How to Hold Down a Canopy on Concrete?
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So, you’ve brought everything you need to the big football game, plus your wonderful canopy. It’s a windy day, but you’re excited and ready to cook some delicious foods and enjoy the day. The only problem is, you’re tailgating in a parking lot. That’s not an easy place to hold down a canopy. It can be surprising just how easily a small amount of wind can pick up the edge of a canopy at just the right angle to send it soaring. Depending on how tightly you’re packed in, that could spell disaster for your canopy.
When adding weight to your canopy’s legs, you’ll want to start with about 35 pounds, depending on the severity of the wind, and then possibly work your way up to about 50 pounds.
How do you hold down a canopy on concrete, so that it doesn’t blow away or fall apart – and stays up for hours?
Canopy Anchors & Weights
The most popular solution for light canopies is to use canopy anchors and weights. These are handy devices used to hold down canopy legs. Whether your canopy has slanted legs or straight legs, these will work really well.
Where do you get anchors and weights?
They can often be found right from the same manufacturer who created the canopy. Many brands, such as E-Z UP, offer anchor weights, sandbags, and other weight-bearing solutions. Search online to see if you can find ones that specifically go with your particular canopy. These weights are usually rectangular in shape, made of a heavy metal, and can be fitted right on the leg. With some designs, you can stack them to add more weight.
Another anchoring weight idea is to use actual hand weights or round weights from a weight set. As a bonus feature, the thin round weights can be stacked. They won’t take up much room at the end of the legs. These gym items work well to hold the canopy’s foot pad down firmly on the concrete.
Making Your Own Weights
Yes, you can definitely make your own canopy weights! It is a fairly simple project. The weights are made out of PVC pipe, with concrete poured inside. There’s a handle on the side of the weight and a hook on the top.
You would use a two foot long section of 4” diameter PVC pipe. You won’t want a longer section of PVC pipe, since these weights can get very heavy. Glue one cap end onto the pipe. Position the handle vertically in the center of the pipe and screw it in. You could use wood backing to make it more stable. After attaching the handle, fill up the center of the PVC pipe with concrete. Then, put on the other cap that has the hook bolted through the center of the cap end.
Repeat three more times until you have four canopy weights. The nice thing about this project is that you can customize the weights to be any size that you need. They’re also very durable, are weatherproof, will stand up to many years of use, and you can even paint them different colors to match your canopy fabric.
A second type of do it yourself canopy weight is to use a 5 gallon bucket. You fill the bucket with cement, then before it sets, anchor a section of PVC pipe within it. Screw some eyebolts through the pipes, and then use those buckets to set on top of the canopy legs. These weights are very heavy when filled with concrete, so caution is needed when moving them.
Stop the Wind with Sandbags
Sandbags are another popular way to anchor down a canopy on pavement or concrete. The canopy company E-Z UP sells a specific type of empty sandbag. You would then pour in the sand or pea gravel yourself. The bags include a clip that is easy to attach to your canopy’s legs.
Of course, just like with the anchor weights solution above, you could make your own sandbags. You can purchase nylon and grommets at a craft store, then fill them with sand and use a light rope or bungee cords with carabiner clips to attach them firmly to the canopy legs.
With sandbags, durability is key. Many canopy vendors attend fairs and events throughout the year, so it’s best to find a solution that will last more than one season. Sandbags made from nylon are more durable than other materials.
Getting Creative with Canopy Weights
Of course, these aren’t the only ideas! Some canopy users can get very clever with solutions to holding their pop up tent down. One idea is to tie the canopy to a vehicle, weighing it down that way. Another is to use bungee cords or light rope to tie the canopy to heavy ice filled coolers or a very heavy table, such as a picnic table.
One gallon milk jugs or orange juice jugs filled with small stones or pea gravel also work very well. You can affix them to the canopy legs with light rope or bungee cords. Two milk jugs in each corner provide enough stability. When completely filled, they can weigh about 10 pounds each. Some canopy users fill theirs with water, which would be about 8 pounds per jug.
As you’re experimenting with different weight sizes and placements, you’ll want to make sure the weights themselves are lower to the ground. Your canopy side walls can inadvertently act against you to move the entire thing!
Also, while cinder blocks may be popular, inexpensive, and readily available, they’re not recommended to hold down a canopy, because the visitors walking by might trip. It’s safer to use the homemade PVC pipe weights, milk jug or orange juice jug weights, or the 5 gallon buckets filled with concrete.
But, adding more weights and keeping them lower to the ground is more effective at creating a wind resistant canopy. Now you can tailgate, enjoy the craft fair, or sit in the cool shade without your canopy blowing away.