shade sail repair in progress

Repair or replace your shade sail?

 Jamie Howard      In

Shade sails don’t always need to be replaced, often repair can be a more cost effective way of extending the life of your shade sail or shade structure.

The key to knowing when to repair or replace your shade sail or shade structure lies in understanding by how long the life of the shade structure will be extended if you repair. For example, the shade structure or sail is heavily damaged, and a repair will be much cheaper than a replacement however the repair will only squeeze another year or two out of the life span of the shade structure.

How to avoid shade sail repairs

Here are a couple of shade sail maintenance activities you can do to maximise the life span of your shade structure.

  • Regularly hose down your shade sails (do NOT use high pressure sprayers)
  • Brush your shade sails with a soft bristled brush or broom
  • Ensure the shade sail tension is taunt
  • Check your shade structure for any areas of potential failure, for example rust showing on the frame or a small tear in the shade fabric. (a stitch in time saves nine)

Why don’t shade sail structures last

In a word our climate, is the biggest driver of shade sail deterioration. Our climate here in Brisbane and all the way up the Sunshine Coast in Queensland isn’t the friendliest of environments for shade structures. Shade sails are exposed to some harsh treatment from long periods of high rain as well as very strong winds which are constantly working at breaking shade sail fabric as well as connection points. Added to the wind forces there are high UV levels as well as high heat that are constantly expanding joints and materials.

Replacement Advice

Most of the time without any professional shade structure experience you will be able to make a judgement call as to whether or not you should repair or replace. My advice to you though is to get a quote on the repair as well as a quote to replace and then compare the guarantees of the workmanship as well as the materials used. For instance a repair may come with a 2 or 3 year guarantee while a new shade structure will come with 15 years and can be engineered to withstand winds of over 150km per hour. If you are prone to getting high winds a replacement may be cheaper in the long run. Another important factor to consider is how long are you going to be using the building. If you are moving out in a year or two repair maybe a smarter option.

nd winter winds both have a share in causing potential damage to your shade sail. As with any outdoor product, your shade sail may need to be replaced after a number of years. If you are unsure we will the the cost benefit analysis for and take the worry out of replacing or maintaining your existing shade sails whether it be due to damage or if you would just like a change.

On or off-site shade structure repairs

Depending on the environment of the shade structure and the kind of damage that needs to be repaired a decision will be made as to whether an onsite or off-site repair will be the most cost effective and the least impacting on your customers. If the shade structure repair work will heavily impact the use of the shade structure area by customers and potentially impact their safety we will advice an off-site repair so you can continue running your business with minimal disruption.

Our shade structure services include:

  • Storm damage repairs
  • Onsite inspections
  • Safety inspections
  • Condition reports
  • General maintenance
  • Sewing and re-stitching
  • Tightening
  • Cleaning

Shade sail or Structure Replacement

Should you decide that the best option is to replace your shade sail fabric or even look at the structure itself there are some great options with fabrics that have 15 year guarantees as well as potentially changing a shade fabric to a waterproof fabric we can guide you through the pros and cons as well as show you examples of what a completed project could like with your fabric and colour choice.


The more information you are able to share with the team reviewing your specific situation the better the advice you will get.


  • 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.