Umbrellas help you stay dry on a wet day or escape the summer sun, but umbrellas that will not retract are a problem to carry and store. While you could toss these unruly accessories away without a second thought, those who have purchased an expensive umbrella, such as those produced by London Fog, may prefer to seek a more economic solution and fix it at home.
Things You'll Need
Examine the interior of the umbrella to locate the source of the problem. Start at the bottom and carefully depress the bottom spring, the protruding piece that keeps the shaft extended.
Manually depress the top spring, the triangular bar that keeps the upper part of the shaft straight. Apply lubricant to the top spring and flex it in and out if it feels stiff.
Slide the runner, the cylinder that slides up and down the shaft. Try to push it up and extend the umbrella all the way. Depress the top spring while pulling the runner down to see if the problem is a sticky runner. Clean the shaft and apply lubricant to the runner.
Grasp a stretcher; this is the jointed bar that folds when the umbrella is closed. Test the joint while attempting to close the umbrella; a jammed stretcher will appear out of alignment and may produce a faint grinding sound when moved.
Use pliers to bend the stretcher back into place.
References and ResourcesPatio Umbrellas: Patio Umbrella Anatomy
BurdaStyle: Repair Your Umbrella
"Threads Magazine": How to Recover an Umbrella