No one likes an umbrella that stops working or gets stuck open or close right when you need it the most. That is why it is a good practice to check on your umbrellas right before the rainy season or your travel. Apart from that, you should also know how to fix an umbrella that won’t stay open so that you won’t have to throw it away and buy a new one.
Fixing your own umbrella will definitely save you time and money. Fortunately, some solutions are easy and straightforward, as long as you have basic do-it-yourself skills.
What Are the Common Problems with Umbrellas?
Not all umbrella issues can be fixed without professional help. That said, here are some issues that you can resolve on your own:
- Broken rivets: Most umbrellas use a base that can be moved upward to the top to open the umbrella. This base is often called “runner”. When the runner reaches the top or the stretcher, which is a retractable combination of two rods joined together with rivets, it straightens and would hold the umbrella open. If it is broken, your umbrella will not remain open, but as will be explained in the process later, a thin but strong wire can fix this problem since you can use the wire as rivets to keep the two stretcher pieces together.
- Ripped canopy: In this case, you can simply use a repair patch or sew up the hole.
- Snapped stem: In some umbrellas, the stem often snaps off, but this can be fixed using super glue that can reattach both pieces.
Some of the common problems that you cannot repair on your own include:
- Broken spring: Most umbrellas also feature bottom and top springs that keep the runner in place when you close or open the umbrella. You need to push the runner above the top spring to open it completely and to push it below the bottom spring to close it. In some cases, the top spring also gets broken, and this is not fixable.
- Retracting umbrellas: Umbrellas falling back when open is also one of the common issues people face with retractable umbrellas. People push up the base to fully open the canopy, but it doesn’t hold and falls back as soon as you remove your hand. Same is the case with some automatic umbrellas that come with an open and close button; as soon as you press the button, the base moves up but falls back immediately. These are also not fixable.
How to Fix an Umbrella that Won’t Stay Open
Let us now look into the details on how to fix umbrellas that won’t open.
1. Find the Cause
Before fixing an umbrella, you need to understand what needs to be fixed. For that, you need to look into the root cause why the umbrella is not opening correctly, and why it is not holding up, and falling back.
One of the main reasons behind this problem is that the little rivets that hold the component parts of the umbrella’s stretcher break down. The solution to this problem though is very simple. With some basic household stuff, you can fix this issue.
2. Gather the Tools You Need
We are sure you can find these items in your home, and you don’t have to go to the hardware store. Here is the list of the things you need:
- A thin but strong metal wire
- A sailing knot
- A pair of scissors
To begin with, you should have at least a six-inch long wire, and we recommend the enameled type as it doesn’t rust in wet conditions, which adds life to your umbrella. If the wire rusts after some time, it will also damage your umbrella.
Also, make sure the wire is strong enough but not too thick that makes it difficult for you to wrap. All-in-all, you need to choose between a too thin and a too thick wire that doesn’t break but remains easy to fold or wrap. It must also be strong enough to hold the stretcher together when exposed to strong wind or rain, and the perfect fit would be 20-2 gauged wire.
3. Fix the Broken Stretcher
- With your scissors, carefully cut the wire in an appropriate length and then find the broken stretcher that has problematic rivets. After which, join the two pieces of the stretcher or spokes together and match the rivet holes. (Tip: Don’t open the umbrella completely, but keep it slightly closed, as this allows you to work with slightly bent stretchers or spokes, making it easier for you to line up the rivets in a secure position.)
- Pass the wire through the holes and fold it. Keep passing it and folding it until you have multiple wraps around the rivet holes and you feel the grip is tight enough to keep the stretcher together.
- Also, keep wrapping it until there is no room left for the wire to go through. Do two knots with the wire and trim the two ends to about half an inch. Once done, you can now twist the ends and then tuck them away; this will strengthen the grip of the wire and will keep stretchers together.
This process turns the wire into a sort of axle, or simply a connecting piece between the broken spokes. You can now try to open and close your umbrella, and it should stay open now as the broken stretcher is fixed.
By looking at the process on how to fix an umbrella that won’t stay open, we are assured that you found it very simple and quick to do. Almost all umbrellas can be fixed, but you have to find the root problem so that you know if you are wasting you’re wasting your time or not.
All-in-all, a broken umbrella doesn’t always mean that you need to spend money on buying a new one. Sometimes, depending on the problem and the cause, you can fix it on your own and can save money.