The Flying Missile Umbrella Syndrome

One of the fascinating things happens when I go on site to properties is that the mangers will typically blame the tables for having knocked and damaged the umbrellas over in the wind. I have thought about it a great deal and realize they just don’t understand the true crux of the problem and the correct fix.  Therefore, the reason for this article.

The true reason for what I call the “flying missile umbrella syndrome” is that it starts with the poor choice of the incompetent base.  Bases used typically and seen on commercial properties are the plastic, sand filled light weight variety, or the steel, rusting monstrosities that make one cringe at the site and provoke a cantankerous ugly sight of rust on the deck.  Another kind one may see,  may be closer to correct and be the heavier kind but with rusting uselessU-85 Umbrella Base hardware that affixes to precisely nothing and whose functionality is rendered useless. A secondary reason for this syndrome is then as well  that many properties do not have the man power to baby sit the pool area by MAINTENCE and mostly the MAINTENCE people are gone by 4:00 pm.  Well along comes a “pool goer” and the are finding the sun just a tad too hot.  They put up the umbrella and leave it up when they exit.  With the above described problems all in place sets into motion the awful scene of the “flying missile umbrella syndrome” and a good wind comes up over night, the next morning broken umbrellas are strewn around and sometimes lying in the bottom of the pool!!

UD-50 Umbrella Deck PlateThe proper base for any commercial property needs to be at least between that of a 75lb to 85lb base.  This base is should be made from cement and the pole centered and adhered in the middle of the concrete snuggly.  The screw assembly needs to be stainless steel so that is can lock in tightly against the umbrella pole that is inserted inside the base pole.   Umbrellas themselves should be fabricated with a strong fiberglass rib (not the skinny kind, some manufacturers profess is good enough) but the fatter rib is ideal.  The covers should always have a wind vent to minimize upward drafts.   These umbrellas are usually available in a 7.5ft (this is span) and a 9ft.   Covers should be made from Sunbrella fabric, the best fabric for exterior use and longevity. You may have to replace the covers of course eventually in 5 or 6 years but following these guidelines should produce for you quality control in the umbrella arena and continuous umbrella repair minimized greatly.

“It’s patio furniture”

By Karen Shultes


Karen ShultesKaren Shultes has been with Florida Patio Furniture, Inc. for 2 years now as their factory direct rep.  In that time she has focused on increasing marketing to enhance customer awareness & product knowledge.  She had been instrumental in helping commercial and residential customers alike make educated decisions on cost effective purchasing of buying patio furniture that reflect comfort, longevity of product and safely with regards to liability issues.  She visits commercial properties to give free on site quotes as the factory direct rep for Florida Patio Furniture, Inc. She focuses on client education, preserving the fantastic service and reputation of the company.