Many homeowners love their gazebo or pergola. They are the perfect addition to any yard. With a little bit of care and maintenance, you can keep your pergola in top shape for a long time. If you are looking for ways to maintain or restore a pergola follow these helpful tips.
How to Maintain and Restore Your Pergola?
Pergolas are traditionally built from cedar wood because it is very strong and lasts for many years. Pergolas are outside though, and this means they are exposed to wind, sun, and rain, which can take its toll on a pergola. And since you cannot control the elements, taking care of your pergola is the only way we have no way to control the elements, taking care of your pergola is the best way to make its appearance last.
- Cleaning a Pergola: The treated wood of almost all types of wooden pergolas can be cleaned with the same products that you would use for a wooden deck. You should never use power washers on wooden pergolas because this can easily damage the wood.
If you have a vinyl coated pergola, there is much less maintenance to do. These are almost maintenance-free, but if they do require cleaning, you can use mild soap and water.
- Applying a Waterproof Sealer: Wooden pergolas are made of durable treated wood like cedar or pine. These woods contain natural oils that prevent insect infestation and natural decay, and also help retain the external shine and texture of the wood. The natural color of a pergola can be improved and preserved by using a waterproof sealer to coat it. This transparent varnish greatly improves weather resistance. It is important to remember that as wood ages it changes color. It will start to look more rustic as time passes. When applying the sealant, consider the amount of weathering needed. It is recommended that the sealant be applied every two or four years to maintain a fresh look. Make sure that the wood is coated with a sealant to prevent even the slightest damage like warps and cracks. You can find sealants
- Applying Acrylic Paint to a Pergola: When it comes to selecting the type of paint for a pergola, acrylic paint is the best because it is weather resistant and long-lasting. The best time to apply paint is during the driest seasons when the humidity levels are low. This will ensure that the paint dries quickly, and prevents water particles from getting trapped inside the dried paint which will make it brittle over time.
Restoring an Old Pergola
Cleaning a pergola that has been neglected can take some work, but it will be worth it. This step by step approach is possible and can restore an old pergola almost back to its original condition.
- Remove Dirt and Old Paint: The first step in pergola restoration is to use a bristle brush to knock out all the dry dirt and cracked paint. Since most pergolas are made of wood make sure not to scrub too much since that may damage the natural texture of the wood. Make sure that you remove loose splinters to keep the wood smooth. Use a very light sander to even out the wood and work slowly when doing this, since over sanding the wood may damage the surface with ugly scratches.
- Remove Mildew and Stains: Check for mildew and stains, which must be taken care of immediately. Mildew can wreck a pergolas appearance but can easily be removed using a mild solution of bleach and water. Any corroded fasteners like bolts and screws can stain the surface of the pergola and ugly the look of the wood, so wash the stains and replace the fasteners if possible. After removing the stains as best as you can, use a brush to clear the pergola of dirt. Remove the debris which is likely to collect near the grooves in the wooden planks.
- Washing a Pergola: Use a hose and rinse the surface with a mixture of water and bleach and then use a mild soap to further clean the area if required. Once the pergola is clean, make sure that it is completely dry before you go ahead with a paint job.
- Applying Acrylic Paint and Water Sealant: A couple of coats of oil-based acrylic paint followed by a water sealant will have the pergola shining. Periodically take time to check the pergola for wear and tear, structural damage, insect infestation, and cracking paint. Fix any problems you find immediately to prevent further damage. With proper maintenance, a pergola will remain a prized possession in your backyard for years to come.