Anyone who has ever owned a patio umbrella knows the pains of keeping the umbrella from spinning and rocking. This is especially the case in areas where the weather can get particularly nasty, such as those states in the midwest.
Regardless of where you live, however, there is always a strong gust of wind threatening to damage your patio umbrella.
That is why it is in your best interest to know exactly how you can stabilize your patio umbrella to prevent it from spinning and moving around all over your patio, undoubtedly scratching up the wood, and possibly running into other things.
Having this knowledge under your belt can save you a lot of money since you will no longer need to replace your umbrella after every strong storm that passes through. It will also keep any other objects or people that might be near a wild, out-of-control patio umbrella out of harm’s way.
In the first section of the article, there will be solutions presented that you can do yourself. This is, of course, a very cost-effective route.
The second section of the article will detail various solutions that require you to pick up something from a store or online.
Fortunately, most of the methods for solving the issue of a spinning umbrella are very easy to carry out and should not require purchasing anything. For some, you will only need a tool or two, which you most likely already have sitting around in your house or garage somewhere.
1 – Tighten the main bolt
For this solution, all you need is a simple tool: a screwdriver. Many times, the only reason your patio umbrella is spinning like crazy is because the main bolt holding the umbrella in place has become loosened over time. This bolt is called a thumbscrew.
This is usually the case for an umbrella that you have owned for quite a while. High winds and general movement over an extended period can wiggle the bolt around, leaving it less likely to properly secure your patio umbrella and prevent it from moving about.
2 – Secure base to patio
If you happen to be using an actual base for your umbrella rather than a table, you might want to consider bolting the base down to the patio along with tightening the umbrella’s main bolt.
This should help prevent the whole patio umbrella from shaking around, which can also assist in preventing the umbrella from spinning wildly.
You can also secure a table to your patio, though some may not want to have their table permanently in one spot, and it might be a little more difficult to figure out how to get the table secured into its place, whereas a base will most likely have specific areas designed for easily bolting it down.
3 – Add weight
You can add weight to your patio umbrella’s base to keep it better secured, which should help hold the umbrella in place. If your umbrella has a diameter around five feet, you can use fifty pounds of weight to hold down your base, and if it is around ten feet in diameter, you can use one hundred pounds.
You do not need actual weights to secure the base. Rather, you can use anything with weight, such as bricks, sandbags, pieces of wood, or bags of rocks.
4 – Close your umbrella
The easiest way to keep your patio umbrella from spinning is by simply closing it when it is not in use. If you do not feel like closing it every time you have finished using it, it is smart to at least close it before an oncoming storm or otherwise potentially lousy weather.
Making this a habit will keep your umbrella from spinning while also keeping it safe from being damaged, ensuring that it will last for a long time.
It is also a very good idea to bring your patio umbrella into your garage or shed during the winter months. Otherwise, the snow and ice are going to tear up your umbrella and possibly warp its components.
5 – Secure pole to base
If you have a drill and the know-how, you can use a method involving attaching the umbrella pole to the base using a bolt.
You will need to drill a hole into both the pole and the base of your patio umbrella. The hole in the pole only needs to be on one side rather than all the way through. You can then put a bolt through the holes and add a nut before tightening it.
Although this method works amazingly well for preventing your umbrella from spinning around, it also makes it a pain to move the umbrella since you will need to unscrew the bolt before doing so and then screw it in again after the adjustment.
This can obviously be time-consuming and just downright annoying, making this option out of the question for some people.
6 – Door stop
If you happen to have a rubber door stop in your possession that you are not utilizing, you can squeeze it into the space between your umbrella’s pole and the table or base. This is sort of like using a cone wedge except you do not have to go out and buy anything.
Of course, this might look a bit tacky, but it is an effective and easy solution for keeping your umbrella from spinning and moving around.
7 – Homemade wedge
There are special wedges you can purchase that are designed for keeping patio umbrellas stable, and we will take a look at this option later in the article. However, you can just as easily make your own wedge, which works a bit differently than the cone wedge found at the store.
All you must do is unscrew the main bolt slightly, just enough to fit the wedge into, and shove the wedge between the bolt and pole before re-tightening it.
You can use just about anything you can find that will fit into the empty space. One option is a piece of wood, such as a shard from an old frame or other wooden item.
