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Got stuck deciding what to use as sunshades for patios?

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You need sunshades for patios or decks or your outdoors, but you are unclear about what will be good now and in the long run? Don’t worry, we’ve got you here. Do you need a fixed structure or a temporary though stylish one like shade sails? Yes, shade sails that is what homeowners who were in your shoes have chosen to go with. In this article, we will tell you all you need to know and how to go about your getting the right one.

You need sunshades for patios or decks or your outdoors, but you are unclear about what will be good now and in the long run? Don’t worry, we’ve got you here. Do you need a fixed structure or a temporary though stylish one like shade sails? Yes, shade sails that is what homeowners who were in your shoes have chosen to go with. In this article, we will tell you all you need to know and how to go about your getting the right one.

A shade sail is a simple (and inexpensive) solution to shading your patio or deck and it also adds some style and aesthetics to your home. If you are searching for sunshades for patios, here is what you’ll want to know before going on your shopping for one.

If you need some shade from the sun or some weather for your outdoor space, shade sails for patios could be what you are searching for. There are many other benefits people get from using shade sails for their decks or patios other than shading and the beautification it offers. These and more, we will be looking into with this article, but first…

What Is a Shade Sail?

A shade sail is a patio or deck protection produced from sturdy outdoor cloth material that shades from direct sunlight. As is common knowledge, direct sunlight brings with it ultraviolet rays that are destructive to the human skin when exposed to them at length. Sunshades for patios help filter from about 90 to 90% of such UV rays from the sun.

You set up shade sails by stretching the cloth and fixing the corners to supports like poles, trees, your roof, or any fixed object you can ingeniously use. Shade sails are looked upon as a stylish yet more affordable alternative to a fixed and rigid roof structure. Shade sails come in different styles, shapes, colors, and dimensions that suit most patios and outdoor spaces.

Of course, the primary good thing about shade sails is their protection from UV rays but they vary in their UV filtration rate. This depends on the fabric’s weight, coloration, and how close to each other are the threads weaved. The thicker the fabric, the tighter the weave and sombre the color the more UV rays the shade sail will absorb. Don’t fret though, the gap variation between shade sails is not up to 10%.

14' triangle shade sail

You additionally may need your shade sail to block raindrops. Shade sails are built to be breathable so they have spaces between the thread to permit air to go through. This is to keep the air space in the shaded area cool. So, sunshades for patios are waterproof, they are not water-resistant. If you will prefer one that works for both functions, then you should specifically request for one that is water-resistant when you go shopping for one. You can read more in details about sun shade sails here.

What types of Shade Sails do exist?

With shade sails, if you can think of it, then it exists in the market. Sunshades for patios or decks come in various shapes, dimensions, and colors. Usually, they’re obtainable in three shapes:

  • triangle,
  • square, and
  • rectangle.

sunshades for patios
sunshades for patios
sunshades for patios

Most popular are the triangle shade sails, though they provide the least protection, yet they are easy to squeeze into awkward and small areas. Innovative shade sail owners take this opportunity to combine different shapes and dimensions to realize stylish looks and design.

If you want it tailor-made for your particular patio space, however, you can contact big companies such as Shazeebo, and Patio Products USA and they will help you realize your design. You should be ready to also make it worth their while cash wise.

What are the benefits and disadvantages of sunshades for patios?

When you decide that shade sails are your solution for sunshades for patios and you want to take the next step of to buy one, know that they have their pros and cons.

Benefits of Shade Sails

Conservation of the Environment

The environmental advantages of using shade sails as sunshades for patios are already noticed even from its manufacturing level. Most materials used in the manufacture of shades sail are recyclable and that is what most manufacturing companies use.

Shade sails are manufactured to allow sunlight through which reduces the need to electrify the shaded space. This is contrary to a fixed shaded roof like wood or other forms of metal like aluminum that will not let in sunlight, hence the need to add an additional lighting system. Also as opposed to fixed structures, the shade sail uses way less wood. All these help to conserve essential natural resources thus beneficial to the environment. You can learn more about this from here.

Health benefits

Prolonged skin exposure to direct sunlight can result in skin diseases and skin cancer. This is because direct sunlight carries with it Ultraviolet rays which are harmful to the human skin. Choosing shade sails as sunshades for patios will help shield you from these skin diseases while allowing you to enjoy your veranda, patio, deck, or even outdoor events like marriages and barbecues. Shade sails can also help block slight rains and drizzles.

Gives free Airflow

Putting shade sails in your patio allows for free airflow and cooling. To stay indoors in order to avoid harsh sunlight is not as beneficial as you sitting under your outdoor shade sail. In these periods where airborne diseases like covid and the flu, are common, ventilation should be taken seriously. The semi-permeable cloth that almost all shade sails are manufactured from enables the circulation of cool air, normally reducing the temperature within the shaded space.


