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Everything you need to know about finding a Shade Sail Supplier

Sails – Supply

Sails are used around the house to provide additional shade in an outdoor area. They are similar to umbrellas, with the difference being in its installation. Sails are suspended between brackets, posts or a sail track where umbrellas are usually centre mounted or cantilevered.

Sail Types

When you consider buying a sail you can choose from the following types:
  • Lightweight

  • Standard

  • Premium

  • Custom made
Sail fabrics are either constructed with:
  • Waterproof PVC coated polyesters

  • Knitted heavy duty shade cloth, stitched with cable edges

  • Woven polyester meshes

  • High frequency welding

Any loose parts are usually manufactured in stainless steel.

Most lightweight shade sails are sold with a 5-year guarantee, with 10-year guarantees offered on standard and premium sails. You can buy sails pre-made in a variety of sizes, shapes, designs and styles. Or you can buy a custom made sail to suit your outdoor area.
Knitted shade cloth and woven polyester mesh provides up to 95% UV protection, while waterproof PVC coated polyester provides 100% UV protection.

Benefits of Sails

Sails can be manufactured in almost any shape. As a homeowner you therefore have greater choice for its application and use. Sails are also:
  • Durable

  • Cost effective

  • Increase ventilation

  • Very low maintenance

  • Increase value of your home

  • Available in a variety of shapes, styles, designs and colours

  • Provides up to 100% protection from UV rays, sun and/or rain

Increased ventilation is achieved through mesh or shade cloth fabrics, allowing for additional cooling.

Installation and Maintenance

Before a sail can be installed you should consider getting a professional assessment of the desired area. Shade sails are normally attached to freestanding posts or to suitable existing structures. They therefore require no structural roofing support.

Installation is also done at two different heights. This is to prevent a catchment area for water and debris from forming. It also adds stability. Hose down the sail on occasion to wash of dust and debris.

Possible Problems

Product quality differs from supplier to supplier. Problems that may arise include:
  • Holes

  • Frayed stitching

  • Sagging

  • Wobbly posts
Even with a slight breeze, poor quality fabric stretches, sags and becomes less durable, not to mention unsightly. This sagging produces a catchment area for water and other debris, which results in rotting and holes.

A good quality sail needs to be accompanied with high quality stitching in order to prevent fraying and unravelling. Tenara stitching, for example, is a high quality stitching as it withstands maximum force and remains firm for years.

Rope-tying rigging material is not recommended, as the rope stretches over time. A 4mm to 6mm stainless steel rig is recommended. It gives your sail a longer life and neater appearance, although 3mm is industry standard.

Choosing a Supplier

Before purchasing your shade sail, make sure you consider the following:

  • Reputation and experience

  • Additional services offered (such as installation and assembly, cleaning, replacement and insurance)

  • Product: Check the wind rate resistance; quality of workmanship and materials; as well as guarantees and warranties on product materials and workmanship. Also consider the construction and fabric compliances.

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