Shade Sail Product Lifespan

When considering any new purchase, it is important to know how long the item is expected to last. That is certainly true for shade sails and other shade products. We are often asked about the lifespan of sails, and we are glad our customers want to be well-informed. As is the case with so many questions, this can be difficult to answer with a hard-and-fast rule, since it can vary significantly from case to case.

First, it is important to eliminate any issues that may lead to the sail being worn out prematurely. The biggest issue leading to premature wear and eventual failure is insufficient tension. A loose sail left to whip around in the wind will wear more quickly than one that is tight. If you notice your sail losing tension, tighten your hardware further until it returns to the tension it should have.

fabric tattered in the windHave you ever noticed that the end of a flag that is waving in the wind is often tattered? All the movement wears the fabric out. The same thing can happen to your sail.

Even with premature failure ruled out, pin pointing a sail’s life span is difficult because there are multiple factors involved. This includes environment, climate, and weather. There are weather conditions that sails are not designed to withstand, including strong winds, storms, and snow. However, as a general rule, if installed properly and well maintained, it’s reasonable to expect the fabric of your sail to last at least 5-7 years. These numbers are helpful in planning ahead and budgeting for replacements when the time comes. Now, this isn’t to say that you will have to replace your sail on its fifth birthday, or that you will never get more than 7 years. Neither of those is the case. We have sails still up that are 8, 9 and 10 years old. They are still providing great shade. Obviously they don’t look brand new, because they aren’t. If the owners of those sails had planned on replacing the sails at 5-7 years, they have had more time than they planned to save for replacements. When the time comes, they will be ready.