Shade sails have many advantages as they provide a cooler area to your property so you can enjoy the outdoors more. They also cut glare and keep the home cooler if installed in the right place. While there are also a few disadvantages, most of these can be avoided by installing the sail in the correct way and in the correct place for your situation.
- Don’t install a sail under a tree, or even under a single branch. Why? The debris that falls off the tree will fall onto the sail and accumulate. This will discolour the sail and make it sag and droop. It can also cause mould or mildew to form, which will look ugly. Plus, having dried up leaves and twigs piled into the centre of the sail can be a fire hazard. It’s important to have the sail installed by an experienced professional to get the angle right. This will allow water and debris to run or blow off.
- Wobbly posts are another disadvantage of having a sail. Again, this is through having it installed by an amateur who doesn’t know what weight the sail will create and how to ensure the posts and rigging are strong enough to bear it. There is more to take into account than the actual weight of the sail. It is the stress of having it stretched tight that can cause improperly installed posts to become wobbly.
- Wear and tear. Poor quality sails should be avoided as they will rot quickly and can tear or get holes in them. It is also important to purchase quality material and to treat the sail properly. Don’t allow children to crawl onto a sail to retrieve a ball. No one should swing on one side of it, either.
- Another problem come with inexperienced installers such as DIY handymen. That is, fixing the corner of the sail too high up on a brick wall. The pull on the bricks can compromise the strength of the wall and even crack it. Instead, make sure the fixings are attached at least five rows of bricks below the top. Better still, have expert installers come and do the job so you know it is done properly.
The experts will be able to advise on the best location and position for the sail, so you get shade where you want it; the right shape, e.g. square or triangular; the number of posts and how deep they should be and whether it is safe to use a wall of your home as one of the anchor points.
Once these decisions have been made, it will just about negate any of the disadvantages of sails and make sure your sail does the job it is supposed to do.