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Frequently asked Questions about Shade Sails with the answers.

Our most frequently asked questions and our most informative answers.
If you do nor find an answer please ASK US for help!

Q:  What is the difference between the heavy and normal commercial shade cloth?
A:  Apart from the fact that the Heavy is 90 GSM more in weight it uses a different type of thread which menas that it expands evenly in all directions. Refer to "COLORS" in the menu for comprehensive details.
Q:  Are the webbing and fittings the same with all the shade cloth you offer?
A:  All our shade sails have 2" / 50mm webbing and fittings are all 10mm, The exception is the Lightweight shade sails which have 38mm webbing and 8m fittings.
Q:  Are shade sails a good idea?
A:  Yes, but it depends on your circumstance. If you are happy to have a semi-permanent structure that could be in place all the time or most of the warmer part of the year, then you should consider a shade sail. Professionally made shade sails will use high grade shade cloth that offers UV protection, most awnings, umbrellas, and cheap mass-produced shade sails do not offer UV protection. Shade sails that are well integrated into their surroundings area very attractive addition to a home, they will protect you from the sun and UV, offer you shade and, likely, enhance the value of your property.
Q:  Are shade sails effective?
A:  Yes, they are. Sitting under a good quality shade sail on a summer's day could be compared to sitting under a large leafy tree. The air will be cooler and more pleasant add to that the value of UV protection. If you have children who like to spend hours in the pool a shade sail over the pool or part of it will inhibit sunburn (potential for skin cancer), the same applies to outdoor play area as well.
Q:  Can I make my own shade sail?
A:  Not really. For a shade sail to be effective and safe it should be very well tensioned this requires that the construction of the sail itself is very strong, something not achievable in-home construction. Purchasing from a professional shade sail maker such as ourselves you will get a shade sail with a 15-year warranty.
Q:  Do shade sails blow away? How much wind can a shade sail withstand?
A:  Yes, if not properly installed or mounted. Shade sails need tension, lots of it! If not tensioned, then they will start to flap up and down in the wind. This movement will have a negative mechanical effect of the mountings which will likely fail. A properly tensioned high grade shade sail should withstand constant wind of 60mph (102kmh) and gusts of up to 100mph (160kmh).
Q:  How do you attach a shade sail to a house? Should a shade sail be tight or loose?
A:  Remember tension is the shade sails friend - they must be very, very tight. This depends on where you want to attach it and the construction material. If you want to mount it very high, from the roof, it is possible to use specially made Shade Sail Anchor (Roof Extenda Bracket) ( If you are mounting to a fascia board, use a four-hole eye plate so the load is spread. Please remember that a lot of tension will be exerted on the mounting point and in high wind situations could rip off the fascia board unless properly secured - we recommend using a long-threaded rod anchoring the fascia board back to a strong internal roof joist. If mounting to a wall also use four, or even six, hole eye plates. If the wall is cladding and you will be bolting or screwing through to joists behind the cladding always be mindful of it being strong enough. With brick, stone, or concrete secure bolts using CHEMICAL INJECTION ANCHORING. In all instances we suggest you use marine grade stainless 316 for fittings.
Q:  How long does a shade sail last?
A:  It depends on the supplier and quality. Readily available pre-sized sails from large online vendors with low prices expect them to last as many days as the price - if you are lucky. These sails also have no monofilament in the fabric so do not offer UV protection. They also have no warranty. For long lasting sails you should expect to spend much more money. With these sails you should expect between 5- and 15-years use, depending on the vendor. We offer a 15-year warranty.
Q:  How much do backyard sails cost?
A:  Prices vary from very cheap to very expensive - basically you get what you pay for. Cheap sails range in price from less than $20 to around $300. These sails from Amazon or eBay and low-priced boxed shade sails from hardware stores will not last long. These sails will not take tension and will break on the edge or in the seams if treated like a real shade sail and subjected to tensioning. They will have no warranty. Middle range premade sails will start at about $150 for a small lightweight Residential grade shade sail 3M x 3M x 3M (approx. 9ft x 9ft x 9ft) and going as high as $900 for a Commercial grade shade sail of 5M x 7M (approx. 17ft x 24ft). The Residential not be used for tensioned permanent installation and should be taken down in bad weather and stored through the winter months. If well cared for they will have a useful life of 10 years or more. They will have a 5-year warranty. The Commercial Grade sails are designed to be tensioned and should last up to 18 years if well maintained. Warranty of 15 years.
