is multiplied many times in a sail that’s impermeable. If you’re in an area of high wind you will need to pay extra attention to the posts and fixings.
Water Runoff: A waterproof sail redirects water. You’ll be surprised how much water can be redirected during a heavy shower of rain. Be sure to take this into account when designing your shade structure. The water runoff from a waterproof sail could cause damage to your garden or even flood your home or business.