Shade sails provide a unique opportunity to enhance the design and aesthetic appeal of any exterior while providing cooling benefits, reduced energy costs, UV protection, shade from harsh wind and more. Of course, to get the most from your shade sail, there are a few considerations to keep in mind, from size to colour to location. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind when choosing your shade sail.
1. Shape and size
The shape and size of the shade sail play a key role in how it performs. Triangular shade sails, for example, are best are protecting corners from the sun. Rectangular and square sails, on the other hand, are great for covering large areas. As for size, you'll need to keep in mind that the sun sits directly overhead when the day is at its hottest, creating larger hot spots. As such, you may need a bigger shade sail than you originally thought.
It's important that your shade sail is the right height to protect you from the wind and sun without becoming unstable. On top of this, it's ideal to have a shade sail with varying heights on each post. The height variation of the sails also allows water to flow off after rainstorms, ensuring that water won't pool and weigh down your sail.
Consider the ground underneath the location where you plan to place your anchor; the mounting points need to be strong enough to hold your shade sail in place during a wind storm for as long as possible. If you need a highly solid anchor point that can withstand high winds, then you are best installing a steel or iron foundation under your shade sail. If you live in an area where winds rarely get high, concrete or wood may suffice.
Generally, shade sails are available in two main materials: waterproof plastic and breathable plastic. Each one has its own unique benefits. Waterproof shade sails, for example, block more UV rays than other types of shade sails because they are fully waterproof on all posts with no visible seams or openings where sunlight can enter, whereas breathable plastic tends to offer a little less protection. However, breathable plastic tends to be better at cooling an area since heat can escape through the fabric. Waterproof shade sails, on the other hand, are more suitable when you're looking for protection against rain and storms.