Patio Umbrella Accessories & Parts
Replacement Patio Umbrella Canopies & Parts
Over time, even the best outdoor umbrellas need to have components replaced. Extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays, wind, rain and temperature changes ultimately lead to fading, tearing, breakage and functional decline. The cost to repair beach umbrella frames, tilt mechanisms and other patio umbrella parts can be high. Fortunately, many premium shade manufacturers stock replacement canopies, cranks, ribs and hub assemblies separately so you don't have to buy a whole new umbrella. You may have to review a parts diagram, call customer service or watch DIY YouTube videos to properly install spare parts yourself, but it’s worth the time and effort.
Outdoor Umbrella Canopy Replacements
Replacing an old or damaged canopy offers you an opportunity to infuse fresh vibrant colors into your outdoor space or coordinate with a new palette. You might also consider upgrading your lightweight furniture-grade Sunbrella® canvas with heavier weight awning or marine-grade fabric to improve its durability in harsh elements. While the former is water resistant and UV-resistant, the latter two selections have higher tensile strength and are more wind-resistant. They also hold up better outdoors in coastal salt air, whether you’re on a balmy California beach or a rooftop in the blustery Northeast. Be sure to determine whether or not a manufacturer has changed the design of your parasol before you shop for a replacement umbrella canopy. From time to time, companies make slight tweaks or major overhauls to the structure of their shades, which could make a new patio umbrella canopy incompatible with an older model. The same thing goes for older pavilions, cabanas and modern framed canopies too. It’s much less expensive to buy a square 10 x 10 replacement canopy for one of these wood or aluminum structures than to order a whole new sun shade.
Patio Umbrella Replacement Parts
While swapping out fabric is relatively easy and obvious, you can really preserve the health of your bank account by purchasing new components for patio umbrellas when they fail or get damaged. Contemporary sun umbrellas, especially cantilever parasols, have a lot of valuable features. They tilt in many directions and are often foldable and portable. However, that means that they also typically have more small mechanisms and parts that can break. Fortunately, many luxury manufacturers sell replacement pieces separately, including spare poles or frames. You can also find wheels for your freestanding umbrella base or stand to keep your shade mobile.
Patio Umbrella Lights
Sun umbrellas provide cooling shade and UV protection during the heat of the day but offer little more than overhead coverage at night. Outdoor umbrella lights are a great way to illuminate your backyard, deck, swimming pool or outside area so you can enjoy more time with family and friends . Modern outdoor parasol lights use LEDs, which are usually powered by rechargeable batteries (e.g. AA batteries). These stylish LED lights may be operated manually or via a remote control or mobile app and feature a variety of brightness modes and other options. A few may have multi-color LED lighting capabilities, so you can create a festive holiday-inspired lighting scheme or set a cool mood with hues of violet or turquoise. They’re generally constructed using some combination of aluminum, dense plastic, resin and ceramic materials.
Many models clip onto the canopy framework, while others clamp around the umbrella pole of market umbrellas or retractable lower hub extensions of cantilever shades. High-end outdoor patio umbrella lights often have Bluetooth® speakers to play your favorite music. Charging stations can typically power up anywhere using a standard outlet and may integrate additional USB ports for other devices. However, there are contemporary battery operated umbrella lights that charge through a solar panel. In a pinch, you can even use string lights (a.k.a. fairy lights) by hanging them between a number of canopy ribs, although you need to be careful opening and closing the shade while they are strung. Many of these outdoor lights have timers, blinkers and other lighting modes, so you can coordinate your patio umbrella light with other strings of bulbs hanging from a fence post or porch rail to accent your magical landscape.
Protective Umbrella Covers
Center pole and offset umbrellas protect you during sunny and warm weather. So, shouldn't you return the favor when conditions turn cold or rainy? If you’ve invested in high-end outdoor lounge chairs or a dining set, you probably have furniture covers, right? Snow and heavy rain can shorten the lifespan of an umbrella’s canopy fabric and framework. Durable patio umbrella covers are made from weather-resistant synthetic materials and help to keep your umbrella canopy looking great and functioning properly for a long time. A small investment in a heavy-duty waterproof market or cantilever umbrella cover now will save you much more in the long run. Protective covers also make it easier to maintain and keep canopies clean. These items usually come in white, beige, dark brown, blue or black and, while they may lacking in style, are among the more valuable umbrella accessories. Most have zippered or velcro closures and may include an installation pole or rod to assist in placing the covering over the top of a large canopy so you don’t have to climb on top of a chair or table. Generic parasol covers are sold in many stores but it’s our experience that you’re better off buying the same brand as your shade. You want to ensure that your outdoor umbrella cover fits snuggly so the wind cannot blow it off and to minimize the amount of moisture that can seep in.
- Ultimate Patio Umbrella Buying Guide
- Outdoor Furniture Materials Guide
- Patio Furniture Cleaning & Care Guide
- Signs You Need to Replace Your Patio Umbrella Canopy Now
- What is UPF?
