How to Protect Your Backyard Gazebo Year Around

Your gazebo brings you joy day after day, as a peaceful retreat for yourself, a family play area, the elegant focal point of your yard, shade for your BBQ area, or for entertaining guests. To make sure it gives you many years of beautiful service, you’ll want to make sure it’s protected from the elements.  Wind, rain, and vegetation can erode that beautiful oasis, so plan to give it the care and protection it needs.

Cleaning the Roof

When it’s time to clean your Gazebo’s roof covering, remove the roof and spread it out on a tarp. Remove major areas of dirt with a hose or pressure washer. Remember, any areas that have weakened stitching or sealing tape will be further disturbed by the washing process, so be ready to do some spot restoration in these areas. For extra cleaning, you can scrub with a broom or brush, using a mild soap. To eliminate mold and help prevent its return, use a solution of 1/4 cup of bleach in a gallon of water.

If your gazebo is a wooden structure, inspect for insect infestation and address the problem immediately. Keep any vegetation trimmed back at least 3 feet. And avoid using blowers or pressure washers on shingled roofs.

Rainproofing Your Gazebo

To prevent water damage, your gazebo’s canvas roof is constructed with thin strips of waterproof seam tape where panels are stitched together. Periodic inspection will let you know if these areas are developing leaks. Even before the stitching needs to be redone, you can extend the useful range of the rain resistance by treating your gazebo’s roof with a waterproof spray, available at popular home and hardware stores. Apply evenly, maintaining a spray distance of eight to twelve inches, and cover the entire surface. Let the material dry completely, then apply a second coat. After that is dry, do the reverse side.

Gazebos that are treated with a PU (polyurethane) coating, can withstand rain for many years.  PU coatings are permanent, but be sure to inspect for scrapes or abrasions that might allow water to enter and rust the gazebo’s frame. A quick sanding and application of a rust inhibitor paint can restore the waterproof condition.

Covering Up In the Off Season

If you live in an area where seasonal weather means an end to gazebo use for the year, you might want to install a protective winter cover. This is an especially good idea if your gazebo is located near or under trees that drop leaves and debris. You can use a tarp, large enough to cover the entire roof with a few extra feet to spare. Secure the tarp in place with ties or elastic cords through the grommets, and attach them to the upright supports or sturdy beams of the gazebo frame. Make sure that water does not pool anywhere on the covering material. One way to eliminate low spots is with strategic placement of “pool noodles.” When inserted between the gazebo frame and roof, low spots can be turned into high spots.

Routine Maintenance for Longer Life

Remove any debris that has collected on the roof, especially after a storm. Periodically inspect all hardware fittings and tighten them up as needed. Re-treat all surfaces once a year with waterproofing. With proper maintenance, you can avoid major repairs and enjoy your gazebo for many years to come.