Frequently Asked Questions

Shade Sail FAQ’s

Why do shade sails needs curves in the perimeter?
The curve in the perimeter of a shade sail is necessary as it pulls tension through the sail. This means the centre of the fabric is held nice and tight, minimizing any sail movement.

The amount of curvature depends on the size of the sail. Generally, the curvature sits anywhere between 5 to 10 percent of the edge length. i.e. if the sail edge (point to point) is 5 metres long, it will have up to 50 cm of curve (dip) in the centre.

Do all shade sail colours have the same UV block?
It is important to know that not all shade sail colours block out UV to the same degree. This should be taken into account when selecting your desired shade sail fabric colour.

The metric used to determine how much UV a shade sail fabric can block is called UVR% (Ultra Violet Radiation Percentage). As such, it indicates the percentage of UV A and UV B rays blocked out by a particular shade sail fabric.

Generally, the darker the colour of the chosen shade sail fabric, the greater the UV protection it will provide. Black fabric has a UVR% of approximately 97, meaning 97 percent of the UV A and UV B rays are blocked by the fabric. In contrast, white shade sail fabric will have an average UVR% of 90.

Are shade sails waterproof?
Traditional shade sail fabrics are not completely waterproof. The fabric is quite a tight knit, which will cause about 60-70 percent of the water to run off the shade sail from the lowest sloping corner, in a heavy downpour it is not uncommon for some rain to fall through the fabric in the form of a light mist.

For those who are looking for fabrics to protect them from all weather, rain or shine, we offer a range of architectural PVC fabrics that are all fully waterproof. Please see our waterproof shade solutions here.

How long will the installation of my shade sails take?
The turnaround process from the installation of posts and fittings to the hanging of the shade sail generally takes around one month. Depending on the season, the installation lead time may vary however.

With all projects, there are always a few stages involved. Firstly, we come out to quote, then posts and fittings are installed at the site. Measurements are taken on-site at this stage to ensure the shade sail is made to utmost specifications. The next step is for the shade sail to be plotted, sewn and then installed at the site.

Due to high demand, lead-time in summer can often be greater. For more information and a more detailed document on our process please see our installation page here.

Can my shade sails stay up all year round?
We are building your shade sail with the intent of it being a permanent structure.

As such, it should not need to be removed during the cooler months. However, some customers with a shade sail close to their house like to remove their shade sail in winter to allow more natural light into their living areas during the less sunny seasons.

Do shade sails need ongoing maintenance?

Tender loving care for you sails never goes astray. Here’s what we recommend:

After an initial first tension check, which should occur approximately 6 months after the shade sail is installed, shade sails should only need tensioned (tightened), once every couple of years.

It is important that your shade sail is kept in a tensioned state to prevent excess movement to make this as simple as possible we fit most sails with tensioning turnbuckles in each corner. Simply turn the turnbuckle body to add or reduce tension and then using a spanner tighten the locking nut down to the body to ensure the tension is maintained.

A member of our team can show you how to do this when the shade sail is installed. Otherwise, if you would prefer us to come to site at another time, we are able to provide this service as well.

Can my shade sails be cleaned?

Like any fabric, over time, your shade sail may require cleaning. To cater for this, Peninsula Shade Sails offers a full cleaning service. We will come out to visit you, check all fixing points, remove the sail and take it off site, clean and then come back to reinstall the sail. This process generally takes a couple of weeks, so as to ensure an adequate cleaning process. For more information on our cleaning services, please see our maintenance page here.

Are shade sails waterproof?

Traditional shade sails are made from shade cloth that allows water to pass through. Shade cloth is a woven, permeable membrane that can block up to 95% of UV rays where water and air can flow through the material. Waterproof structures are possible, often using PVC instead of shade cloth, however, other considerations need to be made. Shade cloth allows for much more flexibility in design as you do not need to abide by strict gradients to account for water flow and there are less instances of shade ‘sag’. If non-permeable materials, such as PVC, water can pool in areas of the material causing sags which shortens the life of the material as it stretches and diminishes structural integrity. 

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