How to Prepare Your Pergola for Bad Weather
If you’re lucky enough to own a pergola, then you know what a fantastic outdoor living area it is; an ideal space for relaxing and entertaining in the warmer months.
But when bad weather arrives, your pergola may need some TLC to protect it from the elements. If it’s made from timber then you no doubt already perform regular maintenance to keep it ship-shape, and if it’s made from steel or aluminium, as many are these days, then little or no maintenance is required.
But regardless of what it’s made of, when bad weather is on the way there are certain things you can do to help keep your pergola safe.
Preparing your pergola for winter
Where you live will determine the severity of your winters, but if you’re used to experiencing cold and wet winter months, you can protect your pergola in the following ways;
- Waterproof your deck – If your deck is made from timber, treat it with a couple of coats of waterproofing sealant to help protect it from any rain that blows into your pergola. Before applying the sealant, make sure you sweep the deck thoroughly and remove any debris such as dirt and leaves that might have accumulated between the boards.
- Seal gaps – If your pergola has windows, make sure there are no gaps where drafts can get in. If it’s an open air pergola, seal the doors and windows opening onto it from the house with caulking or weather strips.
- Clean gutters and downpipes – If your pergola is attached to the roof of your home, make sure your gutters and downpipes are clear and free of rust. Overflow from blocked gutters in heavy winter rains could cause extensive damage to both your house and your pergola.
Preparing for storms
If the bad weather you’re expecting is more severe, some more drastic measures may be needed to protect your pergola. Things you could do include:
- Clean up your backyard, as any loose items can become missiles in a storm.
- Put all outdoor furniture from your pergola away in the shed, so it can’t be damaged or become airborne. Cover large heavy items with a waterproof covering.
- Take pots and planters indoors or place them in the shed, as plants will probably not survive in violent winds.
- Cut back any overhanging tree branches near your pergola, but make sure you do this well ahead of a forecast storm rather than at the last minute.
- If your pergola has glass in it, tape it with duct tape or masking tape to prevent glass from falling in if it shatters.
Hopefully you will never need to take such measures as these, but as they say, preparation is always the key. If bad weather does come calling one day, then observing these few simple precautions should help to ensure that your pergola survives to continue providing you with enjoyment for many years to come.