In the hot Australian summer months, spending time in the garden can be unbearable without enough shade. If you don’t have any trees, shade sails are the ideal way to shade parts of your yard affordably.

They can be positioned against a wall, the side of a building, over a patio or strung up between well-placed solid poles. Not only will a shade sail keep your family cool, it adds a beautiful aesthetic to increase the value of your home.

Why Do Shade Sails Sag?

There are a few reasons why a shade sail may start to sag. While tension is the key to keeping a shade sail taught, there are a few other factors that may cause drooping. These include:

  • Not having a perimeter wire rope
  • Shade sail has no height variation
  • Not using the correct tensioning hardware

It’s important not to over tighten your shade sail as this could lead to damage. But it should be firm enough to prevent wind flap.

How Much Tension Should a Shade Sail Have?

The final tension for your shade sail depends on its size. A rule of thumb for sails up to 25m2 is 30 – 50kg at each corner. A larger shade sail will require a higher final tension point. 30 days after installation, check the tension of your shade sail and adjust if necessary.

3 Simple Ways to Fix a Sagging Shade Sail Fast

As a shade sail ages or experiences adverse weather conditions, it may succumb to sagging. If you notice this, there are three simple ways to bring it taught again:

1.Pull on the Wire Rope

A wire rope runs around the perimeter of a shade sail, sewn into a pocket so its concealed. With a wire rope, the pulling force is transferred to the rope when tightening, instead of the fabric, keeping the sail taught. Without it, the sail can bunch and sag due to unevenly distributed tension. To increase tension, simply pull the wire rope outwards at each corner.

2.Alternate High and Low Anchor Points

Installing a shade sail at varying heights not only looks great, but it’s crucial to prevent sagging. Without height variation, the centre of the sail will likely collect water and debris, causing it to sag. Aim to install your shade sail with alternating high a low points, which work together to pull the sail up, down and out.

3.Use Tensioning Hardware

Your shade sail should come with relevant tensioning hardware such as pulleys or turnbuckles. These allow you to re-tighten your shade sail quickly should it start to sag.