Must I install a shade sail or make use of awnings, pergolas and umbrellas?

Shade sails are tension membrane structures that make use of cables or webbing in catenary curves stretched between suitable anchor points. This provides a product that gives the effect as if it is “floating in the air” with a gentle sway and definitely creates tranquility in that area. Awnings and pergolas normally need a support structure that not only needs frequent maintenance, but also use sail with a much shorter lifespan than is the case with ShadePlus shade sails. Umbrellas simply do not provide the same amount of shade and they tend to blow away in strong wind. Shade sails from ShadePlus compare favourably, to other methods of shade provision, in terms of cost for the amount of shade cover.


Will a shade sail enhance the appearance and value of my home?

Definitely – Your shade sail will provide such an exciting visual effect that it will become a talking point. A well designed shade sail system (2 or more shade sails designed to compliment one another), has the ability to transform any outdoor setting. Real Estate-agents and Valuators report that an attractive outdoor entertainment area can most definitely raise the aesthetic and monetary value of your home. If you are looking to sell your property, a shade sail system could be the selling advantage you need.


Why do some shade sails tear; or sag in the middle?

Purely because they were not properly designed, manufactured and/or installed. We do find that people tend to go with cheaper installations done by “fly-by-night”-companies and then regret it later on; it is a matter of “You-get-what-you-paid-for”. At ShadePlus, however, high quality shade solutions and customer care is paramount and therefore we can proudly present a one year “no questions asked”-warranty on any full installation done by our ShadePlus-teams, as well as an eight year warranty against UV-degradation on the shade sail.


Do I need building plans to erect a shade sail?

No, as shade sails are only ‘temporary structures’, i.e. they can be put up, and taken down, no building plans are required.


What time is needed for an installation?

Once you have made the decision to go-ahead, ShadePlus will normally require a four week lead-time to do the full proper installation. To get the shade sails installed consists out of two phases. In Phase 1 we install the wall anchor points, plant the poles and take final measurements. The sails are then manufactured at our factory according to these measurements. In Phase 2 we install and correctly tension the sails; you can then enjoy the shade and tranquility. Phase 3 is a follow-up visit, after about a month, to ascertain whether everything is still in order and according to our standards.


Do shade sails require maintenance?

Very little – Some basic maintenance, like washing it down with a hose and nozzle, is sometimes all it takes to ensure your sail maintains its original look. ShadePlus, however, do offer an annual “Maintenance Service” whereby we will take down your sail, wash and inspect it, then re-install it. This regular maintenance will ensure the long life of the fabric and a trouble free installation. Clear instructions on how to care for your shade sail will be issued upon installation.


What about adverse weather conditions, such as wind and hail?

You will find that your shade sail actually provides protection from light hail, protecting cars, plants etc. Light hail will not damage the shade cloth itself, however it is recommended that you inspect your sail after a big hail storm to ensure that the pellets are not weighing the sail down and causing it to stretch. Shade sails are not designed to withstand the weight of heavy hail.
In relation to wind, a properly designed and correctly installed shade sail should disperse the force of the wind evenly through the sail, the tensioning wires and the supporting structure. Our shade sails are designed and engineered to withstand wind conditions up to 100km/h. For this reason it is important that the sail is tensioned correctly, and not be allowed to flap around. Aside from the possibility of damaging the sail, the flapping movement increases the force of the wind tremendously.


Will my pool get cold if I cover it with a shade sail?

Shade over your entire pool will reduce the temperature of the water slightly. We recommend only shading a portion of the pool to maintain a suitable temperature. We do find that, because of global warming and soaring temperatures during summer, some clients require at least the steps to be shaded for children.


Is the shade sail waterproof?

No, but we do offer a 100%-waterproof shade sail, at a slightly higher cost. The standard shade cloth is porous, so rainfall will filter thru. The amount of resistance to rainfall will be determined by the pitch of the shade sail and the amount and type of rainfall. If it is a light drizzle, the area under the sail could be protected for a good hour or so. If you have a twin sail system, and the sails overlap, the area under the overlap provides more rain protection.


Do I take my shade sail down for winter, and if so, am I able to do it myself?

No, you do not have to. In summer your shade sails will block sun and glare from entering the home, however during winter some clients are pleased for a sunny room. Provided you are handy with some basic tools, it is fairly simple to take shade sails down and erect them again during season, following our clear and easy instructions. It is, however, of the utmost importance to tension the cables correctly and therefore we recommend that you make use of our “Maintenance Service”, where we will take care of everything, even cleaning the sail.


Which shape of sail gives the best shade coverage?

Any sail with four or more sides will provide the best coverage; of course this depends on size. Whilst tri-angular shade sails are aesthetically pleasing, they do not provide as much shade as other shapes due to the narrow corners and necessary catenary curve cut into each side. Alternatively, a tri-angular sail system of 2 or more sails can be designed to give the look desired while increasing the shade cover. Square and rectangular shade sails can be erected with a twist effect, which is also very appealing to the eye.


If I choose a ‘Ready Made’ sail is installation difficult, and how long will it take?

Installation is really quite easy. Follow the detailed installation instructions and let your DIY creativity shine! Time frames from start to finish depend mostly on whether you need to fit a supporting structure. This can take anything from an afternoon to a few days depending on what needs to be fitted and your circumstances. Erecting the sail itself need only take an hour or two at the absolute most, once the supporting structures are in place.


Where is the best location for my sail in relation to the sun?

As the seasons progress the sun moves from low in the sky during the cooler months, to higher in the sky during summer. Your structure should be planned to provide maximum shade protection during the height of summer, or summer solstice, as this is when it will be needed most. Mid-day and late afternoon sun is the hottest and most dangerous, hence shade sail systems should be designed to block this sun as a priority to morning sun.


Is my shade sail South African made?

Yes, everything from the cloth and the stitching medium, to the design and labour is purely home grown. We are proudly South African!


For any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us via telephone or email.