Q:  What is the best material for a sail shade?
A:  Seek out vendors who specifically say they use shade cloth and can provide technical specification. You cannot use plastic sheeting, tarpaulin, polythene, or any fabric/material that is opaque and does not allow airflow. Shade cloth is knitted polyethylene with a monofilament to block UV transmission. The 'gold standard' shade cloth is Gale Pacific who invented knitted shade cloth in the early 1970s. After several years of testing and development, they launched their first range in 1976. They are now one of the world's largest manufacturers of shade cloth. For shade sails the minimum GSM (grams sq. Meter) should not be less than 180 and this only for lightweight low tensioned sails. 340-350 GSM is an ideal weight for highly tensioned shade sails. Heavier weights suitable for longer spans are available. We only supply Gale Pacific shade cloth since we consider it the best quality and put to the test with thousands of sails delivered worldwide, we have never had a failure of the shade cloth.
Q:  I need a triangle sail shade with a 90 degree corner. How do I order that?
A:  The 90 degree corned is created by the lengths of the 3 sides of the triangle so it is better to measure the area and use that to get your quotation.
Q:  Do I get email confirmation when I place my order?
A:  Yes you do but please check your spam folders if you do not see it in your inbox.
Q:  At what point in the ordering process does it ask if you want another 3% reduction in overall size measurements of sail?
A:  The option for the 3% overall reduction is part of the ordering process and you can select it before you go the the payment.
Q:  I'm trying to put a quote in but when I get to the page to select colors there are no drop down options, can you help?
A:  The dropdown not appearing for the colors is a caching issue on your device which can 99% of the time be fixed by a shutdown and restart, Not a reboot.
Q:  I have just received a text purporting to be from DHL Express suggesting a payment for Import duty needs to be paid before delivery can be made. Is this correct or a scam ?
A:  No it is not a spam. It says in your quotation "You are responsible for import duties and local taxes in your country"
Q:  I have several quotes can I combine them in one order?
A:  Sadly no. These are made to order shade sails and each onehas and needs its own identity all through the process and the combining of orders would make this impossible.
Q:  Can you quote price and lead-time for a custom shade?
A:  Click "Get a price for your shade sail" on the home page then follow the instructions. Delivery is within 7 days worldwide. Click on "Need Help" in the menus for full instructions.
Q:  How do I order a right angle shade sail?
A:  We have a selection of premade right angle sails on our sister website
Q:  Can you help with a shade sail for my uniquely shaped patio?
A:  We are very happy to help with any unusual shapes. Please go to "Talk to Us" and send us a message asking us to call you and we will get the project going.
Q:  I am looking for advice to remove the sag the middle?
A:  It is all about tension and if a shade sail is even a tiny bit too big sagging can be a problem. Several ways to handle this would be to remove turnbuckle and mount directly. Another way would be to raise a mounting point, if you can, this effectively increases the distance between the other mounting points.
Q:  Is VAT required?
A:  if you live in Australia and the price of the sail is over $1,000 Yes! Any where else only if charged by the customs.
Q:  Do my shade sails need to be removed in the winter or can they handle snow load?
A:  Well tensioned commercial grade shade sails with a minimum of a 20% slope will be OK. It is a good idea to knock them from underneath the help the snow slide off.
Q:  When mounting my shade sail how do I find corner A?
A:  The plastic tag is on the A point, letters go clockwise so the webbing should be down and B will be the next mounting point to the right.
Q:  Can the billing address and delivery address be the same?
A:  Yes.
Q:  My card was declined although I have funds, is there a reason?
A:  We are an Australian company so when your card is the anti-fraud system on your credit card will likely flag the transaction since you do not normally spend 100s of your currency online with Australia. A call to your bank will resolve this and you can then try again and it will go through.
Q:  I wanted to know what size or thickness of the pole should I use?
