Your gazebo is likely the highlight of your summer. Not only does it allow you to spend time outdoors during inclement weather, and thereby prolonging the amount of time you can spend outside, but it also creates a comfortable space in which to invite loved ones. But how can you make the most out of your gazebo? Below, you’ll find tips on how to care for your gazebo so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.
Make sure the area around your gazebo is clear
When it comes to caring for your gazebo, it isn’t only the gazebo itself that matters. In fact, it’s important that you make sure you clear out the area that surrounds it. This ensures that your structure receives enough ventilation and that it won’t suffer any moisture damage. Ideally, you should have three to ten feet of cleared space around it. This includes getting rid of weeds, climbing vines, and shrubs. The reason for this is that it will protect your gazebo from damage caused by these growing plants, and it will also keep your garden looking clean and welcoming. Never will you find yourself having to tread through undesirable growths in order to get to your little haven.
Check for mildew and mold on a regular basis
One of the most important maintenance tips for gazebos is that you should check for mold and mildew on a regular basis. If you don’t know what these look like, watch out for small fuzzy growths that are grey, white, green, or black. This is especially important if your gazebo is make of vinyl or canvas. Mold and mildew tend to grow when there is a lack of moisture control. Although it may seem difficult for you to get rid of these growths, it’s really not as complicated as you think. All you need is a mixture of bleach, laundry detergent, and hot water! Spray the areas with this mixture and let it seep into the surfaces for a while before spraying it with water.
There are also store-bought cleaners you can use — just spray the cleaner and scrub the area gently with a soft-bristle brush before rinsing. The important thing is that you don’t use chemical cleansers, as these may damage your gazebo. Clearing the area around your gazebo will help prevent mold and mildew from growing.
In order to ensure that your gazebo is safe to use and that it will last a long time, you should conduct a regular inspection. This usually involves simply making sure everything is in good shape about once per month. Check to see if there is any damage, tighten up any bolts or joints, and check for loose nails. Pay very close attention to the roof, since it is the part that is most likely to be damaged by storms and debris. Try to keep the roof as dry as you possibly can — this involve removing snow during the winter time. The one thing to avoid having is chipped or damaged wood, as this could lead to rot and termites. Caring for your gazebo on a regular basis will help you avoid that altogether.
Check your gazebo for bird nests and insects
Every month, especially during the spring and summer, you should check your gazebo for bird nests and insect infestations. Not only are these cause for annoyance, but they can also damage the structural integrity of your gazebo. You can add bird netting or get a bird repellant in order to prevent birds from building nests in your gazebo. As for preventing insect infestation, spraying insecticides and pesticides will do the trick. If you do find a nest in your gazebo, be careful with the manner in which you remove it. Inspect it in order to make sure there are no eggs before removing it. After its removal, clean the area with a disinfectant.
Avoid pressure washers
Although you may be tempted to use a pressure washer on your gazebo, you should avoid doing so at all costs. This is due to the fact that pressure washers can chip the paint and lead to rust. It can also run the top layer of wooden gazebos, leaving you with a fuzzy finish and shortening the lifespan of your gazebo. You may find yourself having to sand it down in order to get it back to its original state. Though pressure washing would technically clean the gazebo much faster, you’ll be causing more harm than good — and giving yourself more work in the long run! It’s always best to use a mixture of bleach and water.
In order to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your gazebo and that you extend its lifespan, it’s important to take preventative measures. This involves applying a waterproof sealant to the structure every two to four years. Simply apply it with a paintbrush and wait for it to dry. Waterproofing your gazebo prevents the wood from absorbing water, causing it to swell and decay prematurely. This is also true for metal gazebos. Waterproofing will ensure that the materials do not corrode. You should also scrape off old paint and apply a new layer every few years — or when you notice that the paint is starting to chip.
If you have any questions on proper gazebo maintenance and need repairs or waterproofing restoration, contact a professional. Your awning expert will help you keep your gazebo looking good as new, so that you can enjoy it for many years to come!