The unique shape and design of a cantilever umbrella help to provide more coverage from the elements. Still, many homeowners wonder how to stop their cantilever umbrellas from blowing in the wind. Ideally, you should have a sturdy base, but some umbrella owners choose to weigh their umbrellas down using weights or sandbags, while others use wires and rope to tie them in place.
As useful as they are, we know how troublesome an open cantilever umbrella can be. A sudden breeze can yank your umbrella into the sky and across the lawn when you’re simply trying to enjoy the outdoors. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult.
In this article, we’ll help explain what makes cantilever umbrellas susceptible to the wind and walk you through a handful of ways to stop your deck coverage from blowing away. You may need to purchase a few additional supports, but it’s well worth it.
Why Do Cantilever Umbrellas Blow Away?
A regular patio umbrella is supported by a central pole that is pushed into the ground. Although the pole is meant to support the umbrella, its central point allows wind to come up from below and transform the umbrella into a sail. With nothing above the umbrella to hold it in place, it then blows up and away. Therefore, traditional designs are less suited for windy conditions.
Luckily, most cantilever umbrellas don’t have this problem. Instead of a central pole, they have one support arm that is attached to a base to the side of the umbrella. Thanks to its overhead weight and off-centred support, this design is more stable in the wind, but it doesn’t make the umbrella 100% immune to flying away.
In fact, the canopy’s weight and the support arm’s shape can act like a kite in the wind. If the wind is strong enough, it can lift the umbrella into the air and carry it away, arm and all.
A Sturdy Base Should Support a Cantilever Umbrella
The best way to keep your cantilever umbrella from blowing away is to purchase a model that comes with a heavy and sturdy base. These bases are typically made from concrete, stone, or metal and can weigh anywhere from 75 to 150 pounds. Speak with a trained salesperson to help find similar models and explain your concern about the umbrella flying away.
When the base is properly weighted, it should provide enough stability to keep the umbrella in place during most weather conditions, including gusts of wind up to 35 miles per hour. However, no matter how sturdy the base, you should always take extra precautions in windy conditions.
If you live in an area prone to high winds, it’s best to take your umbrella down or at least secure it to the ground with weights or sandbags. By adding an additional 30 to 50 lbs of weight to the base and lowering the umbrella, the side arm should survive any windy day or severe storm.
If you choose sandbags, be sure to use high-quality bags that won’t tear in the wind. You’ll also want to make sure the bags are big enough to cover the entire base of the umbrella. As a general rule, you should use one bag for every 15 pounds of weight. So, if your umbrella base weighs 50 pounds, you would need at least three sandbags.
Is it Normal for a Cantilever Umbrella to Sway in the Wind?
While it’s not normal for a cantilever umbrella to fly away in the wind, it is normal for it to sway. The canopy is large and open, providing a lot of surface area for the wind to catch. Even with a weighted base, you may notice that the umbrella sways back and forth in a strong breeze. This is why it’s important to consider where you place your umbrella.
If it’s placed too close to the edge of the deck, a sudden gust of wind could cause it to topple over, injuring those close by.
It’s best to place the umbrella in an open area where it can sway without hitting anything. Be sure to clear the area obstacles, such as chairs, tables, or nearby toys, as the wind could easily blow them into the umbrella, causing damage.
How to Use Wind Stabilizers to Reduce Cantilever Umbrella Sway
If your umbrella is swaying aggressively but not yet blowing away, you can try stabilizing it using a pair of wind stabilizers.
These are simple pieces of bungee cord or rope that can wrap around the umbrella’s frame and tie it down to the base. By restricting the umbrella’s movements, you can control some of the swayings and make the umbrella more stable on windy days.
Many wind stabilizers are designed with sturdy metal hooks that easily attach to your umbrella’s frame. Others use plastic loops that slip over the support arms. No matter which type you choose, be sure to select a product rated for outdoor use that can withstand the elements.
Summing Things Up
As long as you’re careful to purchase a sturdy base that weighs at least 50 lbs, your cantilever umbrella shouldn’t blow away under normal conditions. However, if you want to keep it up and functional on windy days, you can weigh it down using a variety of different methods. Some people use sandbags, while others use cinder blocks or metal weights.
Additionally, if your umbrella is swaying in the wind, this isn’t anything to worry about. It’s normal for cantilever umbrellas to sway slightly due to their size. However, if your umbrella is aggressively rocking back and forth, you can use wind stabilizers to hold it in place. These devices simply attach to the metal frame and tie the umbrella into place.
As a general rule of thumb, you should always take your umbrella down or at least secure it to the ground whenever there is a chance of high winds in your area. By following these simple tips, you can prevent your umbrella from becoming hazardous and ensure that it lasts many years.