Just like any other part of your home, your shade sail needs proper maintenance if it is to serve you for many years to come. Nowadays, the quality of materials used to make shade sails is at a high level, but it still doesn’t mean they are indestructible. The better care you provide, the better and longer protection you’ll get, particularly when it comes to harmful UV rays.
You probably received an instruction manual when you bought your shade sail, and it should include tips on how to make the product last longer. In case you’ve misplaced the manual, here are some guidelines that might help you get the most out of your product.
Correct installation is the key
Since they come in all shapes and sizes, there’s no universal solution to how you install a shade sail, which is why it’s important to consult with or hire an expert. If you fail to install it properly, you might not be able to enjoy the best possible protection, or you could cause damage to whatever it is that you connected the shade to. Ultimately, any unsafe structure may even jeopardize your family’s safety.
When it comes to cleaning, you really need to be diligent and react as soon as you notice filth on your shade sail. No matter whether it’s a bird excrement, wet leaves, mould or mildew, the stain can quickly penetrate into the fabric and threads.
You should be careful, however, not to use high-pressure water or a strong brush when cleaning the shade sail, as these might tear the fabric. Again, the best thing to do is refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. In terms of water and detergent, you should definitely avoid products containing sulphur, halogens, or chlorine-treated water.
Regularly inspect the fabric
Make sure you check the fabric on a regular basis for any signs of wear and tear. A small patch quickly becomes a big hole, thus making your sun protection useless. If such patches appear despite the fact that you’ve done everything right, you’re entitled to a replacement shade from the manufacturer.
Also, you need to check the edges of the shade, since they might start fraying or getting loose, as a consequence of stretching. Don’t try to sew it, because you might make even more damage, but consult the manufacturer.
Post, poles and anchor points
It’s vital that your shade sail posts and poles provide sufficient support to the shade. They mustn’t be wobbly or show any other sign of instability and unreliability. Also, make sure you check them for any sign of rust, particularly if you’re living in an area with lots of rain and high humidity. This applies not only to posts and poles, but nuts, bolts and other metal parts.
Minor signs of rust can be easily treated using an anti-rust spray, but if the rust has greatly damaged the metal, you have no other option but to replace the part. Remember that it’s in your best interest to have a stable and reliable construction above you and your family members.
Watch out for the fire
It’s vital that you don’t install your shade anywhere near an open fire, regardless of how high the shade might be installed. The material used for shade sails is not fire-retardant and even a spark might completely damage the shade, while a more substantial source of fire will make the shade burn quickly, potentially endangering human lives.
Know when to remove it
As the name suggests, such products are designed to provide protection from sun, though they can sustain light rain. What they are not supposed to keep you safe from are strong winds and heavy rains, which is why you need to take the shade down in such situations. If you fail to do so, the shade may well be damaged to the extent that you can’t use it any more. For example, if you allow water to accumulate, all the weight will put pressure on the anchor points, which will eventually succumb to the pressure.
Store it properly
The most important thing about storing a shade sail is that it’s perfectly dry, since moist will cause rot and mould to grow, thus damaging the whole structure. If possible, avoid folding it, but rather use cardboard to roll the shade loosely, since creases might damage the coating on the shade. Finally, you need to keep your shade in a dry place, away from any rodents or sharp objects.
As you can see, extending the lifespan of your shade sail is not that difficult after all. It only takes a little attention and common sense to be able to enjoy quality protection from UV rays for many years after the original installation.