Patio Umbrellas

Keep Your Patio or Deck Feeling Cool with a Patio Umbrella This Summer

By Mark J. Donovan

A patio umbrella helps you stay cool and comfortable whether on your deck or patio. Patio umbrellas are available with numerous amenities and features. Patio umbrellas are available with vinyl and cloth fabric and are available in heights from 6.5 to 11 feet. Patio umbrella shafts are typically made from aluminum, fiberglass or wood. Some included mechanisms to allow them to tilt at various settings to block the sun when it is low on the horizon. Some have cranks on them to open the umbrella up, while others have pulley systems for opening them.

When selecting a patio umbrella I recommend purchasing one that has a pulley like opening system. I’ve found over the years that the crank mechanisms break or get extremely difficult to turn.

With a pulley system the ropes are exposed and you can see what’s going on and can easily fix the issue if there is difficulty opening it. I also personally like the wooden shaft ones as they typically come in two pieces. The ones I’ve purchased have a screw like assembly that connects the two pieces of shafts together. I also highly recommend buying a patio or deck umbrella that can tilt. Tilting patio umbrellas help to block the sun when its early morning or evening and the Sun is low on the horizon.

I also prefer patio umbrellas that have a special vent system at the top of them for allowing the wind that inevitably gets caught up underneath them to easily vent. This way there is no risks of having the patio umbrella tip over, or lift up, due to a gust of wind.

Also it’s important to buy a weighted base unit when buying a patio umbrella. The shaft slides and locks into the base. Between the lock system and weight associated with the base there is no risk of the umbrella tipping over or lifting up and blowing over.

If you plan to purchase a patio umbrella for beach front property its best to purchase a more heavy duty patio umbrella. Due to their construction they’re more capable of standing up to the salt air, high wind, and bright sunlight.

To keep your patio umbrella looking like new clean it periodically with a gentle cleaning agent that can eliminate any mildew growth. Also, in non-use seasons store the umbrella in a garage, shed, or basement to reduce its exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light which can break down the umbrella fabric.

For help on building a deck, see’s Deck Installation Bid Sheet. The Deck Installation Bid Sheet will teach your how to hire the right deck contractor, and help to ensure that your deck project is completed on time and budget.

Related Information

Additional Deck Building and Design Resources

Get Free Deck Building Price Quotes with No Obligation!

Fill out our 3-5 minute quick and easy form, and receive a free price quote on decks from one of our pre-screened and licensed deck contractors. This process is free and there is no obligation to continue once you receive your decks price estimate.