Patio Furniture Umbrellas are very popular as they give a certain spa-like look to your patio or deck. They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and are made of many different materials. You can find them in almost any color and with beautiful designs on the fabric. There are single umbrellas and double ones and all are relatively simple to operate and will bring a sense of beauty to your patio.
When buying a patio furniture umbrella make sure you know which kind you want. There are those umbrellas that use a crank to bring it up and down and there are those that employ the use of a peg that is on a chain. This peg needs to be inserted when the umbrella is up and removed when you want it to come down. There are some umbrellas that tilt in different directions in case the sun is low on the horizon and you do not want it in your eyes. There are even umbrellas that can be opened and closed with an automatic remote control.
Some patio furniture umbrellas have hardware made of wood. This would include the post and spokes that holds the fabric up. These are probably the strongest of all patio umbrellas and also the heaviest. If you think you would have a hard time carrying a heavy umbrella and lifting it up to get it into the stand you may want to think about buying a different kind of umbrella.
There are also aluminum umbrellas that give you that lighter option. The ability to tilt is often built in an aluminum umbrella because it is easy to manufacture that way. Aluminum generally does not rust so it is a safe bet that your umbrella will be able to be used for many years.
There are just regular patio furniture umbrellas consisting of a pole up the middle, ribs, and one cover that do a great job in keep the sun off. There are also the offset patio umbrellas that have a little more space under the canopy. The pole goes up the side instead of the middle. You can use this type with the middle pole with tables that have a hole in the middle for you to insert the umbrella. But, if you do not have a table like that an offset umbrella is the type you need. You can place it next to the table and it will keep the sun off the table and out of the eyes of your guests. This type of umbrella can be moved around to protect someone in a chair on the patio as well because they are totally freestanding.
Umbrellas are not inexpensive so you need to do what you can to keep them beautiful year after year. Most importantly is to put it in a down position if you know a rain or wind storm is on the way. Wind can harm an outdoor umbrella and even make it go air born. Those people living in wintry climates should put the umbrella away for the winter. Always place it in the garage or basement standing up right and never put heavy things on top of it. It is a good idea to cover it with something so that it will be tidy when you go to put it out again in the spring.
When spring comes take the umbrella out of storage and give it a wipe down with a damp cloth. If it needs a little more intense cleaning use some water and soap. Never use abrasive cleansers because it can scratch the canopy and posts. There are those canopies that are removable and washed in a washing machine. If you do not have a large capacity washer do not do this at home but go to the Laundromat. Another way to wash an umbrella is to put it up and rinse it off with a good hosing. Just be sure the water pressure is not so high it breaks the umbrella. Never dry the canopy in a drier.
You can find patio furniture umbrellas at most garden centers. You can also find them during the spring and summer at most local department and discount stores. You can get them online as well for great prices but you need to watch how much shipping and handling you will be charged. Sometimes you can get them at furniture stores and if you have a shop that specializes in outdoor furniture you can surely find them there. It probably is not the best idea to get the cheapest one you can find. The inexpensive umbrellas usually do not last long, sometimes not even a whole season.