It Beautifies your Property

People have taking sunshades for patios to different levels. They arrange the shade sails in the space in a real artistic manner that turns heads. As shade sails come in different dimensions, shapes, and colors, it is easy to pitch them in a way that it attracts onlooker and make clients want to spend time in your commercial building. These are some little tweaks that could result in capturing clients to a local commercial business.

Easy installation

When compared to installing other fixed structures to provide sunshades for patios, the shade sail is easier. It is practically a DIY and fun experience. Shade sails come with a setup guide that if followed correctly will help the process. In case it becomes a challenge or you are well equipped to go about the installation, you can always hire an expert who will do it for you in a comparatively brief moment. Also, when you finally will need to take down your shade sail, it will not have caused a heavy alteration to your property as a fixed structure will.

Disadvantages of Shade Sails as a choice for sunshades for patios

Regardless of all its advantages, shade sails do have their flaws. There are specific elements that contribute to those flaws, a few of them will be the shade sail itself whereas other flaws come from the setup technique.

Sagging and Drooping

sunshades for patios
Sagging Shade Sail

Shade sails made from inferior materials and clothes are susceptible to sagging and drooping in not too long usage. There are two primary explanations why that is so. First, is the gathering of water, leaves, and other dirt on the center of the shade sail. When they accumulate, their mixed weight will cause the shade sail to sag or droop. To solve this problem, it will be good to tilt to an angle the square or rectangle shade sail so that when water or other objects fall on it, it will quickly roll off. You can as well seek the advice of a professional for the correct setup of the shade sail.

Wobbly Posts and Rigging

Shade sails installation is known to wobble and the rigging getting loose with time. These are caused by several factors:

  • Low-quality material used as poles or support the shade sail
  • Accumulation of water and other foreign objects on the shade sail
  • Strong wind actions
  • The weight of the shade sails

It is advisable to tighten any installation when it starts rigging and wobbling because it could give way at a time to cause injury of some sort to a person or to property.

Fire Hazard

In event of a fire, your shade sail will quickly be destroyed causing loss not only to it but can also cause disastrous consequences to property and life. It is advisable not to start fires like barbecues under a shade sail. Also, keep inflammable objects far from your shade sail and fire extinguishers close.

Easily Destroyed

Typically, good shade sails can last from 8 to 10 years but some circumstances cause them to be destroyed in a shorter period:

    • Too much stretching may cause the thread at the angles to fray
    • Insects may eat into the fabric causing holes
    • Pointy objects that fall on it may cause it to tear
    • Harsh sunlight will cause the shade sail to fade and break
14' triangle shade sail

There are steps you can take to preserve the lifespan of your shade sail

Shade Sail Maintenance

    1. Remove any particles or water that your shade sail could have trapped. – If your installation was properly done and your shade sail is slanting, then there won’t be much water trapped on it. You will just have to use a blunt long object to push the sagging parts for the water to pour over. However, leaves and other objects may have gotten stuck on it. Do well to remove them too as they may cause further deterioration to your property.
    2. See to it that the tension is tight.– You will want to tighten your shade sail to avoid it flapping. Flapping may cause mechanical failure and will violate your manufacturer’s warranty of usually about 8 to 10 years.
    3. Put down the Shade Sail during Periods of winds or cyclones. – Strong winds will quickly destroy your shade sail or at least strain its installation and make it start wobbling sooner. It is advisable to remove it when you have strong wind forecasts. If you live in an area where there are frequent strong winds and removing your shade sail is frequent and is a hassle, you can go for a patio umbrella.
sunshades for patios
Patio umbrella
  1. Repair the Fabric After 3-7 years to Strengthen the Weaker links. – It is said that the strength of a chain depends on its weakest link. Your shade sail will start breaking from the parts that get weaker earlier. If you repair them, then you make the whole fabric strong again.
  2. Dust your shade sail frequently. – You may find yourself in an area that wind moves dust around much. These can accumulate on your shade sail and become like a small prostrate where plants may start growing. Remove the accumulated dust and make sure that no plants take root on your shade sail. This will destroy it quickly.
  3. Avoid washing it. If you really need to wash it to give it back its initial color, then use a mild ph neutral cleaning soap and water or if the shade sail is of high quality you can simply pressure wash it.

Washing Tips for your Shade Sail

  • Do it on a sunny day to make sure the fabric dries on the same day
  • If your shade sail is not of high quality or if it has become frail with age, DO NOT pressure wash it.
  • After washing it with your mild low PH cleaning soap and water, make sure you rinse thoroughly with water
  • When washing, DO NOT use a harsh brush

If your shade sail should last as long as 8 – 10 years, you should have preserved it well. Also, consider spending to get a high-quality product.


Shade sails make nice additions to any property, whether or not it’s your home or a business area. They are generally not very costly as compared to fixed outdoor extensions. They have their flaws, though that could be averted if you shop for good quality shade sails, set them up correctly, and take care of them. Shade sails are a good solution to sunshades for patios.

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