Shade Sail Inspections

Structural Shade Inspections vs Shade Audits


What is the difference between a shade sail inspection and shade audit?

The terms shade inspection and shade audit are often used interchangeable however, at Peninsula Shade Sails we define them as two different items.

  • Structural Shade Inspections : This is an inspection that looks a the built structure i.e. Posts, footings, hardware and canopy. It is focused on the safety of the shade sail or shade structure.
  • Shade Audits : This is an audit of the shade provided or required to be by a structure or other landscaped elements. It is normally part of the project planning stage. For more information on this topic please see our this page our website Shade Audits

Shade sails are a great way to provide shade and protection from the elements, but they can also be dangerous if they are not properly installed or maintained. Where sails are installed in public spaces its is important that they are checked regularly.

As commercially registered builders specialising in the construction of shade structures Shade Sails Melbourne (Trading as Peninsula Shade Sails- License number – CCB-L 73744) can inspect your shade sails and provide a report with maintenance recommendations.

How Often Should You Have Your Shade Sail Inspected?


The frequency of shade sail inspections will vary depending on the environment in which the sail is located, the structure type and any regulatory requirements. However, it is generally recommended to have your sail inspected once every year.

In Victoria schools must visually check shade sail support structures at least once every 3 months and have a registered structural engineer must undertake structural inspections every 3 years.


WorkSafe Victoria recommends that shade sail systems are regularly monitored and inspected by a competent person.

” A competent person is a person who, by their training, or experience has the skills and knowledge to carry out the task they are to undertake”



What are the potential issues that can be identified during a shade sail inspection


When carrying out a structural inspection of your shade sail or shade structure there are many items that we look for, some of which include:

  • Excessive sail movement – This can be due to a lack of appropriate tension in the sail / canopy. It can also be an indication of other issues.
  • Corrosion – Excessive corrosion of post or steel frame elements can reduce structural integrity.
  • Fabric Condition – Holes or fraying of the sail canopy can indicate that the UV degraded fabric to the point where it may fail.
  • Stiching – Stitching can also become degraded by UV and lead to the failure of the canopy when webbing or wire edges come loose.
  • Tensioning Hardware – Over time sail hardware i.e shackles, chain or turnbuckles can wear out or come loose. This is a common point of failure.
  • Footing Movement – Footings that are inappropriately designed for the size of structure or type of soil may move over time.


VBA - Registered Building Practitioner
Work Safe Victoria - Shade Sails

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