While you’re likely aware of the importance of maintaining your home, looking after your pergola is likely at the last of your priority list. They’re designed to add shade to your garden, helping you and your household seek relief from the harsh rays of the sun while still enjoying the abundant natural light around you. However, if you want them to last a long time, you’ll need to start carrying out basic upkeep and wood care.
The good news is that pergolas are self-sufficient structures, which means they don’t require a comprehensive level of maintenance. Keeping your pergola in excellent condition will take only a few hours every summer, making it worth the investment. Here are some tips for maintaining your pergola during the hot summer months:
1. Cut Any Overgrowth
If the plants are growing on your pergola, you’ll need to trim the overgrowth. If the plant canopy hangs too low, be sure to cut it properly until they’re more manageable. You can then see the pergola’s surface better without having the weight of foliage adding more weight to it, which will undoubtedly damage the roof or timbers. While plants may look like they don’t weigh much, they can be surprisingly heavy when they’re thick and overgrown, and it’s best not to take that risk when trying to upkeep your pergola.
2. Conduct an Annual Inspection
Be sure to inspect your pergola annually, as you’ll find out the kind of maintenance you’ll need to conduct. If you’re careful about preserving and maintaining your wood pergola, you’ll have few repairs to make, translating to a stable structure with lower costs. You’ll also have to check your stain, sealant, or paint to ensure they’re still in good shape and to be on the lookout for any cracks or insect damage.
It’s impossible to avoid imperfections altogether in wood pergolas, but most are preventable if you apply a sealant within the first six months of its installation and reapply annually. Knowing when to stain and seal a wooden outdoor pergola is determined by your climate and wood type, so you may want to consult a professional.
3. Clean Your Pergola
It’s relatively easy to clean a wood pergola, as all you need is a cloth or soft brush to wipe away any surface dirt. If you need to remove debris, be sure not to scrub excessively, or you may end up damaging or stripping the wood. Using a maintenance-free pergola kit to build the structure, use a suitable cleaner for vinyl or metal pergolas.
4. Refresh the Finish
Treated wood pergolas benefit from a coat of stain or waterproofing, which will lengthen their lifespans. You may also have to add a water-repellent stain and sealant combination to care for structures made of cedarwood, which can be done in one application. You can also opt to paint your pergola in a bright colour to add more vibrance and personality to it.
5. Spruce It Up With More Décor
Lastly, you can take this opportunity to enhance your pergola further by adding more décor, like hanging flower baskets, cedar planter boxes, or even a retractable canopy. You can install a string of lights to make your pergola even more beautiful at night and grow flowering vines around the beams and structure, making it your oasis.
Pergolas make your backyard more comfortable to spend time in since they provide shade relief while still allowing you to enjoy natural sunlight. By using our guide, you’ll keep your pergola looking good for many years.
Excelfit is a Sunshine Coast-based design and construction firm specialising in thermal insulation, patios, outdoor pergolas, awnings, and many more. We can help you take care of your beloved outdoor extension or build a brand new one for you that fits your specific needs and dimensions. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.