How Do You Repair a Tear in a Patio Umbrella?

Patio umbrella with a repaired tear.

A new patio umbrella is very costly. This is why you should learn to do some small repairs instead of buying a new one. A patio umbrella faces a lot of rough conditions all year round, these rough conditions make the fabric weak and can tear easily over time. Most patio umbrellas tear along the ribs. 

You are advised to repair a tear as soon as you see it because if you ignore it might extend hence more damage. If a tear is not repaired in time your patio umbrella might be useless. In this article, I am going to give you a simple procedure on how to repair a tear in patio umbrellas. 

Can a Patio Umbrella be Repaired?

The type of problem your patio umbrella is having is the one that will determine if it can be repaired. But if the problem is too big/serious consider buying a new patio umbrella because repairing it can be more expensive than a new umbrella.

Patio umbrellas are easy to repair because you can buy spare parts from the nearest hardware store. But if you see the problem still coming back, just buy a new patio umbrella. 

Common problems that can be repaired easily include:

  • A torn fabric 
  • A bent umbrella pole 
  • Broken umbrella ribs 
  • Loose/broken strings 
  • Broken cord
  • Hard/rusted knob 

Procedure on How to Repair a Tear in Patio Umbrellas 

What You Need 

  • Fabric glue 
  • Heavy object
  • A patch
  • Needle and thread

Step 1

Remove the umbrella from the patio table, then remove the fabric from the frame. Look for a large open area and spread the fabric. Make sure you spread the fabric on a flat surface that has no sharp objects which can lead to other tears. The surface below should also be clean. 

Step 2

Inspect and find the area that is torn. Clean that area to remove dust, if there is mold or mildew around that area use chlorine bleach to remove it. Cleaning is important because the glue will not stick on a dirty surface. 

Step 3 

Use a pair of scissors to cut off any hanging loose threads or frays. Inspect the tear and make sure there are no hanging loose threads especially on the edges. 

Step 4

If the tear is not more than 5 inches, just bring the edges close together and apply glue on one side then overlap the other side on top. Put a heavy object on top for the glue to stick. You can stitch for reinforcement. 

If the tear is big/large. Cut a patch that is somehow bigger than the tear, the patch should be at least one inch bigger than the tear on all sides. Apply glue on the patch then cover the torn part. Make sure the torn edges are close together before you cover the patch. You can stitch the edges as reinforcement. 

Is there an easier method to repair a patio umbrella fabric rip?

Sewing a fabric patch is a better method for the longevity of the repair, but if you want something that is quick and easy, we have you covered.

This canvas repair patch comes in a variety of colors, is self-adhering, and is a perfect way to quickly patch your umbrella fabric!

KING MOUNTAIN Canvas Repair Tape, Outdoor Gear Patch, 4×63 Inches, Waterproof,Self-Adhesive for Outdoor Gear, Boat Covers, Sun Shades, Sofas, Tents, Lounge Chairs, Awnings, Sails(Khaki)

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Patio Umbrella 

  1. Make sure the patio is leveled 

Table umbrellas need your patio to be flat and leveled. If the ground is not flat it might lead to some accidents when there is a gust of strong wind. Falling patio umbrellas sometimes can break hence more loss. 

  1. Portability of the patio umbrella 

Choose an umbrella that can be easily moved from one point to the other. Choose a patio umbrella that comes with a portable base and a table. Having this will give you a chance to enjoy most of your outdoor space. 

  1. Size of your sitting area/patio 

Most homeowners recommend that you get a patio umbrella that is larger than your sitting area or larger than the table. Or else you will not get full protection from both the sun and the rain. The general rule states that the umbrella should be two feet larger than the table. 

  1. Quality of the umbrella fabric 

Try and choose a durable fabric that is manufactured for outdoor purposes. Durable outdoor fabric is one that is strong but lightweight, waterproof, stain proof, sun-resistant, and easily foldable.

It is hard to find patio umbrellas with these qualities, but try and get one that has at least three of them all.

  1. Study the behavior of your patio shade 

The sun rises from the east and sets in the west. You should take time and study how the sun reaches your patio. If you see there is a moving shade select an umbrella with a tilting top. But if the shade is constant, pick a standing umbrella. 

Tilting patio umbrellas are suitable in areas where there are no buildings or trees around. 

  1. Weather conditions 

Weather is the biggest enemy of patio umbrellas. If you stay in an area that is windy, pick a patio umbrella that is made of wood or fiberglass because these materials are flexible. 

Aluminum and steel are strong and they can resist rust but they do not work well in storms and strong winds because they are not flexible. 

  1. Construct or buy a base weight

For your patio umbrella to be stable you must have a good base. Some umbrellas come with their own bases, but others don’t come with bases hence you should construct one using concrete and sand. A free-standing umbrella requires a much heavier base than a table umbrella. 

  1. Consider cantilever umbrellas 

These are umbrellas that are suitable for extra-large patio spaces. They are normally suspended, but supported from the sides hence giving open and unobstructed sheds. 

However, they have a shortcoming of being very costly to install and maintain. 


A torn fabric is not the end of life for your patio umbrella. You can give it a few extra years by repairing the fabric using fabric glue and a patch. A patch can only be used when the tear is huge, but if it is a small one just overlap the torn edges and stick with fabric glue.