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Commercial Outdoor Umbrella Buyer's Guide

Commercial Umbrellas Buyers Guide

Spring is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about how to outfit your park, business, or office with commercial umbrellas to beat the summer heat. These commercial market umbrellas boost the shade at your facility, providing a much-needed break from the sun. How important is just a little shade? Did you know that being in direct sunlight makes the temperature feel 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than what the thermostat actually measures? There is a huge difference between 85 and 100 degrees. In addition, commercial outdoor umbrellas can protect guests from downpours and unpredictable weather. Whatever kind of facility you run, commercial umbrellas can make a world of difference in shading your guests and making them feel comfortable enough to return another day. 

commercial pool umbrellas

Commercial pool umbrellas must endure constant sunlight and heat. 

Commercial outdoor umbrellas are a long-term investment that can last several seasons, but only if you purchase the right type. There are a few factors to remember when buying commercial outdoor umbrellas. The most important things to look for are listed below.

Commercial umbrellas come in variety of sizes

If you purchase a small umbrella, it will leave your guests exposed to direct heat from the sun. This is not only uncomfortable but actually not healthy for them as well. Direct exposure causes burns and can lead to skin problems.

]commercial patio umbrellas

Commercial patio umbrellas

Outdoor umbrellas have been found to significantly reduce the exposure to sunlight. A U.S. study by JAMA Dermatology found that umbrellas block 75% of UV rays, and black umbrellas block at least 90%. Make sure you install very large commercial umbrellas that cover guests completely.

We’ve all been to that park with umbrellas that are just barely too small. While your head might be shaded, your legs are uncovered and getting fried. Commercial patio umbrellas need to cover even the tallest guests to keep them comfortable and healthy in the summer heat. Also, make sure the umbrellas are easy to move as the sun rotates throughout the day.

Whatever size you consider, perhaps add another foot or two to be sure. There are also very, very large commercial outdoor umbrellas available on the market, as big as 20 feet in diameter, which is virtually like providing a tent. Another aspect to consider is the opening mechanism. Make sure opening an umbrella, especially a large commercial umbrella, can be accomplished easily. There are crank lifts, pulley lifts, and manual push-up lifts. Some umbrellas even come with a remote motorized life device.  

Fabric quality is critical

The core of the sun can reach up to 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. While even the hottest climates don’t have to worry about such scorching temperatures, those hot rays will leave a lasting impact if human skin has too much exposure. Protection from a large commercial patio umbrella helps prevent sunburn, but it does mean that your umbrellas will bear the brunt of those rays directly.

commercial umbrella parts

Commercial umbrella parts - the runner, ribs, pulley and canopy. 

Cheap umbrellas will fade and fall apart quickly after a little exposure to the sun. Cheap fabric can easily be damaged, making your facility look cheap. Even worse, they can pose a real threat to guests since they are less sturdy—in strong winds, they will probably break and hurt someone. Sun fading occurs due to photo-degradation, a chemical reaction between the sunlight and fabric dyes. The dyes in the fabric break down into their individual elements after long exposure to sunlight and UV rays, causing the color to fade and the fabric to wear down and deteriorate.

If you buy the cheapest commercial outdoor umbrella on the market, you will likely find yourself purchasing another one next summer. Instead, make a long-term investment now in a commercial grade umbrella that is ultra-durable. Consider heavy gauge vinyl or marine-grade fabrics. Certain fabrics, such as Sunbrellas, are designed for long-term outdoor exposure and offer no-fade warranties.

Colors are important for several reasons

The color of fabric that you select can have an impact on the UV protection the umbrellas provide to guests. The New York Times wrote about a study in which three fabrics were dyed blue, red, and yellow. They found that red and blue (especially darker and more intense shades) performed best at blocking UV-B rays, the most harmful type. 

Commercial beach umbrellas

Commercial beach umbrellas 

Black umbrellas are also excellent at blocking UV rays. While your facility might not want to decorate with black umbrellas everywhere, certainly consider commercial outdoor umbrellas in darker shades to increase UV-B absorption and make your guests as comfortable as possible. Another aspect to consider is aesthetics. Vibrant, brightly colored umbrellas can immediately add a pleasing visual “pop” to any patio, pool area, outside dining area or landscape. The variety is endless - choose from such exciting colors as Pacific Blue, Turquoise, Forest Green, Teal, Terracotta, Pistachio or many others. That’s another reason why durable fabric that can prevent fading from continual ultraviolet radiation is critical.

