Canterbury waterproof shade structure installed by Versatile Structures

Everything You Need To Know About Commercial Waterproof Shade Structures

Knowing the weather of Brisbane and the surrounding areas like Sunshine and Gold Coast it can be a bit moody and quite extreme. The current Brisbane record for highest temperature sands at 43 degrees, while in March 2022, Brisbane saw 3 days of consecutive rain with 677mm of rain.

Extreme weather can significantly impact your business. If your retail store doesn’t have rain cover you may see a dip in foot traffic, if you have an outdoor dining or beer garden you are definitely not seeing any patrons sitting in the rain.

You may have already though about putting up a shade structure to accommodate your patrons on those hot days however it may be worth considering upgrading to a waterproof shade structure.    A good commercial grade waterproof shade structure will provide you and your patrons with shade for the bright and sunny days and good waterproofing for those unexpectedly rainy summer days.

Waterproof shade sails function in much the same way as outdoor shade sails, but with the added use of PVC materials to improve the weatherproof capabilities of the sail. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is a resin coated polyester waterproof fabric that’s designed for use in architectural membranes, fabric structures, and carpark shelters.

UV Radiation

Australia is currently ranked as the number 2 highest  UV country in the world with a PAF (population attributable fraction) of Melanoma sitting at 96.1% just slightly behind New Zealand at 96.3%.  Waterproof material is treated with specific chemical formulas to protect it against UV radiation, weather degradation, and staining. If you want to read more about ultaraviolet radiation (UVR) and shade sails read this article. The Precontaint 902 S2 range from Serge Ferrari offers a PVDF fabric that is great for mobile or permanent structures as well as being weldable with 0% UV Transmission. Just as important as getting a shade structure that blocks out the UV it is also important that the shade structure be fire resistance. Read more about shade structures and fire performance here.


Waterproof shade fabric doesn’t have quite the range of colours that pure shade fabric has however there are still options. Check out the Valmex FR 580 colour range. Valmex FR 580 is a lightweight, strong and versatile PVC that has a PVDF lacquer on the top side combined with fungicide and offers a low-wick finish.

Where to use waterproof shade structures

Waterproof shade sails are great for use around swimming pools, playgrounds, schools, or even outside your office building to create a great lunch spot or provide some protection to your shoppers as they walk to and from their cars.  


Depending on your fabric selection for your structure you should get around 15 years against UV degradation and could get up to 20 years on the structure itself. It just depends on who your installer is and the combination of materials you choose.

Length of install

Each project varies and there are some unknown factors like weather and council approvals that can throw out a timeline however on average you can work on 12 weeks. To get a better idea of a project process and time frames read this article.


If you have more questions that haven’t been answered in this article. Have a read through our most asked questions article that may have the answer you are looking for.


  • Versatile Structures Headshots

    Jamie Howard - Director

    Co-founder and Director Jamie has been hands-on in the shade and steel industry since leaving school. With over 15 years’ experience in shade, membrane and steel projects, Jamie is excited about the design opportunities shade structures offer in the commercial and industrial sectors. Jamie’s extensive design skills give him a competitive edge in situations with technical design complexity. He has won two personal industry awards for his designs, alongside many company-won awards.