A shade structure is considered a smart investment in a home or property because of its numerous benefits which include adding aesthetic appeal, protection against the elements, enhancing ventilation, and reducing energy consumption. Shade structures come in different sizes, shapes and fabrics, and most fabrics come with a manufacturer warranty of 10 years or so. The warranty normally covers UV degradation and the sun, but it’s your responsibility to maintain your structure and prevent all other types of damage.
A shade structure is a fairly large investment, so what should you do to make sure yours stays in top shape as long as possible? Below we’ve put together 8 tips that will help you get started and prolong the life of your shade for years to come.
Avoid Using Strong Detergents
Always use a mild detergent to clean and remove stains from your shade. Powerful detergents with harsh chemicals such as sulfur and chlorine should be avoided at all cost because they can easily discolor or disfigure your shade fabric.
Check the Condition of the Fabric, Posts, and Anchor Points
It’s important to check your fabric for signs of stains, patches and other weakness, as spotting signs of wear early on can help you prevent the damage from spreading and making your shade sail unattractive. When examining the edge of the fabric, look for signs of frays and stretches and make sure the posts holding your shade fabric remain strong and firmly on the ground. Any signs of wobbling should be fixed immediately.
Prune nearby shrubs and trees
Trees and shrubs closer to your shade sail should be pruned regularly to prevent them from scratching or damaging your shade fabric.
Make sure the shade sail is properly installed
This should be done using the right tools as instructed in the manual. You can also get help from a professional shade sail installer.
Take down the sail when not in use
Shade structures are designed to withstand various outdoor weather conditions, including sun, wind and rain. However, during the winter when the shade is not in use, it’s advisable to take it down to prevent damage that may be caused by strong winds, snow or storms.
Shades should also be cleaned periodically using a garden hose. Proper cleaning can go a long way to increase the life of your shade sail and ensure it stays clear of hard to remove stains.
Keep a safe distance from fire
Since shade structures are generally made from materials that aren’t fire retardant, it’s always a safe idea to keep it away from any fire sources, such as grills, fire pits, or any other heat source beneath it.
Come up with a maintenance schedule
Your shade structure should be inspected regularly to ensure that it stays in good condition at all times. The tension should also be checked and the turnbuckles tightened to prevent it from hanging loose or falling off. One way to do this effectively is reading the manufacturer’s product maintenance guide, or by having a professional take a look at it for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; shade structure maintenance is extremely important for getting the most value out of your purchase!