Shade sails are an important aesthetic and safety feature in many schools, shopping centre car parks and council recreation areas and properly maintaining them will maximise their life and maximise shade effectiveness. Shade Structure Maintenance is something that simply cannot be ignore.
There is nothing worse, however, than seeing a shabby, sagging shade sail which has been neglected. These structures should not be erected and forgotten about. Just as it is important to install quality sails from a reputable provider in the first place, it is crucial to maintain the sails properly to ensure they provide the best outcomes for users and the long term return on investment.
Here are five key points to consider for your maintenance regime.
1. Carry out regular checks of the structures
Fabric structures are classed as moving structures, so they need to be checked and serviced regularly to meet safety standards and ensure they do not pool or lose tension. Such tensile membrane structures are usually designed and constructed so that little maintenance is necessary, but weather conditions can affect servicing requirements. It is necessary to check and possible re-tension each sail every 12 months, to maintain maximum shade effectiveness.
2. Monitor and repair sails after major winds events
Scheduled cleaning and repair services will go a long way to ensuring your shade structure looks good and provides protection from the elements for users. Visual checks should be done at least once a year. Importantly, though, sails should be thoroughly inspected after every major wind event, including storms.
Physical checks can determine if stainless fittings and connection points are tight and in good order; if the fabric tension has been maintained; if the fabric connections are still sound and secure; if there is rubbing and chafing against a steel fitting that is compromising the integrity of the fabric; if plant matter such as branches, twigs, leaves and moss is harming the fabric; and if there are tears or cuts in the fabric.
3. Cut back overhanging trees or branches
If trees are encroaching on the shade structure, they can often damage the sails because of soiling from the tree debris. In such cases, the trees or branches need to be trimmed back to prevent impairment
4. Watch for tell-tale signs of vandalism
Footprint stretches in shade sails, cigarette burn marks and rubbish left behind are clear signs that vandals or other people have been mistreating shade structures. Such activities can cause lasting damage to sails and also represent a safety issue that needs to be addressed. Options in such cases, depending on the location and budgets, may include installing security cameras at the site, removing access points such as playground turrets or car park trolley bays, fitting vandal deterrents to columns, opening up sight-lines to the structure from roadways, or even modifying the structure. Always ensure any changes to the structure are performed by a reputable shade contractor and are engineered.
5. Take a photographic record of sails during inspections
Having a systematic photographic record of the shade structures is important as it allows the maintenance team to compare photos between inspections to see if anything is changing over time. Include every structural fitting and fabric attachment in the photo shoot.
With more than 20 years’ experience, Greenline is an expert in shade structure installation and maintenance. Contact us to discuss shade sail options and maintenance services that will suit all your requirements.
Greenline worked to our time line and delivered as per the spec. Their work was what was expected.
Friendly, professional communications and extensive help provided in the grant application process as well as excellent execution of the project.
Extremely easy to deal with. Professional service. Very happy with the completed job.
I find engaging with Greenline completely professional. The customer service is exemplary and the three projects I have been involved in with Greenline gives me confidence in their communication, ability to meet deadlines and appease a customer, quality of work, competency in meeting regulations and OHS measures
I have great confidence in this team/company.
I have used Greenline for a number of years now as I have always found them to provide excellent customer service, great quality and reliability.
I have had a number of shade sails installed by Greenline and our most recent project was a covered walkway to provide extra shelter for our students.
From day one, the walkway was such a big hit, with so many students using it that we actually had to provide extra staff in the area for additional student supervision. Thank you Greenline.
From my first meeting with a Greenline representative I was very impressed with the professional presentation about the company as well as the work they would do and service they would provide if they were to construct our COLA project.
The process relating to construction was very well explained with timelines, contractors details and security and safety measures put in place. Communication throughout the project was regular and informative. Contractors working on site were very co-operative and professional whilst performing their construction tasks.
Overall, the finished product is absolutely great. It has exceeded all our expectations and is now a real asset for the school.
Greenline did a great job here and I would recommend them to any school wanting to develop a COLA.