A patio umbrella can make all the difference in the world when enjoying the day outside. Whether you’re cooking out, reading, napping, meditating, bird-watching, or working on your laptop, a spinning or falling umbrella is not only annoying, but it can be a hazard to your safety.
So, read on to discover some great tactics on how to prevent a patio umbrella from spinning or falling over. First, we’ll dive into keeping your umbrella from spinning. Then we’ll discuss ways to keep it from falling over. Sometimes, though, the tactics are one and the same.
How to Keep A Patio Umbrella From Spinning?
There are several different types of patio umbrellas, all with different designs and ways you can set them up. But almost all of them spin in just the right wind. One second you’re sitting down and enjoying the shade, and the next, you’re sitting in blinding sunlight because the umbrella spun.
This means you have to get up and adjust it so you can enjoy the shade once more. Or else move your seat to the new shady area. Either way, the fix is only temporary. Here are some ways to prevent your patio umbrella from spinning for good.
Purchase a Quality Base with a Thumbscrew
Chances are you already have a base. Or maybe your base is old, or the thumbscrew no longer works to keep the umbrella from spinning. Unfortunately, this does happen. Still, the best way to keep your umbrella from spinning is a solid base designed to fit your umbrella pole with a heavy-duty thumbscrew.
One I really like is the TropiShade Umbrella Stand. Not only does it look great it fits umbrellas with multiple pole sizes including 1 3/8″ and 1 1/2″. Plus the heavy duty screw keeps your umbrella secure and free from spinning.
Eliminate Spinning With Umbrella Rings
If you have a base without a thumbscrew, or no base at all, you can keep your patio umbrella from spinning with an umbrella ring. However, don’t confuse these with table rings, which are designed to protect glass patio tables, not to keep umbrellas from spinning. Umbrella rings fit snugly into the hole in the middle of the table and around the umbrella pole, serving to keep the umbrella from turning while protecting the table.
For an umbrella ring to work correctly, you need to make sure to measure both your table hole and your umbrella pole to make sure you get the correct size.
Spin-Free Umbrella Cones
For a one-size-fits-most solution to your spinning patio umbrella, check out this handy umbrella cone . I say it fits most because it only works with umbrella poles 1 1/2″ in diameter. Luckily, most patio umbrellas have a 1 1/2″ pole. With these umbrella cones, you don’t have to worry about the hole diameter in your table. The cone-shaped design makes it so the device will fit snugly into your table’s center hole, provided it’s no larger than 2.5″.
These things are great because they work with metal, stone, and glass tables, as well as on umbrella stands. So, if you have a stand that doesn’t have a thumbscrew, you can get a cone for your stand and one for your table for added stability. They’re incredibly tough, affordable, and easy to install.
Homemade Tactics To Stop The Incessant Spinning
There are a few other things you can try if you need a solution quickly.
The Popsicle Stick Method
Sometimes a thumbscrew on an umbrella stand has a hard time creating enough friction on the smooth umbrella pole to keep it from spinning. There’s an easy fix. All you have to do is loosen the screw a little bit, get a popsicle stick, and insert the stick between the screw and the pole. Then, tighten the screw again. What this does is creates the friction needed to keep the umbrella from spinning. Don’t have a popsicle stick? A similar piece of wood will work.
The Wedge Method
Chances are you have a doorstop somewhere in your house. Maybe under a door. If you need to stop your umbrella from spinning and can do without that doorstop, grab it and shove it between your table and your umbrella’s pole. This option is not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it works in a pinch. I wouldn’t advise this tactic with a wooden or metal doorstop, as it can damage your table. Use a rubber one instead.
The DIY Bolt and Nut Method
If you or someone in your household is relatively handy, you can try this method. You’ll need a drill and a bit powerful enough to screw through both your umbrella stand and the umbrella pole. Before you do, you’ll want to measure and determine the correct bolt diameter you’ll use when finished.
With the appropriate sized drill bit, drill through the stand, the pole, and out the other side of the stand. Once you have a hole through the components, you can slide the bolt through and then use a nut on the threaded side to tighten it.