Quality commercial patio umbrellas require attention to detail

The design of umbrellas is much more carefully thought out than you would initially think. While you may assume the canopy at the top was a simple invention, it consists of several individual parts to help it function at its highest capacity. You will want to examine each part closely when purchasing an umbrella for your facility. Here is a breakdown of parts:

commercial umbrella parts 4.14.17
  • Runner: This is the piece that you slide up the umbrella to open it and hold it in place.
  • Vents: These work just like the vents on top of your tent that you take camping. A vent’s covered holes at the top of the umbrella allow the wind to pass through easily. This keeps the area cool and grounded if a gust of wind comes.
  • Ribs: This is the web-looking metal or plastic piece that holds your umbrella open. On a cheap umbrella, this can be the first piece to break or stop working. Make sure you select commercial grade umbrellas with high-quality ribs.
  • Finial – the very top of the umbrella above the canopy. Sometimes ornamental.
  • Pole – most of these are wooden but they can be purchased in aluminum or fiberglass as well.
  • Base - these can be manufactured with a heavy steel plate or an empty aluminum or plastic base that can then be filled with sand or gravel.
  • Pulleys and Cranks - some commercial umbrellas come with cranks that can raise the canopy by turning the handle. For a less complicated way to raise an umbrella, rope pulley systems are still very popular.
  • Additional parts –the joints, rivets, end tips and center ring also play important functions when it comes to quality commercial outdoor umbrellas. Don’t try to save a few dollars by purchasing a cheap umbrella with inferior parts. You run the risk of failure with any of these integral parts and that will create problems or possibly hazardous situations.

These pieces work together flawlessly, making all sizes of umbrellas much more comfortable and useful. Whether it’s a small patio umbrella, compact travel umbrella for rain, or a full sized commercial outdoor umbrella, its careful design is what keeps the umbrella up and the customers happy.

A sturdy base keeps the umbrella in place

When people picture umbrellas, they think of the fun shape at the top. But commercial umbrellas at parks and businesses can only stand up straight with a strong base. This is the part that keeps your umbrella up and keeps your guests safe. Some lightweight bases are filled with sand just like the basketball hoop base you might have used as a child. Some bases are steel or concrete, making it heavy enough to stand on its own. Some are aluminum that can be filled with sand or gravel.

Others come with wheels so that staff or guests can easily move the umbrellas without much effort. No matter which type of base you choose, remember to select the size that will work with your umbrella. Many umbrellas list a recommended base weight, so you will want to check that before purchasing since not all base weights work with all umbrellas. Also, take into account weather conditions in your area. Many people have actually been injured from flying umbrellas.

The oldest reference to a collapsible umbrella dates to 21 AD in China, when one was designed to accompany a carriage. Since then, umbrellas have grown in popularity across the world for thousands of years. Clearly, they have stood the test of time and will continue to keep people dry, cool, and comfortable for years to come. Go the extra mile for your guests this summer by installing plenty of high-quality commercial grade umbrellas. They will notice and come back to visit again, even when the temperature is climbing during the hot summer months.

About the Park and Facilities Catalog

The Park and Facilities Catalog is headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. The company is a national manufacturer and provider of a large selection of commercial site furnishings including commercial outdoor umbrellas, market umbrellas, beach umbrellas and patio umbrellas. Our commercial umbrellas are available in a large array of colors and sizes. Also with our ParkExpress program, we have products in stock that can ship in just 3 days. Since 2001, we have supplied top quality commercial site furnishings to parks, schools, universities, restaurants, stores, malls, shopping centers, multi-family communities across the United States. Additional site furnishings products include park benches, picnic tables, trash receptacles, aluminum bleachers and hundreds of other items.

CALL US TODAY AT 1-866-280-9894 for a free catalog of commercial umbrellas or visit our website: https://www.theparkcatalog.com/umbrellas