A:  It depends on the size of the sail and the highest wind speeds it will encounter. Please refer to the menu item "How to Install" where you will find a grah to help in the selection of pole size.
Q:  Should the webbing be on the top or the bottom of the shade sail when installed?
A:  Always facing the ground.
Q:  I want delivery to another country, is it possible?
A:  When our system provides a quote it calculates the price and delivery costs based upon your IP address. So if you are in the UK and get quote you could not use that quote for delivery to Spain. The best thing to do is wait until you are where you want the sail, get a quote and place the order. You will have it within a week.
Q:  I have a quote but cannot find it or open it to place an order, why?
A:  Once you have registered as a buyer you will have your personal dashboard and should be able to see the quote. But you must be registered with the same email address as was used for the quotation.
Q:  Can I get samples of the colors?
A:  Sorry but the answer is no. The colors on the website are so accurate that in over 60,000 sales we have never had a come back on the color.
Q:  What is the difference between regular curve sides and the extra parabolic curves on a side?
A:  Normal parabolic curve in shade sails is 5%. WE have an option that you can select to reduce this to 2% on the sides that you nominate.
Q:  Will I have to pay additional charges?
A:  It depends where you are. In the USA the answer is No. In other countries there might be duty and local taxes. We have never heard that this is excessive nor had any complaints about the charges.
Q:  What is the weight of your lightweight residential fabric?
A:  200 GSM
Q:  I am looking for a 10X10 shade sail. It will be installed under an awning. I'm wondering how much sag I can expect
A:  We would recommend several rings on the sides for extra UNTENSIONED support.
Q:  I live in the Caribbean and want sail shades for providing a shaded area next to my house for parking 2 cars. What type do you suggest for this purpose please?
A:  Any of our shade cloths other than the lightweight
Q:  I have a drawing that I would like you to see, where do I send it?
Q:  I'd like to provide shade for my pergola which has top dimensions of 12ftx6ft. Do I order this exact size?
A:  It depends how you will be fitting it. Better to contact us through the "Talk to us" link
Q:  Do you have a recommendation for high and low mounting points. For example, should the high points never be higher than some amount?
A:  No it is up to you.
Q:  When measuring given we want a twist, do we provide mounting points in a fixed plane (all the same height), or the actual mounting points with the height differences?
A:  No. Do not measure pole to pole, measure mounting point to mounting point. We do not need to know height differences.
Q:  Is the shade material waterproof?
A:  No it is permeable. If you have at least a 20% fall to the lowest point rain will run off the top,but you will get some dripping through.
Q:  Can I get a sail to more than cover a 102sq meter area? Or is it better to consider more than one?
A:  Better more than one.
Q:  How can I place this order without going through the process of creating the sail order and re-entering all the dimensions?
A:  You cannot. Each order must be based on a unique and unused quote number.
Q:  I enter the dimensions but it keeps coming up with red fields and I cannot proceed with my quote?
A:  Look carefully at the error message. You migh have put in feet instead of inches or cm instead of mm. This would create sizes that are too small. Also no exterior dimension can be less than 1000mm or 38 inches.
Q:  I have completed the quote form but I have no quote number and in the email quote is says the price is "n". Can you help?
A:  This happens because one of the "Triangles" is wrong. Go back and check your measurements. If the sum of two sides of the triangle is less than the other side you do not have a triangle to use to compute the shape, size and cost.
Q:  Are you shade sails fire retardant?
A:  Yes we offer fire retardant Commercial 340 GSM from Gale Pacific
Q:  I have one of your sails and want to order a new one, how do I do it?
A:  Follow the same procedure as you did with the first order.
Q:  I have been overcharged on my credit card by a few dollars, why is this?
A:  You should dispute this with your credit card company. We charge in Australian dollars at the FX midrate at the very second the order is processed so there should be no charge to you from your credit card company.
Q:  My shade sail has mold growing along the low point. What do you recommend I do to remove and clean this?
A:  Best thing is to scrub it with a warm water solution with dishwashing liquid. Avoid bleaches or chemicals. It is a good practice to keep the shade sail clean for longevity.