Adding shade sails to your property has many advantages, but just like anything else, they last longer and look better if you do some maintenance on them. This is not difficult and it will make a big difference to the look of the sail as well as ensuring it remains in great condition for longer.
Sometimes, no matter how carefully the sail is positioned, sticks, leaves and dirt seem to stick on the top of it. Add dew or rain showers and it soon becomes a dark stain that should be washed off. However, it can’t be removed from the bottom side, so how can this be done?
The best way is the undo the tensioning chain and take it all down. This is not as difficult as it sounds as it is made to take down when necessary. Once the sail is down, you need to treat it with care to ensure it is not damaged in any way. Lift it to a clean spot, either on the lawn or a concrete driveway. Don’t fold it up as creasing it will damage the finish.
Gently scrub the sail with clean water and very mild washing up detergent using a long handled soft brush or mop. Make sure there are no acidic chemicals in the detergent. Don’t tread on the sail, or drag it over rough ground as this can damage the fibres and the finish. Rinse the sail with clean water – hose it off – and allow to dry thoroughly if you are going to store it for the winter. Otherwise, hang it back up and be sure to tension it enough to get the wrinkles out.
While it is down is a good chance to inspect the fabric to make sure it is not wearing it or thin in any part. Also look at the edges, because this is where a lot of wear happens. If there are loose fibres along the edges, contact the seller for advice.
If you use a pressure cleaner, take care to stand back from the sail so it is not damaged. It should be placed on a smooth, even surface and hosed carefully in sections rather than randomly.
The best time to clean a sail is on a warm, sunny day so it will dry quickly. If you do it at the start of a wet or cloudy week of cold weather, mould is more likely to form due to the sail being damp for so long.
The best kind of sail to get is one that uses high quality fabric. That way it will last longer. If your area has a lot of trees in it, choosing a darker colour will help to make the sail look better for longer. Dark colours absorb heat and this helps the fabric to dry out quickly after a shower.