Things to consider when choosing the right type of outdoor blind
Before deciding on a type of outdoor blind it is important you consider the materials being used, as well as the type of fabric and strength of the thread or weld.
If you are looking for an outdoor blind that is going to be durable then you should consider using commercial grade fabric that comes with a UV warranty of at least 5 years. A great place to start is a vista weave or acrylic canvas material.
Vista weave material is a PVC coated and high-tensile polyester woven fabric which comes with a 5-year warranty and overs up to 97% protection from wind, rain and UV. Vista weave material is ideal for customers looking to block the elements while still enjoying the view of the great outdoors.
Acrylic Canvas material can come with a 10 year UV warranty. This type of fabric is designed to give 100% block out and is perfect for those who are seeking privacy and protection from the elements.
It is important to ensure that the thread which is being used to stitch your outdoor blinds is of a high quality and that the manufacturer has used a thread such as PTFE. PTFE is very chemically inert (doesn’t react to UV) plastic that has a low friction coefficient. It is a commonly used thread for space suits, sails, boxing bags and other items that withstand high impact and strain.
PVC type fabrics can be welded to allow a flatter seam.
Tips on caring for your fabric:
- You should only use a soft brush to clean the fabric, avoid using solvent based chemicals and ensure the fabric is dry before storing it away
- If stubborn stains are showing then use only household detergent (1:20 ratio) and lukewarm water to remove the stain
- If mildew is starting to show then mix diluted chlorine bleach and lukewarm water (1:20 ratio) and rinse with clear cold water
Things to consider before installing a shade sail
Shade sails can be used for a number of purposes:
- Over a swimming pool to protect yourself and your family and friends while you cool down during a summer’s swim
- Covering the driveway to project your cars, boats, caravans and other vehicles
- Shading your pergola to protect the timber decking and preventing sun damage
- Over a play ground to protect kids from UV exposure
The design of your shade sail is an important aspect to consider prior to installing a shade sail.
When considering the design you should aim to twist the fabric as much as possible. This can be achieved by having high points and low points diagonally opposite each other. The twist will help keep the fabric tight and taut.
If you require a larger shade sail (greater than 60 sq meters) then you should consider two sails or more connection points and greater height differences (no less than 1m).
It is best to use grade 316 stainless steel fittings for the turnbuckles, shackles, wall plates etc and use 4mm stainless wire around the exterior of the of the shade sail. It is important to check that the areas you are mounting to are structurally sound prior to mounting the shade sail.
The fabric and the type of thread being used to manufacture the shade sail you are is another important aspect to consider. PTFE is the most durable when it come to the type of thread you are going to be using as it has a high resistance to UV. The fabric should be commercial grade and offer a UV warranty of at least 10 years.
Installing a shade sail over a pool
- You should aim to cover 1/3 of the pool, too much coverage will make the pool too cold, even during the hotter months. Unless you have a heated swimming pool
- Where possible position hte low points in the west side of the pool to prevent the harshness of the evening sun
- When digging a hole for your posts be aware of underground pipes, most will be close to the pool.
Awnings vs Shade Sails
Much like shade sails, awnings are a fantastic way of providing an attractive shade solution. In some cases, it may be more practical to use a folding arm awning instead of a shade sail.
Often times in can be hand to find an area to dig the holes required for the shade sail. Furthermore, you may want to have the option of winding the awning in to provide sun light during certain times of the year.
Another added bonus of the folding arm awnings it that they can be manufactured using waterproof fabrics such as acrylic canvas or PVC.
If you are looking to install an awning you should consider having a wind sensor installed to prevent damage from heavy rain, winds, and thunderstorms. Alternatively, it is best to get into the habit of winding your awnings in whenever you are not using it.