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How to Keep a Patio Umbrella from Falling Over

How To Keep A Patio Umbrella From Falling Over

Time on the patio is typically about relaxation and fun. This may mean reading, taking a nap, grilling, or potential having guest over for great conversations. 

The last thing most people want to worry about is their patio umbrella falling over from the wind or by accident. Not only can this damage the umbrella, but it can also be harmful to anyone standing nearby. 

So, how do you keep a patio umbrella from falling over? Let us provide some actionable methods to help prevent this from happening. Hopefully these tips will help you get back to relaxing on the patio without the worry of umbrella troubles. 

The Base

A heavy base is essential to keeping an umbrella in its intended position. The lack of an appropriate weighted base is the primary reason umbrellas get swept away by the wind.

The recommended base or stand weight for a particular umbrella is generally determined by its size.The below table provides some suggested weight sizes for the base based on the umbrella diameter.

Note that free-standing umbrellas, such as a Cantilever, require more weight at the base compared to umbrellas that are positioned through the center of a patio table. 

You may wish to err on the side of caution and opt for a heavier base than what is listed if you live in an often windy area. 

Umbrella Diameter (feet)Free-Standing or Through TableMinimum Base Weight (lbs.)
6 or smallerFree-Standing50-60
6 or smallerThrough Table25-40
7Free-Standing50-60
7Through Table30-40
7.5Free-Standing50-60
7.5Through Table30-40
8Free-Standing70-80
8Through Table50-60
9Free-Standing70-80
9Through Table50-60
10Free-Standing70-80
10Through Table50-60
11Free-Standing70-80
11Through Table50-60

Additional Weight

Some bases do not come with the necessary weight needed to adequately keep the umbrella in place when the wind picks up. This means that additional weight should be added to the base to prevent the umbrella from falling over. 

Amazon has many patio umbrella weights that can be used with various umbrellas.  As an alternative, people use heavy items such as sand bags on top of the base to add extra weight.

While the look of sand bags might not be appealing, they can be a cheaper alternative to weights specifically designed for patio umbrellas. 

Quality Stand

Having had cheap umbrella stands in the past, I can tell you that some do a poor job holding the pole in place. You want an umbrella stand that will tightly grip the pole. If you pull up on the pole, it should not release from the stand. This is important to not only keep the umbrella in the stand, but also to eliminate any significant shaking or spinning of the pole from the wind. 

Stakes

If your umbrella is located over a soft surface such as grass, you may have the option to drive stakes into the ground to help keep the base secure.

Your stand will need to have an area that will allow the stakes to be secured. Of course, this is not option on hard surfaces such as decks or brick patios. 

Keep It Closed

A patio umbrella should remain closed when not in use. Additionally, it should be tied/Velcroed shut once closed.

Yes, this is a hassle and is something that is difficult to always keep up with. However, a closed umbrella is much less likely to fall over.

We suggest at least closing the umbrella when storms or high winds are expected. Unfortunately, the weather is not always so predictable.  

Vents

A patio umbrella needs proper ventilation in the canopy to allow air to escape through the top. Without vents, an umbrella would routinely take flight like a kite.

Patio umbrellas are commonly designed with a single vent for wind and heat ventilation. However, if you are looking to purchase  a new umbrella and wind is a concern for you, consider getting a dual wind vent patio umbrella. The additional wind ventilation with the dual design will help deter the umbrella from tipping over from the wind. 

The Frame

Patio umbrella frames are typically made from wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. While the frame may not prevent the umbrella from falling over, it is important to have a durable frame that can withstand falls. 

Aluminum is the most common selection for buyers of patio umbrellas because of its affordability and durability. It is a lightweight material that can be finished as desired during manufacturing. Aluminum has the ability to resist corrosion and does not rust. However, it can oxidize causing a change in the surface color over time. 

Wood frames often provide a classy finish and can beautifully compliment other wood items on the deck. However, they tend to be the least durable option of the three frames. In windy conditions, wood frames are often more likely to snap over the other frames.

Fiberglass is the best option for a frame that will stand up to the elements. The material is highly flexible making it favorable to use in areas with high winds. It tends to be the most pricey option. However, the extra cost is often worth it if you are in an area with routinely high winds. 

Final Thoughts

A patio umbrella that falls over is a frustrating and potentially dangerous to people nearby. The most common solution to fix this problem is to create a strong base with heavy weight. If practical, go heavier than the norm for your base to be sure you have adequate support to keep the umbrella grounded. 

Furthermore, if possible, use the existing ground (i.e. grass or dirt) to secure the base to the ground with stakes. This will add additional protection from the base tipping over in the wind.