6 handy ‘did-you-knows’ to maintain your parasols

Make sure your parasols always look at their best

Your terrace is the visiting card for your business. It is one of the first things that people look for. And you only get one chance to make a good first impression. A defective or dirty parasol sends out a negative message: ‘The owners of this place don’t take care of their things’. You can almost hear people thinking: ‘If they can’t be bothered to take care of their parasols, what must their food be like?’

  • During the season, your parasol is more often closed than open: you close it at night, during your closing day, when you are on holiday… Use a protective cover. In this way, your parasol won’t get dirty when it’s closed. It will also double the life of the fabric.
  • If the fabric gets dirty, clean it. Follow the m cleaning instructions.
  • A professional manufacturer will usually offer a winter service. Have your parasols thoroughly and professionally cleaned at the end of each season. Ask for advice from your supplier.

Avoid your parasols becoming dirty by choosing the right colour

Parasols become dirty on some terraces more quickly than on others. This can be influenced by a number of factors: trees in the immediate vicinity, a high density of passing traffic, etc.

  • Trees turn the things around them green. But you will notice this less on a green parasol.
  • Traffic pollution turns things grey and black. Again, this will be less visible on grey and black fabric.
  • Some types and colours of fabric become dirty faster or slower than others. Ask for advice.

Stop your parasols from getting dirty

Nobody likes cleaning. I certainly don’t. Prevention is better than cure: that’s my motto. Sadly, everything gets dirty sooner or later. That’s why we wash our clothes and polish our cars until they are nice and shiny. But what about our parasols? We let them get dirtier and dirtier, for weeks, months and sometimes even years on end. By then, it’s too late to ever get them clean again, so you need to buy new ones. A wasted investment. But what can you do to avoid it?

  • Close your parasols as soon as they are not in use. A closed parasol catches much less dirt than an open one. Closing days, during the night, when it’s raining, when it’s cloudy: these are all moments when you can close your parasols to keep them cleaner.
  • Use a protective cover. When your parasol is closed, the cover gets dirty instead of the canopy. And covers are easier and cheaper to replace.
  • Choose the right colours for your fabric, so that dirt isn’t as noticeable.

Clean your parasols regularly

This is self-evident. A white shirt that you never wash doesn’t stay white for long. And after a few weeks of wear, you will never get it white again. It’s only fit for the dustbin or for polishing your shoes. Of course, the same rule also applies to your parasols. The dirtier you allow them to become, the harder they are to clean.

  • Remove bird droppings every day. If you don’t, they penetrate into the fabric, so that after a couple of weeks you will never get rid of them. Don’t scrub fresh droppings; this will simply spread them over a wider area. Let them harden and then brush them off with a soft, dry brush. If necessary, use a special cleaning product. You can find this at your suppliers.
  • Do your parasol canopies get dirty quickly? If so, clean them regularly. Watch out for shrinkage; otherwise the fabric will no longer fit over the frame. Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines.
  • Clean your parasols thoroughly at the end of the season, before you put them away for the winter. If you don’t, the dirt has all winter to work its way deeper into the fabric. In some cases, this can even cause rotting.

Use a winter service

Do you store your parasols on your own premises for the winter? Are they always getting in the way? Your parasols are a major investment, so you want to take good care of them during the winter months. There are professional services that can help you.

  • Have your parasols collected at the end of the season.
  • Your supplier will clean them, repair them, and store them for the winter.
  • At the start of the next season, a specialist team will put them back on your terrace, looking like new. And all without worry for you.

Winter service

“We have had our parasols for nine years now, and they still look like new. A professional service team comes to collect them at the end of the summer. The maker cleans the fabric and the frames during the winter, and stores them until the following spring, when he returns them to our terrace, in time for the start of the new season.”

Three-star chef Geert Van Hecke (De Karmeliet, De Refter, Zet’Joe)

Store your parasols properly

You prefer to store your parasols yourself? Use the following tips:

  • Always use a good protective cover. Your parasol can also get dirty or damaged during the winter.
  • Never lean parasols at an angle against a wall. Either place them vertically or lay them horizontally on the floor. If you lay them on the floor, make sure you don’t put anything else on top of them. Provide support for the parasol over its full length. Don’t put them on trestles, because then you concentrate the full weight on just two points.
  • Each winter, customers call me because the fabric of their parasols has been eaten away by mice or other rodents. Storing your parasols vertically will make it much harder for these little pests to climb the masts and cause damage.

Pick the right parasol
(and your terrace will be packed)

50 parasol tips for the catering world

The book of 'parasologist' Pierre Christiaens for the
catering professional who wants to get more out of his business.

Pierre Christiaans

"Parasologist" and author

How can you get more out of your terrace? Why can the right parasol help to make your terrace more pro table? And how do you choose the right parasol?

In this book, ‘parasologist’ Pierre Christiaens offers insights based on his more than 25 years of experience and know-how in the world of parasols for catering businesses. With dozens of awards, his company Symo Parasols is most highly acclaimed parasol producer under the sun.

Pierre is most proud of his honorary title as ‘Maestro dell’Artigianato’ (Master Craftsman) of the City of Rome.

Symo Parasols also created the famous Sywawa ‘Sunbelievable’ design parasols.

In 2007, Unizo nominated Pierre Christiaens as the most creative entrepreneur of the year.

This book allows you to benefit from that creativity and entrepreneurial skill.
Because with the right parasol you can get so much more out of your business.