To sail or not to sail? And no, I do not mean jetting off on a boat to Aruba! I am talking about the savvy of investing in some of the popular shade sails that are taking the commercial world by storm. In regards to outdoor areas, for schools, restaurants, outdoor gym areas, public zones, and gardens, many companies are going mad for these fabric canopies. So, let’s investigate this. Are they any good? How easy are they to install? And do they live up to the hype?
What are Shade Sails?
The term ‘shade sails’ sounds quite jaunty. It brings to mind the thought of sailing boats and ye olde salty shanties. Once you look at these shades you will understand how they gained that name. Taking inspiration from the tight tensions, resistant materials, and crisp lines from the sails of boats, these shade sails have been similarly designed to be durable, adaptable, and fashionable. They are, quite simply, an innovative new solution to providing sun protection. These outdoor shades are strung up high overhead and pulled tight, providing a safe space underneath that is both pleasant and protected.
What are the Benefits?
The benefits of shade sails are numerous.
One of the main attractions is their thick UV resistant fabric. The sun is one of the worst culprits for heat sickness, skin ageing, and even cancer, and so it is responsible for businesses to give customers an option for shade in exposed patio areas. Many shade sail companies boast of a UV protection range between 90-98%, which is extremely good! Many customers will be appreciative of this kind of foresight.
In regard to functionality, the shades are easy to use. A professional will install them with strong anchor points to walls and poles, and then it is a simple case of using a rope pulley system to put them up or down. This means that the customer has the option of taking them down when they desire, such as during winter months. For places like schools, where it is important for children to make the most of the winter sunlight for that all-important Vitamin D, this is a great bonus. This also makes them versatile for fitness areas, where they can be quickly erected at a moment’s notice if an outdoor yoga session is on the cards!
Also, there is the matter of aesthetics. One of the greatest attractions of shade sails is that their arrangement can be as big as your imagination. Square sails, triangular sails, layered sails, winged sails, prism sails, vertical, horizontal, diagonal sails… there is so much potential for these to be visually stunning! This means that however big or small your patio is, these shades can be manipulated to fit any shape and coverage. They are fashionable, modern, and practical. The fact that they are pulled to a high tension means that they do not flap about in the breeze, so they can maintain that effortless floating look without being at the mercy of the wind.
Are There Any Cons?
Most of the cons surrounding shade sails are avoidable if you give careful thought into which company you purchase from and choose to invest in a high-quality product. The main issues could potentially include:
1. Sagging Sail
2. Improperly installed sail
3. Short lifespan
As when you buy any patio equipment, you must bear in mind long-term durability. When left outside in all weathers, this can lead to the potential for damage or a shorter lifespan. This is why it is very important to buy a great quality sail, as they will last infinitely longer.
An improperly installed shade sail could be a bugbear. This depends on whether the people who install them use appropriately strong anchor points, are knowledgeable about the heaviness of the material they are working with, and whether they secure everything properly. A shade sail that has not been fitted correctly could lead to a sagging sail or even cause detachment altogether.
Happily, these issues are easy to resolve. As long as you do your research, buy quality materials, and choose a company that is trusted and experienced, then you should be able to avoid these problems. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for!
Conclusion – Should I Get a Shade Sail for my Patio?
Well, yes! If you need a shady solution to an outdoor area, then these are worth a shot. The durability, ease of use, and UV effectiveness of shade sails mean that they are a very practical option for many commercial businesses with patios. The few downsides that could occur can be mitigated through proper foresight and planning. And let’s be honest, visually, the shade sails look pretty awesome!
So, why not give them a try? Tell us what you think!