Shade Sail FAQs

Frequently asked questions.

Adelaide Shade Sails and Roof Repairs have all the answers to your shade sail questions.

We are here to help answer all your questions regarding shade sails.

See our most common questions answered below.

How long will a shade sail last for?

All shade sail fabrics have a minimum working lifespan of 8 – 10 years.

How will it impact the aesthetics of the house?

Shade sails offer a more modern design than pergolas, without locking in the summer heat.

Their open design allows a breeze to flow through the area, providing cooler outdoor entertaining. Because sails are structurally lighter than a pergola, they also give your home a more open style living plan.

How much tension is necessary for securing shade sails?

A shade sail should be installed having a high degree of tension. Under tension, the shade sail will adopt a solid form and not move about or flap because of the wind.

All of our shade sails are professionally installed to ensure the poles and house points are strong enough to allow for the sail to be tensioned correctly during installation.

Are all shade sails waterproof?

Generally, no. While there are some shade sails available that are waterproof, the idea of a shade sail is to provide shade, not rain protection. Shade sails provide a little protection from rain, but water will seep through during a heavy downpour.

What country is the fabric made in?

All our material is of high Australian standards and is used prominently in commercial applications that require a strong fabric and long lasting protection from the harsh Australian heat and cold winters. 

Rainbow Shade Z16 material is manufactured and tested in South Africa to withstand the harsh African conditions before being sent in rolls to our factories in Australia to be custom fabricated for our customers.

What are the guarantees?

We guarantee that our material and workmanship is the best in the world and measured to fit every project.

We Guarantee this with our 5, 10 or 15 Year Limited Warranty depending on choice of fabric.

Our company workmanship warranty?

Our company workmanship warranty leads the industry by far. We offer a lifetime warranty on the stitching, meaning we will match the UV degradation warranty of ANY manufacturer with our company workmanship warranty on the shade sail and it’s fittings. The seams, perimeter tension system, the corner reinforcements are all covered in our workmanship warranty. 

We also guarantee the fit of any custom made shade sail, whether it’s DIY or installation, if your shade sail doesn’t fit correctly, we will replace it at no cost to you. Some conditions apply.

Conditions and limitations apply, please see our website for full details.

Manufactures warranty on degradation?

Rainbow Shade DriZ – 5 Years – Waterproof Shade Sail

Rainbow Shade Z16 – 10 Years

Rainbow Shade Extreme 32 – 15 Years

MONOTEC 370 – 15 Years

Commercial 95 – 10 Years


(For other products listed please ask our friendly office support team.)

Please note: These degradation warranties are issued by the manufacturer and do not cover the workmanship in the shade sail.

Example where a shade sail workmanship has failed well within the lifespan of the material, demonstrating why are workmanship warranty is so valuable.

What is the fabric made of?

Generally most Shade sails are made of a strong lightweight fabric approx 210GSM which allows them to cover most distances under tension. 

Rainbow Shade Z16 – HDPE made of a strong lightweight fabric approx 210GSM

Extreme 32 – HDPE knitted extra heavy duty 320GSM shade fabric with a mono-filament and tape construction for maximum solar protection.

Rainbow Shade DriZ – HDPE knitted extra heavy duty 320GSM shade fabric with a waterproof backing.

Monotec 370 – Uniquely made using only 100% round mono-filament HDPE yarns, Monotec 370 Series provides consistent protection to people and property in the harsh Australian climate.

Commercial 95 – Engineered in Australia, Commercial 95® 340 is made from high-quality UV-stabilised HDPE. Strong and stable, it’s suitable for harsh Australian conditions. Use it for tension structures and shade sail applications. It is 100% lead and phthalate-free, and we’re proud to state it is the first architectural shade cloth in the world to be granted Oeko-Tex® 100 and Greenguard® certification.

What is the difference between a tension sail and a normal shade sail?

A tension shade sail system has a stainless steel marine grade tension wire that is sewn into a perimeter pocket. That tension wire is then pulling with tension hardware like turnbuckles, threaded rods and other technologies. The pulling of the wire then stretches the shade material in every direction, all at once, so then the material is truly stretched, not saggy.

Reinforced corners and connection points provide strength and support to the sail corners and seams to ensure a longer lasting shade sail that stays taught, and keeps it shape over time.


Image of cable clamps showing where the tension cable wraps back to itself.


NON-TENSION SHADE SAIL (i.e Bunnings or off Amazon)

Non-tension shade sails are supported only by the material, and the stitching it is made of, meaning the pressure of high wind, rain or hail directly affects the materiel.

overlapping corners to tie down each end which will put a strain on the fabric and no real way of tensioning the rest of the shade sail besides pulling the corners.

How do I keep my shade sail clean?

It is best to avoid having objects and leaves from sitting on the shade sail to prevent a build up of mould and debris. The best method to keep a sail clean is prevention.

You can use a soft brush and mild soap to clean any stains or remove any leaves or branches.

What can you Attach a Shade Sail to?

There are lots of ways to attach a shade sail from freestanding posts to hip structures to roof and wall mounts. Sometimes you can use a method of both for example a sail track along the house out to two posts for a clean no gap look.

Should I attempt to repair my shade sail or get a new one?

Generally, no. Depending on the damage caused to the sail it might be a result of poor material, old age or incomplete setup.  Most of the time it’s generally easier and cheaper just to replace the shade sail with one that comes with a 10 year warranty and inspect the structure while the old one is down and repair any posts or wires that are needed.

How do I measure for a shade sail?

Shade sails work best when they are installed on an angle where the fixing points, being steel posts or brackets, are created at different heights. See our guide for more information.

  1. First consider whether you are fixing to an existing structure, such as a fascia or pergola.
  2. Ensure it is a suitable place and will be able to withstand weather and strong winds.
  3. Draw down on a piece a paper your edge corners and the distance from corner to corner then work out the approx perimeter edge metres and how many connection points you will need
Do shade sails stretch over time?

Yes, Overtime shade sails can stretch due to the hot and cold environments therefore you should allow for 10% shrinkage. If you order through us we will allow for this so it’s a perfect fit.

Why is my shade sail sagging only in the middle?

This could be from numerous reasons. The water could be pooling in the middle due to not having the correct angles to allow for water run off when first installed. The material could have stretched overtime or simply poorly used shade material.

What colours are best to reflect the heat?

We have a wide range of colours available that will reflect the heat and will look good while Protecting areas from harmful UV rays. From neutral white and subtle creams to the bright and vivid yellow and blues. Most colours will reflect over 93% – 99% UVR. (The best to reflect heat would be white – The best to absorb Heat would be black.)