A sunshade sail for the terrace. Which one to choose?

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With the arrival of summer and warm afternoons and evenings, we are more and more willing to spend our leisure time outside – on terraces or in gardens. Sometimes, however, especially when our terrace is located on the south or west side, we still have a problem with the rays bothering us, often preventing peaceful rest. 

Fortunately, the way out of this situation can be trivially simple – a sunscreen sail will come to our rescue. 

Sails mounted on the terrace or balcony are a relative novelty. However, it turns out that the new and neat way of shading these home spaces is systematically displacing the umbrellas or awnings used so far. There is no denying it, sun sails, in addition to fulfilling their primary function, become an additional decoration of the entire arrangement, in addition, they are still considered a novelty. What features should the ideal terrace sail have and what should you pay attention to when choosing it? 

Shape and size

One of the most important features of a sun sail is its shape and, consequently, its size. Sails are usually medium-sized sheets of material with specific properties and a special fastening that facilitates installation, but also quick removal, for example, in the face of an approaching storm. They will provide cover from the sun and UV rays, without interfering with air circulation on the terrace. The most popular shapes we can meet are the obvious triangle, but also rectangle and square.

The size of the sail we choose also turns out to be important, and it should be adjusted to the size of the terrace, as well as our needs. It is recommended that it be a little larger than the surface of the terrace, so that the water flowing down it does not get on the used surface. Unfortunately, a large surface area is usually associated with a higher cost and greater problems with both installation and removal, not to mention the exposure of the sail to gusty winds and the possibility of damage during a gale or summer storm. 

There are also available on the market sun sails with an action similar to an awning. This means that we can slide them down or spread them out at any time – for example, when we want to sunbathe. 

Material of construction

The primary function of a sunscreen sail is, as the name suggests, to protect us from the sun and harmful UV rays. However, there are also sails made of waterproof, quick-drying and breathable, tightly woven fabric, usually polyester, which will also shield the furniture or plants underneath from heavy rain. In such a case, assembly is also crucial, during which we must take care of the proper slope (about 30 degrees) to ensure that the water drains in the right place. When unfolding the sail, we must also take care to tighten the fabric firmly and evenly, which will allow the material to be more resistant to wind, rain or hail. The easiest way to install it is to attach the sail to a wall, mast, railing or wall. It all depends on what you have available on your terrace.

Color

It is unlikely to surprise anyone that we usually choose a sail in a color that harmonizes with the arrangement of the terrace or balcony. Among the most popular colors for sails are white, cream, brown, navy blue, gray, but also mint, lime, blue or orange. 

main photo: unsplash.com/Luis VIllafranca

Peter Bowers

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