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Patio Umbrella Faq

  1. Is my patio umbrella built to shelter me from the rain?
  2. How do I clean my umbrella?
  3. Can I use my umbrella in the winter?
  4. What size umbrella do I need?
  5. Where can I get a Sunbrella Patio Umbrella?
  6. What is the difference between umbrella fabrics?
  7. Are replacement parts available?
  8. How do I know what size base I need?
  9. What is a tilting umbrella?
  10. What is collar tilt umbrella?
  11. What is auto tilt umbrella ?
  12. What is push button umbrella?
  13. What is a freestanding umbrella?
  14. What is wall mounted umbrella?
  15. What is an offset or cantilever umbrella?
  16. Will my umbrella fade?
  17. If my umbrella is wind resistant can I leave it up all the time?
  18. Do you do repairs?
  19. What is a commercial umbrella?
  20. What UV % will this umbrella block?
  21. What is a market umbrella?
  22. What is a garden umbrella?
  23. What is a beach umbrella?
  24. What is a thatch umbrella?

Ordering FAQ

  1. How fast will my order ship and be delivered?
  2. Items don't seem to stay in my cart when I add them - what's going on?
  3. How do I enable cookies in Internet Explorer?
  4. What is the Warranty and Return Policy?

1. Is my patio umbrella built to shelter me from the rain?
No, patio umbrellas are built to shelter from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Although they are water resistant, patio umbrellas should not be left open during inclement weather.

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How do I clean my umbrella?
Start with a damp cloth to wipe down excess dust and dirt on the ribs and canopy. This will take off most if not all dirt. If dirt and blemishes persist, use soapy warm water and clean cloth. A hose will also work great for a quick clean. Stay clear of using any abrasive materials and harsh cleaning chemicals, as these cleaning agents could potentially damage your umbrella. To prolong your umbrella’s beautiful look, be sure to clean it before storing, especially for the winter or any extended period. Mud and debris left on a canopy over time become embedded in the fiber of the umbrella, creating mildew.

If your umbrella canopy is made from Sunbrella Acrylic or Outdora and you have a stain that will not come out, mix together 1 cup of bleach, ¼ cup mild soap and 1 gallon of water. With a soft-bristle brush, scrub the soiled area, then allow the mixture 15 minutes to soak into the fabric.

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3. Can I use my umbrella in the winter?
Absolutely! You can still enjoy your patio when it is cold out. Patio umbrellas are a great way to help stay warm while you enjoy your patio in the cooler months. A patio umbrella prevents heat from escaping upward, leaving the air under the umbrella warmer than the surrounding air. A canopy umbrella heater can strengthen this effect. This infrared heater is designed to vent heat downward from underneath the umbrella canopy.

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What size umbrella do I want?
This depends upon how much shade you are looking for. Generally, Patio Umbrellas are measured by their canopy diameter, but this can differ by manufacturer. To be on the safe side, you would want your umbrella’s canopy to be at least 3 ft larger than the area to be shaded. Consider this table below.

What needs Coverage? Umbrella Size
30 Inch or Smaller Café or Bistro Table and 2 Chairs 5-6ft
36 Inch or Smaller Café or Bistro Table and 2 Chairs 7ft
48 Inch Round or Square Dining Table and 4 Chairs 9-10ft
60 Inch Round or Square Dining Table and 6 Chairs or larger 11-12ft


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5. Where can I get a Sunbrella Patio Umbrella?
Many umbrella manufacturers use Sunbrella’s high quality, water-resistant acrylic to build their canopies. We sell many different styles that offer this fine fabric.

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6. What is the difference between umbrella fabrics?
When considering a fabric, keep in mind your intended usage, storage and application. If you plan on using your umbrella year round, commercially, or just want to extend the life your umbrella, durable fabrics like Sunbrella are ideal. If you plan on storing your umbrella during the winter or periods of disuse, consider a thinner, less expensive fabric, such as spun polyester. With Designed for Outdoors’ extensive selection of fabrics, we are sure you will find the right fabric for your particular application..

