How To Prepare Your Pergola Or Patio For Bad Weather

If you’re fortunate enough to have a patio or pergola in your backyard, then you know what a useful outdoor living space they can be. From relaxing and playing to dining and entertaining, they’re your family’s best friend during the warmer months. When bad weather arrives, however, your structure may need some TLC to protect it from the elements. Many people mistakenly think that if it’s made from aluminium or steel, no maintenance is required.

When bad weather is on the way, there are actually several things you can do to ensure that your pergola is kept safe.


Preparing for Winter
Your location will determine the severity of your winters – places like Melbourne, for example, tend to be a lot colder and wetter than places like Brisbane. If cold, wet winters are your norm, the good news is that there are some steps you can take to protect your patio or pergolas design:

  • Waterproof any decking – A timber deck should be treated with a waterproof sealant to help protect it against any rain that may blow in underneath the structure. Be sure to thoroughly sweep the deck before applying the sealant to remove any debris (like dirt or leaves) that may have accumulated.
  • Seal any gaps – If you’ve decided to cover up one or more sides of the patio, ensure there are no gaps where drafts can get it. If you’ve left the structure open, it’s a good idea to make sure that any doors and windows that open onto it from the main house have been sealed using caulking or weather strips.
  • Clean any gutters and downpipes – If the patio has been attached to your home’s roof, it’s important to ensure that its gutters and downpipes are clear of debris and free of any rust. Overflow caused by blocked gutters in heavy winter rains can cause extensive damage, both to the structure itself and your home.


Preparing for Storms
Sometimes, we’re given a heads up that even more severe weather is on the way. Gale-force winds, rain deluges, hail the size of golf balls and other unprecedented weather events are all possible. In these cases, some more drastic measures can be taken to protect your pergola or patio:

  • Clean up your backyard before the storm is due to hit, as any loose items can quickly become missiles when the wind picks up. Anything that’s not tied down should be moved indoors or undercover where possible.
  • Put any outdoor furniture under your pergola away in the shed or garage. This will prevent it from becoming damaged or even airborne. If you have nowhere to store furniture or items are too large to move, cover them with a waterproof tarp.
  • Remember that your potted plants will likely not survive violent winds, so it’s a good idea to move them indoors or place them in the shed until the storm has passed. This goes for hanging baskets and window boxes, too.
  • If there are any overhanging tree branches nearby to your patio, make sure you cut them back regularly. Do not do this at the last minute, it should be done well ahead of a forecasted storm to prevent an accident.
  • If your structure has any glass, be sure to tape it in with duct tape or masking tape. This will help to prevent it from falling inwards if it shatters (from falling tree branches or airborne furniture), making clean up easier.

Whilst we hope that a severe storm or punishing winter never hits your property, it never hurts to be over-prepared and over-zealous in your approach. If bad weather does come calling one day, then you can rest assured that your beautiful patios or pergola design will come out the other side unscathed. On top of this, you’ll be able to continue enjoying the shelter and extra living space that the structure provides for many years to come.

The first step is ensuring that your pergola is of sound construction; fortunately, the team at Modern Solutions is more than happy to help you with this.