Your outdoor umbrella is tasked with keeping you out of the sun and rain and it does so dutifully all summer long. But that same sun and rain, in addition to dirt, dust and worn-out parts degrades the beauty and functionality of your shade structure over time. With just a bit of regular care and repair of your outdoor umbrella, however, it should last for many years. In Part 1 of outdoor umbrella cleaning and repair, we focused on cleaning the canopy. This installment goes over how to clean the frame, how often you should clean and some simple repairs you may or may not want to do yourself.
How to Clean Your Outdoor Umbrella Frame
How to go about this task largely depends on the material it is made from.
Wood umbrella frames need a bit more care. Simply use a mild cleaning solution and a cloth to wipe down the pole and the ribs. An old toothbrush will help you get into corners and crevices to remove dirt. Be sure to stay away from any abrasive cleansers, as this will ruin the finish of the outdoor umbrella wood frame. If the finish is already in poor shape, you may need to re-stain it or apply a thin cost of oil. A quick fix is to spritz it with a stain spray that gives it a new clear coat and amps up the shine.
If your outdoor umbrella has an aluminum frame, it is easier to maintain. Once again, a soft cloth and mild detergent solution are your best bets. You could even spray it down with a hose while the canopy has been removed for cleaning. Polish it with a dry cloth to remove water spots. Although aluminum is not as porous as wood, you still want to be careful and use only a soft brush so that you don’t scratch the finish.
Recommended Frequency for Care and Repair of Your Outdoor Umbrella
At a bare minimum, your outdoor umbrella should be cleaned and inspected at the beginning of the spring season as well as before you store it away for winter. Remember that the shade feature is being constantly exposed to the elements so you may want to perform maintenance a bit more often, such as once a month or even once a week.
Placement of your outdoor umbrella is important, too. It will stay cleaner if you do not place it under a tree, where branches, bird droppings, fruit and leaves can affect its integrity. Keep bird feeders several feet away, too, so your umbrella doesn’t become part of birds’ flight paths. When not in use, it is a good idea to keep the umbrella closed and possibly even protected by an umbrella cover.
Beyond Cleaning: Repair
Your outdoor umbrella may need more than just a good cleaning. Other problems may be making it unusable, such as bent poles, missing bushings, broken ribs or strings, torn canopy fabric, loose swivel joints or burned-out LED bulbs. Some of these are rather easy fixes, such as replacing a bulb. Others may require the expertise of a professional. At Hauser’s Patio we can repair your outdoor umbrella no matter the brand or material. Just ask us and we will be happy to provide you a quote for refurbishment.
For the ultimate care and repair of your outdoor umbrella, this two-part series should help you get started and answer most of your questions. And remember, if you run into any issues with