Frequently Asked Questions - Accessories & Parts
How do you replace the canopy of a patio umbrella?
If you purchased a replacement canopy from the umbrella's manufacturer or one that's compatible in size and design with your original, changing out the fabric should be relatively easy if you follow the 10-Step process below.
NOTE - If you have a market umbrella that is larger than 10 feet in diameter or you're worried about getting up on a ladder, you might want to lay it on the ground for steps 2-9. Cantilever umbrellas should remain upright during the process unless you have a lot of help since they are heavy and often challenging to mount.
- Step 1 - Close the patio umbrella
When the umbrella is fully open, the canopy is taut and removing it risks damaging the rib assembly or possibly injuring you.
- Step 2 - Free the old canopy from the rib tips
Many patio umbrellas have canopies with sewn-in pockets in which the tips of the ribs fit. If that's what yours has, gently pull down on a canopy corner with one hand and guide the rib tip out with the other. Repeat this until all pockets have been emptied (usually 6-8 ribs). High-end and commercial-grade outdoor umbrellas may attach canopies to the rib assembly with screws or hex bolts that pass through metal grommets at the edge of the canopy. In this case, use the appropriately sized manual screwdriver, electric screwdriver bit or Allen Wrench/hex key to remove the bolts. Set them to the side so they don't get lost.
- Step 3 - Detach the finial
The finial is a cap at the top of an outdoor umbrella that helps to stabilize the center of the canopy fabric. It may be a simple ball or an elaborate decorative flourish. Depending on the umbrella's height (or yours), you may need a footstool or step ladder to access it. Most can be removed by simply unscrewing it. Set it off to the side with the bolts (if used) so it can be easily accessed later.
- Step 4 - Remove the old canopy fabric
Slowly lift the fabric from the top center of the canopy with one hand and gather more with the other until it is completely freed from the rib assembly. If you missed removing or detaching any ribs, you'll quickly discover your omission here. With the removed canopy in hand, carefully step down off the stool or ladder (if used) and set the fabric out of the way.
- Step 5 - Check the condition of the canopy framework
Occasionally, individual ribs may get damaged during wind gusts or if the umbrella is opened or closed improperly or while obstructed. Sometimes, the attached fabric itself helps to hide structural damage beneath. Take advantage of the naked umbrella to inspect each rib, connector and hub to ensure that they are in perfect working condition. If anything is broken, you may want to buy a replacement before attaching the new canopy.
- Step 6 - Clean the ribs and hubs
Remove any debris that may have accumulated in the framework. There are plenty of moving parts in the hub and rib assemblies where leaves, pine needles and other small particles may have gotten wedged in over time. Needle nose pliers are extremely helpful for removing small bits from tight hard-to-get-at spaces. Once the umbrella frame is free from debris, wipe down everything with a damp rag. This is the perfect time to clean off dirt and grime and make your umbrella look its best. Use soapy water and a soft brush if needed to address stubborn build-up.
- Step 7 - Put on the new canopy
Drape the replacement canopy over the umbrella frame and center the hole with the top of the pole or frame. Rotate the canopy to align the corners of the fabric with the ribs.
- Step 8 - Reattach the finial
Screw the finial through the hole and into the pole or frame. You might not want to screw it in all the way to give you a little “wiggle room” to adjust the fabric if the corners get slightly misaligned.
- Step 9 - Secure the new canopy to the rib tips
Reverse the process you used in Step 2 to fit the fabric to the rib assembly. It may be easier if you slightly open the umbrella so that you don't accidentally miss a rib and attach the fabric incorrectly. Also, be careful not to tighten any screws or hex bolts too tightly to avoid stripping the holes (especially if the ribs are wood or fiberglass). Work your way around until all corners of the canopy are attached. If you left the finial a little loose, tighten it down at this point.
- Step 10 - Open the outdoor umbrella
Slowly open the umbrella and monitor everything to make sure that it's opening evenly and that the ribs are properly positioned. New canopies tend to be slightly smaller than the old stretched-out ones they're replacing, so the tension is going to be stronger initially. Don't force the canopy open quickly and risk bending ribs. Go slowly to allow the rib tips to settle in their pockets or adjust to their new fasteners and the increased tension safely.
How do you attach patio umbrella lights?
Outdoor umbrella lights are typically attached in one of two ways, depending on the product design.
- Ring Umbrella Lights - These round clasp-like LED accessories open up and close around the central pole of market umbrellas or lower hub extension posts of some cantilever models. Most products automatically adjust to the diameter but may not be compatible with wider poles. You can place them at any height you want along the pole. They should be removed before closing the canopy to prevent damage.
- String Umbrella Lights - These resemble holiday lights and may be strung along individual ribs and secured with cable ties or hung from the edge of canopies by clips. If the LED bulbs dangle like icicles or have excess wiring, be careful when opening and closing to avoid tangles.