Shade sails can be installed on a residential lot over a pool or deck, or they can be large enough to be installed outside a school, community centre or any place where you need lots of protective shade. Shade sails are a good alternative to a cumbersome pergola, and they can often be stretched over areas that cannot be reached by an awning.
If you're thinking of getting shade sails installed on your property, note a few misconceptions you might have about these pieces. This will help you to determine if they would be the right choice for your lot and ensure you know what to expect from their use.
Heat and rain
You might assume that a shade sail makes a space stuffy and uncomfortable, trapping heat over an outdoor grill. This actually isn't the case, as a shade sail is typically made of a woven material that is specifically designed to let out heat and allow for air circulation. Even if a shade sail is made of a tough nylon, this fabric will usually be very porous, so that you don't feel uncomfortably warm under the sail.
While the fabric of a shade sail can keep you comfortable during warm weather, this also means that the sail is not the same as an outdoor umbrella. A shade sail might provide a bit of protection from a light rain, but it won't keep you dry during a downpour! Shade sails are typically meant to provide just that; shade, and not protection from all outdoor weather elements.
If you've ever seen a shade sail flapping around in high winds, don't assume that they are all like this! A properly installed shade sail will be very taut, without any slack that can be caught by winds. If you live in a windy area, have the shade sail installed by a professional who will ensure it's pulled tightly, with proper tension, and this should keep your shade sail still and quiet even in the worst windstorm.
Shade sails are often attached to four posts as a freestanding unit, but don't assume this is your only option for these sails. If you're afraid that a freestanding sail might look cumbersome and cluttered in your home's backyard or elsewhere, note that these sails can usually be attached to any solid structure, including a home's or garage's exterior wall. Separate posts may need to be installed in the space to hold the opposite side of the sail, but this is less busy and less cluttered than a freestanding unit.