Sunbrella Fabric

  • 100% Solution-dyed acrylic fabric that will withstand sun, wind, rain and mildew
  • Water-repellant finish (hinders the penetration of water)
  • Tested to provide 98% protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays
  • Acclaimed as the foremost provider of outdoor fabric
  • 3-Year warranty against fading
  • Great for commercial or frequent use

Outdura

  • 100% Solution-dyed acrylic fabric that repels water, and if kept clean will not mildew
  • Has the highest UPF rating of 50 meaning only 1/50th of the sun’s UV light can penetrate
  • Water-repellant finish (hinders the penetration of water)
  • Carries a 5-year warranty against sunlight damage, mildew and rot
  • Great for commercial or frequent use

Olefin

  • Solution-dyed to retain fiber built to retain color and vibrancy.
  • Will resists stains, mildew, and abrasions however difficult to clean
  • 2-year warranty against fading but has a lower UV tolerance than Acrylic
  • Will not retain moisture and will dries quickly
  • A great economical alternative to the higher priced acrylic fabrics

Solution-Dyed Polyester

  • Higher quality color and more fade-resistant than spun polyester
  • Strong resistance to abrasion
  • Overall a higher grade of polyester
  • Resistant to mildew

Pacifica Solution-Dyed Polyester

  • 4-year fade resistance warranty
  • 4-year rot and mildew warranty
  • Solution dyed Polyester fabric

Spun Poly

  • Fast drying fabric
  • Strong and abrasion resistant however not as strong a Sunbrella
  • Feels like canvas cloth
  • Has a lower UV and weather ratings than Acrylic

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7. Are replacement parts available?
Yes. We offer replacement canopies as well as ribs.

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8. How do I know what size base I need?
f you plan on utilizing your umbrella through a table take that into consideration as an umbrella through a table is sturdier than a free standing umbrella thus needing less base weight. The table below is a minimum suggested base size chart. If you live in an area where strong winds are a frequent occurrence you should consider going with the next heavier weight up.

Umbrella
Canopy Size (ft)
Utilizing Minimum Suggested
Base Size (lbs)
6 Thru Table 30
6 Free Standing 50
7 Thru Table 30
7 Free Standing 50
7.5 Thru Table 30
7.5 Free Standing 50
8 Thru Table 50
8 Free Standing 75
9 Thru Table 50
9 Free Standing 75
10 Thru Table 50
10 Free Standing 75
11 Thru Table 50
11 Free Standing 75


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9. What is a tilting patio umbrella?
A tilt umbrella is an umbrella that has a mechanism that allows the canopy to tilt on a pivot point to maximize shade potential when the sun is low. This is done through 3 different tilt mechanisms.

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10. What is collar tilt patio umbrella?
A collar tilt is a rotating ring just above the crank and when it is rotated the canopy will begin to tilt. The collar tilt is similar to auto tilt except it uses a different cranking mechanism it also has the ability to rotate 360 degrees.

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11. What is auto tilt patio umbrella?
Auto tilt is the term given for an umbrella with a crank tilt. Here’s how it works system works. Once the umbrella canopy has been fully opened using the crank; continuing to crank will cause the canopy to tilt. The advantage of the auto tilt system is that the canopy will tilt 360 degrees.

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12. What is push button patio umbrella?
The term “Push Button Tilt” can be a bit deceptive. When the button is pushed, the umbrella ribs will unlock, giving you the ability to tilt the canopy to the desired position. A drawback of the push button design is that there are only 2 or 3 pivotal points offered.

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13. What is a freestanding patio umbrella?
The traditional patio umbrella design. A freestanding umbrella consists of a canopy with a pole going through the middle, secured with a base at the bottom. The canopy can open by manually opening the shade and pulling the pin across by hand, or a crank-pulley system. Because of their simple design they are also the longest lasting. Freestanding umbrellas tend to be the best value shade and the commercial go-to.

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14. What is wall mounted patio umbrella?
A wall mounted umbrella is fastened to a wall using a mounting bracket. The canopy hangs similar to an offset umbrella, but unlike an offset, the support comes from the wall not the ground. This system uses a small crank arm on the wall mount, and when cranked, the umbrella canopy and arms contract toward the wall. This type of umbrella conveniently eliminates the need for space on the patio floor for a base. The canopy will rotate three different positions, but it will not tilt.

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15. What is an offset or cantilever patio umbrella?
Offset or cantilever umbrellas support a hanging canopy from above, with the umbrella pole to the side -- meaning there is no pole in the middle of the shade. This design makes the offset umbrella unique, popular, and versatile. Sitting under an offset umbrella is not much different than sitting under an awning or covered porch, because of the lack of a center pole. It would be ideal for shading a table without an umbrella hole, a hot tub, or portion of your pool. It can also easily rotate to provide shade as the sun moves during the day. If you live in area where high winds are frequent, this might not be the best choice for you, as their design makes them more vulnerable to gusts. Be sure to secure your offset patio umbrella with a heavy base, or fasten it to the ground. Offset umbrellas require more base weight than freestanding umbrellas, and tend to be a bit pricier.