Once the nut and bolt are secure, you can rest easy knowing your umbrella won’t be spinning anymore. But this method makes it difficult to take your umbrella down quickly. You’ll have to unscrew and remove the bolt and nut to do so. Otherwise, this is an excellent method.
The Bungee Cord Method – For Cantilever Umbrellas
If you have a stand-alone, cantilever umbrella that spins, you don’t have a ton of options to stop it. However, there is one option that only requires two bungee cords.
Wrap the first bungee cord around the pole securely. Attach one end of the second cord to the first, and then stretch the other side to the closest umbrella support arm. When you’re done, the umbrella will no longer spin because it’ll be attached to the base pole with the bungee cords.
Be aware, though, that this method can damage your umbrella by putting stress on it. It’s up to you to decide if the risk of damage is worth it to stop your cantilever umbrella from spinning.
How to Keep Your Patio Umbrella from Falling Over?
Now, let’s discuss how to keep your patio umbrella from falling over. To start with, purchasing a proper base is a must, especially for a free-standing or cantilever umbrella.
Umbrella Base and Base Weights
Keeping any kind of umbrella from falling over essentially comes down to weight in or on the base. If you have a lightweight base, you can always add weight to it.
For an excellent, heavy-duty base to keep your umbrella upright, I recommend the Best Choice Products Umbrella Stand. It weighs 81 pounds but also comes equipped with wheels to make moving it fairly easy. It works for umbrella poles up to 2 inches in diameter.
How Much Base Weight Do You Need For Your Umbrella?
A good rule of thumb to follow to determine how much weight you need at the base is to add ten pounds for every foot in diameter. So, if your umbrella is 6 feet in diameter, you’ll want at least 60 pounds to keep it weighed down. If it’s a 10-foot umbrella, 100 pounds will do the trick.
If you have a heavy base and the umbrella is in the middle of a table, you can approximate the weight of the base plus the table. Plus, if you’re planning on placing the umbrella in a table, it shouldn’t fall over anyway.
Umbrella Base Weights
As for base weights, you can use pretty much anything heavy. Here a several options:
- Buckets Filled with Dirt
- Mulch Bags
- Bags of Concrete
Cantilever Umbrella Base Weights
Sometimes cantilever umbrellas don’t come with adequately heavy bases. Luckily, there are plenty of products to choose from specially designed to keep these umbrellas from falling over. With this base plate set you can easily adjust the weight with sand or water and then set them on your umbrellas base.
A great product to use for either straight or cantilever umbrellas is this Gravipod Umbrella Base Weight. It’s rated for up to 85 pounds and is easy to use.
Prevent Umbrella Toppling With Fasteners
If you have your umbrella placed near a secure object, such as a railing, a heavy table, or a support post, consider using fasteners. U brackets and screws can secure an umbrella post. Zip ties can do the same. The only problem with these methods is they make it difficult to move the umbrella or take it down in a storm or heavy winds.
Look For An Umbrella With Vents
Often the reason an umbrella falls over is that it catches too much wind in the fabric. To eliminate this, you can buy an umbrella that has vents in the material. These vents let the breeze through, but they keep the rain and sunlight out. Of course, if you live in an area with extreme winds, the vents will only help so much. Still, it’s something to consider the next time you’re in the market for a new patio umbrella.
Keep Your Umbrella Closed When Not In Use
You probably do this anyway, but I’ve got to mention it. You never know when the wind’s going to kick up in the middle of the night, or when a storm will roll through when you’re at work. So if you’re not using your patio umbrella, close it. This little bit of effort is much better than waking up or coming home to a broken window or smashed patio furniture.
There you have it. No matter your patio umbrella problem, one of the solutions above should work for you. Some of them are long-term solutions, like buying a proper base or specially-designed weights. Others are temporary but effective solutions, like the door wedge method. I know how frustrating it can be dealing with a rebellious umbrella, so hopefully this post has helped you deal with yours!