Fabric Warranty – what’s the real value?

Shade Cloth

Most shade cloth suppliers offer a 10 year warranty which in reality has little or no value. The warranty is typically against “UV Degradation” only and is void if the sail has been “over-stressed”. Both conditions are difficult to prove particularly since suppliers do not specify how much stress is “over-stressed” and installers don’t measure pre-stress. Mostly, warranties only cover the supply cost of the fabric on a pro-rated basis, i.e. in 5 years if you can prove a claim of UV Degradation, then they will pay  50% of the cost of the fabric (when it was purchased) provided your supplier is still in business and can produce a receipt to prove the purchase. There is no contribution to the cost of removing, remaking and re-installing the shade and labour is the highest component cost of a professionally manufactured and installed shade sail.

Also beware warranties do not cover fabric flaws such as dropped stitches or colour variations. The fabric suppliers position is that appearance defects are not considered significant and do not effect technical performance and are therefore not covered by warranty.

The most valuable warranty is the one offered by the shade sail supplier so it is important that you select a reputable supplier who understands firstly, how to design a good shade sail and then how to make a quality sail.  It is also important to deal with a company who will be in business long enough to provide support if required. While there are a large number of shadecloth fabric brands available, a reputable supplier will offer only a selection of the fabrics which represent the best combination of performance and price in each category.

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