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16. Will my patio umbrella fade?
Yes, but only gradually after years of exposure to direct sunlight. Most manufacturers offer at least a 1-year warranty against fading. Higher grade fabrics, such as Sunbrella and Outdura, offer 3- and 5-year warranties, respectively.

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17. Do you make repairs?
No, but if there is a problem with something you purchased, let us know and we will take care of it.

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18. If my patio umbrella says it’s, “wind resistant” can I leave the canopy open all the time?
No. Your patio umbrella will flex with the wind instead of breaking, but may suffer damage if left up in prolonged windy conditions. We also feature an umbrella with a canopy that will break away under exposure to especially strong winds.

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19. What is a commercial patio umbrella?
Commercial patio umbrellas appear no differently than any other patio umbrella. The durability of commercial-grade material sets them apart. The combination of stronger frames and higher grade fabrics gives the commercial umbrella added day in, day out strength, which will provide your home or business with beautiful, lasting shade. If you love spending your leisure time on the patio, a beautiful commercial umbrella would be a great choice.

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20. What UV % will this umbrella block?
This depends upon the canopy fabric. Most fabrics will provide 90% UV protection or greater. Sunbrella and Outdura Fabric provide 98% UV protection from direct sunlight. When enjoying your patio umbrella be sure to take into consideration reflection from the ground or nearby water as this UV source will be coming from the ground up, and will not be blocked by your umbrella.

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21. What is a market umbrella?
A market umbrella is a style of patio umbrella that would closely resemble a hand held umbrella that would be used in the rain. Market umbrellas have a pole in the middle of the canopy for support and do not have an overhang or valance around the edge of the umbrella.

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22. What is a drape umbrella or garden umbrella?
A drape umbrella or garden umbrella is a style of umbrella that resembles a market umbrella in structure and looks. The only difference is a garden umbrella has a valance or overhang that hangs down around the edges of the umbrella.

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23. What is a beach umbrella?
A beach umbrella is a style of umbrella characterized by a lightweight canopy supported by a pole in the middle. The pole usually has a point at the end for piercing the sand. Patio umbrella are made with lighter weight materials to allow for easy transporting but are not recommend for patio use.

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24. What is a thatch umbrella?
A thatch umbrella is also known as a tiki umbrella. It is an umbrella made with synthetic bamboo pole and synthetic palm grass canopy.

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Ordering FAQ

1. How fast will my order ship and be delivered?
Your order will ship the same day with FedEx if it is placed before 4pm EST Monday through Friday. Some very rare exceptions do occur but you will be notified. Your order should be delivered by FedEx according to the table below:

1-2 business days NC, SC, VA
2 business days FL, GA, AL, MS, LA, TN, KY, MO, MD, WV, IN, OH, MI, PA, DE, NJ, RI, NY, CT
3 business days TX, OK, AR, KS, IL, IA, WI, MN, MA, NH, VT, ME
4 business days NM, AZ, CO, NE, SD, ND
5 business days CA, NV, UT, WY, MT, ID, OR, WA

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2. Items don't seem to stay in my cart when I add them - what's going on?
This usually happens when you do not have cookies enabled in your browser. Our cart requires cookies to keep track of what items you have selected. Without cookies, the cart doesn't know what items you have added. To fix the problem, re-enable cookies (see how to enable cookies below) or if you do not wish to enable cookies or experience further problems, you can place your order over the phone by calling us at 1-800-398-6004.

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3. How do I enable cookies in Internet Explorer?
The cookies setting can be found under Internet Options on the Tools menu. Once there go to the Privacy tab. There will be a slider control to set cookie preferences. These settings can be used to stop sites from using cookies in a malicious way. Since our site only uses cookies for session variables to help keep up with cart items you have selected, any setting except the highest (Block All Cookies) should work fine. Once you have made your selection, click the "OK" button to save the changes. If you need any help with ordering, please give us a call at 1-800-398-6004. One of our friendly associates would be happy to assist you.

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4. What is the Warranty and Return Policy?
You can return any items you do not want to keep, please refer to the Warranty and Returns page for more details. The manufacturers offer a 1 year warranty against manufacturing defects. Simply call us and we will handle the warranty process for you. We will do everything we can to make sure you are enjoying your purchase.

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