By Kevin Aiken

Take time to choose the perfect market umbrella stands for your garden. This is a purchase that should last a lifetime if you take care of it. Always follow the instructions that come with your patio furniture and make sure you carry out any required maintenance.

A little work on a regular basis is a lot easier to manage than a huge repair. For example if you are packing up your umbrella for the winter season, check it before you roll it up to make sure there are no tears or cracks in the parasol. If there are, mend them now.

Always store your market umbrella stands correctly. If you cover them choose a fabric that allows the air to circulate or you are just inviting mold and mildew. As the stand is probably made of wood it needs to be kept in a dry place or it will warp and may split. You may have to paint the wood with a protective coat. Don't just cover it in varnish and hope for the best. Varnish is not an adequate protector against rain not to mention snow.

If your umbrella stand is going to be permanent fixture in your backyard you must buy the style most appropriate for this task. Wicker looks fantastic but teak will probably stand up to the weather better. There is a reason it was used in the ship building industry.

When you are putting up the market umbrella stands check all the mechanisms are working correctly. If you have a large umbrella you may have a pulley or automatic system. It pays to check these on a regular basis and sort out any problems as soon as they arise. You don't want to have to work the umbrella on a manual basis if you can avoid it.

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