What Wind Speed Should You Close Your Patio Umbrella?
To make the most of your outdoor patio umbrella, you need to consider all factors, like fabric, color, construction, etc. There is, however, another factor called wind resistance and rating. Although this particular factor does not fall under any warranty, it can tell you a lot about the relative durability and strength of the product.
You should close your patio umbrella if the wind velocity exceeds the range of 15-20 mph, although high-quality wind-resistant umbrellas may withstand it. The thumb rule for this is that your umbrella should not remain open in a condition where you are not comfortable yourself.
Usually, when you purchase an outdoor umbrella for your patio, you expect it to withstand all types of outdoor weather. However, there might be a limit to how much your umbrella can handle.
This article sheds light on the issues with patio umbrellas in a high-wind situation, so you know when it is the best time to close them.
How Much Wind is Too Much for Your Patio Umbrella to Take?
If you are bothered about your patio umbrella getting damaged or blown over due to high wind, you need to know how much it can withstand. Understanding this will let you decide when best to close and put it away.
The National Weather Service announces a wind advisory only in two conditions:
- When there is a chance of sustained winds of 30 mph for an hour
- When there is a chance of frequent gusts of wind at 45 mph in the coming 36 hours
That does not mean anything less than that is not damaging enough. So, should you keep the patio umbrella open when the wind speed is 20 mph or more?
Keeping Your Patio Umbrella Open Under 20 mph Wind Speed
Ideally, wind velocity in the range of 15-20 mph can be considered breezy, and your patio umbrella should be fine in such conditions. It gets tricky when the speed increases beyond 20 to 30 mph. This may not be as dangerous as a storm, but it is still windy enough.
Besides, you should not be keeping your patio umbrella open when the wind speed is 20 mph or higher if you want it to last.
During rain or a windstorm, the excess wind can rip through the ribs inside the umbrella. The lightweight materials used in the construction make the umbrella susceptible to getting blown and toppling over. It most severely affects the fabric as the wind drags the umbrella in its direction.
If you are using a lightweight umbrella, the chances are that both the pole and the fabric will be pulled and torn away. That does not mean the heavier fabric is out of danger, though. The wind will break the beam of the umbrella in this case.
If you are not aware and take proper precautions, your umbrella will not last. However, it does not mean that the quality of the product was terrible. Even the highest quality product needs proper maintenance to ensure it lasts for long. So, what should you do in this scenario?
You should not be using a patio umbrella in a high-wind situation in the first place. However, if you insist on keeping it open, the only option is a wind-resistant product.
Although these models may appear similar to a regular patio umbrella, the construction is much more different. They function by controlling the air flow through the canopy of the umbrella.
First of all, the fabric has vents in it that can disperse the air. As the wind rushes through the umbrella, the vents can direct some of the air flow under the fabric. The wind will flow around and underneath the umbrella, causing less damage.
Moreover, it would help if you also had a robust support pole and base that would not be easily blown away. Ideally, though, you probably should close the patio umbrella if it gets too uncomfortable for you to stay outside in the wind – you wouldn't be using it in any case.
Consider the Wind Rating When Choosing a Wind-Resistant Patio Umbrella
Sure, wind-resistant patio umbrellas are your best bet in high-wind situations. One of the easiest ways to know if one is a great investment is by checking its wind rating. This will also let you know if the claims by the manufacturer are valid.
With the wind rating, you would know, for sure, that the umbrella has undergone comprehensive testing for wind resistance. This also guarantees that your patio umbrella will not quickly get damaged and last longer.
There are various ways of testing this, and manufacturers may use one or all of the following methods.
1. Software Modeling
Advanced software is used along with machine learning to create scenarios for testing purposes. Most of these simulations predict the performance of the umbrella under extreme wind speed.
2. Wind Tunnel
Similar to the software modeling, wind tunnel tests are also used to check the products' aerodynamics. This is a prevalent method for testing, not just for umbrellas but also for planes, cars, and even footballs. However, just like software modeling, this is a simulation in a controlled environment.
3. Real World Situations
There is nothing better than real-world testing for indeed checking under the unpredictability of nature. For this, sample models are taken to various locations to see how well they would actually perform.
Even though your patio umbrella is built to withstand outdoor weather conditions, you should not put it through extreme situations. The umbrella is bound to break or tear when pushed beyond its limits. It does not mean that the quality of the product was not up to the mark.
You can always choose windproof umbrellas that deliver better performance than regular market products. For instance, the market patio umbrellas from Midtown Umbrellas are designed with the best wind resistance ratings.
It is still wise to take the umbrella down when the wind gets too uncomfortable. When used right, the patio umbrella can last really long, so you should take good care of it.