8 – Fasteners
You can think about fastening your patio umbrella’s pole to something nearby that is able to hold the umbrella in place, such as a railing on your patio.
Simply utilize some brackets and screws or use zip-ties to secure the pole to the sturdy object you decided to use. This is a very effective way to keep your umbrella from spinning.
9 – Bungee cords
This solution only works for a cantilever-style patio umbrella. Although this method is very easy and effective, it could potentially scratch up and otherwise damage your umbrella, so you should take this into consideration if you are thinking about using this option.
All you need to do is take one bungee cord and wrap it tightly around the umbrella’s pole, and take the other bungee cord, hook it to the initial bungee cord, and attach it to the closest arm on the umbrella’s frame.
This will keep your patio umbrella from spinning around, which is much more likely to occur with a cantilever umbrella. In fact, aside from adding weight such as sandbags to the base, this is about the only solution there is for securing a cantilever-style patio umbrella.
Solutions That You Can Purchase
There are several actions you can take that involve purchasing an item. If you would rather not use a solution that requires you having to do anything, you can always go this route. This is also the better option if the issue with your umbrella requires more than a quick DIY fix.
1 – Vented umbrella
If you are willing or need to buy a whole new patio umbrella, you should consider opting for a variety that includes built-in vents.
These vents will allow some of the wind to travel through the holes instead of the whole breeze being captured by the umbrella.
Thankfully, they are designed in such a way that the sunshine and elements cannot get through the holes, so you can enjoy some time underneath your patio umbrella even when it is raining. The umbrella will also still keep the table underneath it dry.
Keep in mind that you may still need to utilize additional solutions even with a vented umbrella.
2 – Cone wedge
There is something you can buy called a cone wedge that will greatly reduce any movement of your patio umbrella. It is a special piece that slides onto the umbrella’s pole and sits where the hole in your base is.
What this does is eliminates the space between the umbrella pole and the base, filling in the hole tightly. This prevents the umbrella from swaying or spinning very effectively.
These pieces are typically made of rubber so as to not scratch the base or pole, and they are a very inexpensive solution. You can pick one up for under ten bucks. Just make sure that you get the right size for the diameter of your pole.
3 – Heavier base
Similar to putting weight on your patio umbrella’s base, you can also opt for purchasing a new base that is sturdier and heavier. If you secure your umbrella with more weight, the main bolt will not get knocked around as forcefully and thus it will not loosen as much.
If you are purchasing a base separately, or in other words, if you are still going to use your old umbrella, you need to make sure that the hole on your new base is the right size for your umbrella’s pole.
It would be a huge pain to buy a whole new base just to have to turn around and go get a different one after you realize that your umbrella’s pole is too small or too big to fit properly.
4 – Stronger frame
This option kind of goes along with the one above in that it involves buying a new component for your patio umbrella: a frame.
You can purchase a new frame for the umbrella that is sturdier and heavier, adding weight and durability to your patio umbrella, thus reducing spinning and the main bolt loosening. While you’re at it, you can also opt for a more durable fabric for the umbrella.
5 – New plastic rings
These are very similar to cone wedges, but they come attached to the base when you buy your patio umbrella and they do not secure the umbrella pole as well as a cone wedge.
Unless you decide to get a cone wedge to fix your spinning problem, you might need to buy new rings for your table as they often wear out over time. Take a look at the rings that are located at the hole in the base and see if you notice any wear and tear.
You could always think about purchasing new rings along with a cone wedge. This will help your patio umbrella fit extremely securely in the hole, keeping it in place very well.
As you can see, there are a variety of options out there to choose from when it comes to preventing your patio umbrella from spinning. There are so many, in fact, that it might be difficult to choose which is best for you.
Hopefully, though, after reading this article, you have a better idea of what action you should take. It is really up to you how costly and difficult securing your patio umbrella will be.
Preventing it from happening in the first place is always ideal, so if you are buying a new patio umbrella, you should seriously consider using a few of the methods described above right from the get-go.
For example, you can put a cone wedge on the pole immediately, add a wedge between the bolt and pole, and keep the umbrella closed when it is not in use or when strong winds are expected.
If you take these preventative measures on a new patio umbrella that is already sturdy, well-made, and has some weight on it, your patio umbrella is sure to last for years and it will not spin around out of control.