Waterproof Shade Sails – Do They Work?
Many people are attracted to the idea of using a shade sail to provide a cool and pleasant outdoor environment protected from the ultra violet radiation of the sun. What would be a bonus would be to have waterproof shade sails that would also provide a measure of protection in case of a shower of rain – a not uncommon occurrence to dampen the spirits at a summer barbeque! The problem with achieving a truly waterproof shade sail is that the material of the sail would need to be completely impermeable, similar to the canvas fabrics used in the construction of traditional tents for camping. Unfortunately these materials do not provide the best shading solution. Shade sails supplied by SailShadeWorld are constructed from a specialist shade sail cloth, a woven HDP (high density polyethylene) material with a mono-filament. This material has a degree of porosity which allows the hot air to escape through the fabric, providing truly cool shade. This degree of shading cannot be achieved with an impermeable fabric, which results in hot air being trapped beneath the material and negating some of the benefits of the shade.
An Alternative To Waterproof Shade Fabric
While it is not possible to have truly waterproof shade cloth that is also breathable, we should consider how well the products from SailShadeWorld can act as a waterproof product. One important factor to consider is the mounting of the sail. If the shade sail is mounted so as to be almost flat, there will be a risk of the rain "puddling" in a patch on the sail and then inevitably the water will drip through the slightly porous shade cloth fabric. By mounting the sail at an angle or with a twist – which is actually more stylish and appealing to the eye – the majority of the rain will simply run off the semi waterproof shade cloth. In most cases, a light shower will produce no problem at all and our shade sails will indeed act as a waterproof shade sail. In a heavy downpour, there will inevitably be some dripping through the fabric. In addition, in stormy conditions there is quite often some wind that will tend to blow the rain underneath the fabric. Even a truly waterproof shade solution would not help in these conditions. And it goes without saying that windy and stormy conditions are probably not best suited to relaxing outside with some friends around the barbeque!
How Waterproof Are These Shade Sails?
Recently, one of our customers sent in some photographs of their shade sail installation immediately after a shower of rain. You can clearly see from the images that there is a distinct dry patch in the shape of the shade sail under each one of the sails. Note also that this installation does make use of angled shade sails to encourage the water to run off. This provides a clear demonstration that while we do not claim to supply truly waterproof shade sails, they actually do a pretty good job of fending off the rain as well as their main function of looking great and providing truly cool shade.