How much maintenance does a pergola require?

If you own a pergola, you’re probably wondering what you can do to keep it lasting for years to come. The good news is that pergolas can actually be pretty self-sufficient structures and that don’t require too much care. With minimal maintenance, you can expect a wood pergola to last about five years. You can improve its lifespan up to 10 to 12 years with simple duties like annual cleaning, staining, and sealing. Keeping your pergola looking like new will only add a couple of hours to your Spring or Summer backyard to do list. We will go over some of the key steps to pergola maintenance to take during those warmer months to help ensure that your pergola will last for many years to come. 

1. Inspect Your Pergola

This step of pergola care is one of the most significant because it will help you to understand what maintenance is needed. If the proper steps are taken to preserve and maintain your wood pergola, there will be few, if any, repairs over its lifetime. To ensure your stain, paint or sealant are doing their job, do an annual inspection for things like small cracks or insect damage.

With wood pergolas, imperfections can occur but can most definitely be preventable if you’ve added a sealant to your pergola during the first 6 months after initial installation (and then annually or bi-annually after the first sealant). Once you have determined if there is any damage present, you can next move on to what cedar wood care and garden maintenance need to be done.

2. Cut Back any Foliage

If you have any plants growing on your pergola this will call for a little bit of gardening. Cut back any vines or other vegetation that may appear dead or overgrown. If an overhead plant canopy is hanging too low, go ahead and give that a good trim as well. Once the plants are under control, you’ll be able to see the surface of the pergola better, and the weight of any foliage will not damage the pergola roof or it’s timbers.

3. Clean the Pergola

A wood pergola can be cleaned by gently brushing off surface dirt with a cloth or soft brush. If you do need to remove any debris, make sure not to scrub too hard or you could damage the wood.

    4. Renew the Finish

    For treated wood pergolas, a coat of stain or waterproofing is beneficial. Cedar wood care can include a water-repellent stain and sealant combination that can be applied in one application. You can also choose to paint your pergola in a bright hue for a bold statement in your yard. Ask your local paint supply store for the best product to use for your climate.

    5. Enhance Its Beauty

    Your backyard home maintenance can also include adding some features that enhance the natural beauty of your pergola. One way to add visual appeal is to add a decorative planter box. Or if you want to add more color, you can hang flower baskets from the beams or grow flowering vines. A string of lights is a fun addition and makes your pergola a focal point even when it’s dark outside.