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  • Barry Lenson

Seasonal Maintenance Tips for Pergolas

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

What Should You Do to Get Your Pergola Ready for Winter?

If you live in a part of the country where winters are mild, your pergola might not require much seasonal maintenance as we move from October to November and beyond. A simple cleaning with brushes, mops, water, and brooms should be enough.

But in most regions of the U.S. and Canada, preparing your pergola for winter is essential to protect it from harsh weather conditions and ensure its longevity.

Here are some steps to follow.

Clean Your Pergola

Don’t wait until all the autumn leaves fall and accumulate in soggy piles on it. Instead, make it a weekly routine to remove any leaves, debris, or dirt from the pergola structure. Use a broom, leaf blower, or hose with a spray nozzle to wash it down.

Perform Routine Structural Maintenance Too

Repair and tighten any loose or damaged boards, screws, or hardware. If your pergola’s structure includes wood – even pressure-treated wood - make any necessary repairs before winter sets in. And consider applying a sealant or stain to protect it from moisture, UV rays, and winter weather. This will help prevent wood rot and maintain your pergola’s appearance.

No matter what your pergola is made of, examine any metal decorative or structural parts.

Consider Removing and Storing Fabric Roofs

Heavy accumulations of snow and ice can damage fabric. Consider removing your roof, rolling it up, wrapping it in a tarpaulin, and storing it in a garage or other dry storage area.

Clean and Store Furniture

If you have furniture in your pergola, clean and store it indoors or in a shed to protect it from winter moisture and cold temperatures.

Store Decorative Items Too

Remove any decorative items, such as lanterns, decorations, or hanging plants, and store them safely indoors.

Attend to Plants

If you have vines or climbing plants on your pergola, trim them back to prevent them from being damaged by winter storms or snow. If you have potted plants, move them indoors.

Consider Trimming Back Trees with Branches that Overhang Your Pergola

Heavy snow, ice, and winter winds can cause branches to fall onto your pergola, causing damage. So give trees a visual inspection and consider having a professional tree maintenance company remove any branches that could fall.

Check and Seal Openings and Joints Where Water Could Intrude and Cause Rot or Structural Damage

If your pergola is made of wood, look for areas where water could intrude between boards, causing rot or other damage. And remember that when water freezes, it can push apart joints and cause other damage. If your pergola is made of masonry, inspect it, and use mortar or vinyl caulk to seal areas where water could intrude.

And remember that steel or fiberglass structures can be damaged by water too. So go over everything and seal any cracks or openings where water can enter.

Reinforce or Secure Boards and Other Structural Parts Against Wind

Make sure the pergola is secure and won't be easily blown over by strong winter winds. If necessary, reinforce it or anchor it more securely to the ground.

Have a Snow Removal Plan or Hire a Company to Do It

If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, have a plan for removing snow from the pergola to prevent structural damage. Use a soft broom or snow rake to gently remove snow without damaging the structure.

Store or Cover Furniture

Move tables, chairs, and other outdoor furniture indoors. Also, smaller pergolas can sometimes be fitted with winter covers that provide added protection from the elements. These covers are designed to withstand snow and ice. Check with the company that made or installed your pergola to see whether custom-fit covers are available.

Clean, Disconnect and Cover Gas Cooking Grills and Stoves

If you want them to be in tip-top shape when spring comes, protect them with fitted waterproof covers.

Disconnect Electricity and Water and Gas Lines

If you won’t be using water or utilities during the winter months, disconnect everything. If you do not know how, hire a professional to do it for you.

Want to Own and Enjoy the Pergola That’s Perfect for You and Your Family?

For ideas on selecting and enjoying the pergola of your dreams, be sure to visit Privlux the leading provider of high-quality pergolas. While you are visiting, be sure to fill out the online form and get a free quote on the pergola you have always wanted.

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