Guide On What You Can Do With a Patio Umbrella In The Winter

Guide On What You Can Do With a Patio Umbrella In The Winter

Be it for residential uses or commercial purposes, patio umbrellas are one of the most popular choices when it comes to buying outdoor umbrellas. You can also opt for large cantilever umbrellas if you want to shade a large area or table in your home or restaurant’s outdoor dining space. The cantilever or patio umbrellas provide a source of respite from the harsh rays of the sun during the summer months. But then what do you do when it rains heavily or during the winter months?

In fact, we have often seen our readers facing this dilemma as to whether or not they should keep the umbrella open when not in use, particularly during the winter months when the temperatures begin to fall. Luckily, we are here to guide you.

Read on to learn whether or not you can leave your patio umbrellas open and what you should be doing with your umbrellas, especially during the winter months…

Should patio umbrellas be left open or closed?

This is one of the most common questions that many homeowners or business owners have. While leaving patio umbrellas open allows air to circulate through them, it is still not advisable to leave your umbrellas open when not in use. This is because the fabric of the canopy can get damaged over time from exposure to sun and moisture, irrespective of the umbrellas being water-resistant.

With the umbrella’s material becoming fragile, it becomes susceptible to wear and tear if left open during high winds or rainstorms. Other reasons why we suggest our readers to always pack their cantilever umbrellas are:

  • Strong winds can topple or blow away an open umbrella
  • An umbrella that isn’t properly secured can become hazardous
  • The color of your umbrella can fade quickly due to overexposure to the sun
  • Your umbrella might not last long due to the wear and tear it sustains on account of being left open

Is it okay to leave patio umbrellas open in the winter?

According to experts, you should pack off your patio umbrellas when the temperatures start to dip. We, too, do not recommend leaving your café or restaurant umbrellas open during winter. This is because of several reasons:

  • The frame or poles: The cold weather can cause the metal frame of the umbrella to contract and subsequently snap like a twig
  • Rust: The metal components can become rusty
  • Fabric: The fabric can tear after becoming fragile
  • Damp: Snow and ice can gather on the canopy, making it damp and dirty
  • Mold and mildew: Mold and mildew can grow on the umbrella, causing the color to fade.

All these factors can lead to damaging your patio umbrellas or large cantilever umbrellas during winter. That’s why you should always retract your umbrella into the holder to prevent any damage from occurring.

Storing a patio umbrella in the winter

When the weather starts to cool down, it’s time to fold your umbrellas and put them away for the season. However, if cantilever or patio umbrellas are not stored properly, they can become fertile ground for mold and mildew to grow. In order to prevent such an unpleasant situation from occurring, here are a few suggestions to store your umbrellas before the winter sets in:

  1. Remove the canopy from the frame. It will make it easier to clean the umbrella of any dirt, debris, or leaves that might be clinging to it.
  2. Clean the canopy and umbrella frame with mild soap or detergent and water
  3. Dry the umbrella completely once you have cleaned the canopy and the frame
  4. Now you can store your patio umbrella in a cool, dry place
  5. Don’t forget to check your umbrella from time to time

Can I leave a patio umbrella out in the rain?

If you are not using a patio umbrella as a shelter from the rain, then we would suggest you not to leave it open. The high winds can cause much damage to the arms of the canopy while the fabric might become stained and the metal may rust. If the restaurant umbrella isn’t dried properly, mold and mildew might also degrade the fabric and corrode the metal.


In a perfect world, the weather would always be pleasant. There would neither be scorching heat nor freezing cold. But then, it’s not the reality in which we live. High winds, heavy rain or snow, and freezing temperatures can damage even the most durable outdoor umbrellas. So we wouldn’t suggest leaving your patio umbrellas outside during these conditions, especially during winter. The cold weather can cause damage to the fabric and metal frame, even causing your umbrella to break.

So you need to take proper care and maintain your patio umbrellas if you want your investment to last long. A few crucial steps of maintenance include closing your umbrella when it is not in use, cleaning off the debris that accumulates on the fabric, and taking care of rusted or corroded parts before they are damaged further. In fact, it’s a good practice to replace the components if they have been affected by rust.

However, we are sure that with the above-mentioned tips, you can easily extend the life of an umbrella if you take proper care of it during the winter months.

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