Pergola Maintenance: Tips for Cleaning

May 8, 2024 | Blog, Pergolas

Outdoor pergolas add a touch of elegance and functionality to outdoor spaces, transforming them into true havens of paradise. Pergolas are indeed structures that offer shelter from the sun, providing a pleasant shaded area during the summer months and generally creating a welcoming environment to enjoy outdoor time even during the transitional seasons.

However, for their performance to remain optimal over the years, it’s essential to dedicate some time to pergola maintenance. Cutting-edge models like our bioclimatic pergolas certainly ensure very high durability over time. But both them, especially the less innovative models of pergolas, deserve attention to ensure they are always in top shape.

How to maintain pergolas

Many maintenance tasks for pergolas can be carried out independently, especially routine ones like cleaning and removing accumulated dirt, such as leaves and dust.

The frequency of maintenance depends on various factors, including the material of the pergola, exposure to weather elements, and the surrounding environment. In general, it’s advisable to perform regular cleaning at least twice a year, preferably in spring and autumn.

However, pergolas may require more frequent maintenance in case of adverse weather conditions or exposure to environmental pollutants.

Why it’s important to maintain pergolas

As we’ve already seen, innovative models of pergolas require significantly minimal maintenance, thanks to the materials they are made of. However, maintenance of pergolas should never be excluded a priori because being attentive to their condition and intervening in a timely manner is the only way to protect their aesthetic appearance as well as their longevity.

Specifically, it is important to maintain pergolas well for these reasons.

  1. Preserve aesthetic appeal: Pergolas contribute to the aesthetics of outdoor spaces, adding style and character. Regular maintenance helps preserve the original appearance of the pergola.
  2. Extend the lifespan of the structure: Proper maintenance can help prevent damage and deterioration of the pergola over time.
  3. Prevent structural damage: Regular maintenance allows for the timely identification of potential problems or structural damage, such as cracks, breaks, or corrosion, while they are still minor issues and not major expenses.
  4. Ensure safety: A pergola in poor condition can pose a safety risk, especially if it has structural damage or unstable parts.
  5. Preserve property value: A well-maintained pergola can enhance the aesthetic and functional value of the property and can be an asset when selling or renting the home.

How to clean pergolas

Cleaning pergolas varies depending on the material they are made of, their size, structure, and other characteristics. In general, however, before proceeding with the application of detergents, products, or simply water, all types of pergolas should be cleared of debris and leaves that accumulate on the surface. You can do this using a leaf blower or a low-powered vacuum cleaner.

The actual washing of the pergola typically only requires warm water and a mild detergent, a sponge or a soft cloth, and is followed by rinsing. If there are persistent or hard-to-remove stains, you can use a more concentrated solution of detergent or a specific cleaner for the material of the pergola.

How to treat a metal pergola

Aluminum pergolas require cleaning with water and mild detergent applied with a soft brush or cloth. However, aluminum pergolas should be checked particularly for rust that may develop over time: in such cases, it should be removed using a wire brush or fine-grit sandpaper.

After air-drying, it’s necessary to apply a specific protective treatment for metal on the surface of the pergola to protect it from rust and oxidation. You can opt for rust-resistant paints, enamels, or primers specially formulated for outdoor metal. Make sure to evenly cover the entire surface of the pergola with the protective treatment and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application.

How to treat a bioclimatic pergola

Bioclimatic pergolas can be adjusted in the louvers to customize the outdoor comfort level. Although models like Climatika or Climatika Plus by Gaviota are made with high-quality materials, it’s always useful to know how to perform proper maintenance.

Like any other outdoor structure, it’s important to regularly clean a bioclimatic pergola to remove dirt, dust, and debris. Then it’s necessary to periodically check its mechanical components, such as opening and closing mechanisms, sensors, and motors, ensuring they are clean and properly lubricated. So, being equipped with gutters or channels for rainwater drainage, make sure to regularly clean them to prevent blockages and drainage issues.

How to wash the structure of a pergola

Washing the structure of a pergola typically involves preparing a solution of warm water and mild detergent. All the most common materials for these structures, namely aluminum and steel, withstand such mixes without issues. In both cases, simply use a soft sponge or cloth to apply the solution to the surface of the pergola and gently clean all parts, including the uprights, beams, and crossbars.

After washing, follow with rinsing using clean water to completely remove the detergent and dirt residues, using a garden hose or a bucket of water. Then let the pergola air dry naturally outdoors (of course, if there’s sunlight, this phase will take less time).

How to perform maintenance on the gutters of the bioclimatic pergola

Maintaining the gutters of the bioclimatic pergola is important to ensure proper drainage of rainwater and prevent blockages that could compromise the functioning of the structure. It is necessary to manually remove debris and leaves accumulated inside the gutters using gloves and a spatula or similar tool, always being careful not to damage the gutters or the structure of the pergola.

So, once the debris is removed, you should wash the gutters with warm water and a mild detergent using a garden hose or a bucket of water for rinsing. Finally, just ensure that water can flow freely through the gutters without any obstructions.

How to wash the lights of the pergola

To wash the lights of the pergola, just need to use a soft cloth or sponge soaked in warm water and mild detergent to clean both the outer and inner parts of the lamps, then rinse them with clean water and dry them with a soft cloth before reinserting them into their position on the pergola.

If there are fixed parts of the pergola that cannot be removed, gently clean them with a soft cloth or sponge soaked in water and detergent. Make sure to avoid moisture near electrical components to prevent damage!