Pergola Maintenance: How To Keep Your Pergola In Great Shape

A well-maintained pergola at a backyard

When you add a pergola to your porch or perhaps a walkway, that area instantly becomes one that looks and feels just a bit more elegant and classy. For it to stay that way, you will need to know various aspects of how to maintain your pergola. Since your pergola may be made of various materials like vinyl, wood, metal, or possibly plastic, being able to properly care for it will be essential to keeping it in fantastic condition and extending its lifespan. 

If you want to keep your pergola in great shape, our team here at Rollac has some tips you’ll want to remember.

What’s the Lifespan of a Pergola?

Here at Rollac, we know the answer to this question will depend on how diligent you are about performing regular maintenance on your outdoor structure, and also on the type of material used to construct your pergola. If you decide to have a wooden pergola at your home, limited maintenance will help it last about five years. However, with proper cleaning, sealing, and staining, it may last up to 12 years. 

Should you choose a pergola made of such materials as vinyl, plastic, or metal, you can likely perform limited maintenance on it and have it last close to 15 years. Yet remember that when buying a pergola for your home, you will get out of it what you are willing to put into it. Thus, if you regularly clean pergolas made of these materials and tend to any issues that may arise along the way, chances are you will have a pergola that may last 20 years or longer.

How Can I Maintain My Pergola?

Hose it down

Always hose down your pergola, no matter whether it is a louvered pergola or one that is completely solid. This will help get rid of dirt and grime that may lead to the forming of mold and mildew.

Quickly Tend to Damages

Just as you would do with an awning or canopy you have at your home or business, quickly tend to any damages you notice on your pergola. This can include using metal or wood putty to touch-up dings and scratches, and to also make good use of a vinyl repair kit should you have a vinyl pergola.  

Tighten the Fasteners

If you don’t keep your pergola’s fasteners properly tightened, this could put unnecessary pressure on various areas, eventually leading to a breakage. Always check fasteners to see if any are loose, and tighten accordingly.

How to Freshen Up a Pergola

Remove Mildew and Stains

Since your pergola will be outside during a hurricane or when other harsh weather arrives, remove any mildew or stains that may take hold afterwards by mixing a cup of bleach with one gallon of water, then scrubbing lightly with a soft brush.

Apply Fresh Stain

If you have a wooden pergola made from cedar, its color will change over time, going from light red to silver or gray. To keep its original color, you should apply fresh stain about every two years.

Warm Soapy Water

Any type of pergola will be freshened up when cleaned with warm soapy water. This removes dirt, dust, and grime, and can quickly remove stains that have formed in hard-to-reach areas.  

Trim Vines

If you have vines growing on your pergola, trim them twice each year. This keeps everything looking neat, while also reducing the amount of extra weight the vines place on it.

How Often Should I Seal My Pergola?

When you are building a pergola for your home or business, try to ensure that all areas will be easy to reach so they can be properly sealed. Whether you use a brush to apply the sealant or use a sprayer for sealant application, missing a spot could ultimately result in your pergola becoming damaged. If you pay proper attention and seal your pergola every two or three years, few if any problems should develop.

Do I Need to Stain or Paint My Pergola?

To keep your pergola in good condition, you should plan on staining or painting it once every five years at the very least. If you live in an area that has hot summers and very dry heat, heat-resistant paint will work very well. When using stain on your wooden pergola, opt for a translucent oil-based wood stain. While five years is the longest you should go between painting or staining, doing so every two years tends to be your best bet.

Summer Maintenance Tips

  • Inspect It

Look over your pergola for any potential problems, such as loose screws or fasteners, rust that may be forming, or wood that may be beginning to splinter.  

  • Wash It

Wash off any dirt and grime, then use a soft-bristled scrub brush to remove any stubborn stains.

  • Trim Nearby Foliage

Along with trimming the vines on your pergola, trim any nearby trees or bushes so that limbs don’t fall on your pergola and damage it beyond repair.

What Not to Do with Your Pergola

  • It’s Not Maintenance Free

The most important of pergola maintenance tips is that your pergola is not maintenance free. From cleaning, sealing, and staining to trimming vines and checking those screws and fasteners, take care of your pergola.

  • It May Not Offer Total Shade

Depending on the type of pergola you design for your yard, remember that it may not provide 100 percent protection from the sun. Therefore, decide if you want a louvered pergola or one that has a solid roof.

  • Don’t Ignore Small Problems

While you may think a loose fastener is nothing to worry about, the fact is it will only get more loose over time. If you ignore this or other seemingly small problems, your pergola will have a shortened lifespan.

Contact Us

If you’re ready to talk about all things pergola with experts who have been helping customers like yourself for many years, contact us here at Rollac. When you do, you’ll get excellent customer service, answers to your questions, and a pergola that will be perfect for your home or business.