Whatever hangs over your head and thus limits your ability for a quick inspection may become a threat. Your wooden pergola is not the exception. Did you install it over the outdoor decking or did you find it there when you bought the house? This makes a difference too. In either case, checking, cleaning, or perhaps repairing the pergola is one of your spring-clean duties. And this is a task you don’t want to postpone till the next spring.
What can be wrong with the wood pergola?
Many things. It all comes down to whether this was a custom pergola ordered by you or has been there for ages from the previous owners of the house. In the case of the latter, you cannot be sure whether they maintained it or not, or even if they hired professional pergola builders. And such doubts give rise to a lot of questions about your safety. But even if the pergola is your own pride & joy, it still needs inspection every spring.
What can go wrong with the wood pergola? Let’s see. It may rot. It depends on whether you have added gutters and downspouts and if they are clean too. The pergola’s condition also depends on its age, the wrath of the winter, its wood type, and whether or not there is posts damage. Don’t forget that timber acts like a sponge if it’s not sealed and treated well. Over the years, wear and tear is unavoidable – hence, your reason for cleaning and maintaining the pergola each spring.
What risks are involved when pergolas are damaged?
Rotten pergolas will make the structure vulnerable while you might also find mold, which will make the material even more prone to damage. Anything from fasteners to posts and planks might be worn and thus become a safety risk. When you sit on your wood deck reading the paper, the last thing you want is the pergola collapsing.
What you need to do to keep wooden pergolas standing proud & safe
You need to check the pergola every spring. Naturally, if you find anything funny, you need to call in a pergola contractor. Don’t take chances by trying to fix the problem on your own. Remember the safety concerns. The only things you can do is check the posts, the fasteners, look for damage, and remove splinters and dirt as much as possible. If you are going to use a brush or sander, be gentle to avoid damaging the wood. You can use the garden hose to rinse water on the top part of the wooden pergola.
Now, if some screws are protruding, they might cause an accident and stain the material. If there’s mildew, hard to remove debris, or serious damage, it’d be best if you called a company specializing in pergola & deck building. The last thing you want is to take risks with your safety or making problems worse. There is a strong possibility that the wood needs sealing. This is important because it will protect the wood from getting rotten. Naturally, damaged pergolas are better off removed and often not worth fixing. But you can ask your contractor about it. But if your pergola is not on its last leg yet, don’t ignore it. By checking it every spring for wear and tear, insect infestation, mildew, cracking paint, or structural damage, you’ll be doing your family a favor. So get started. The summer is almost here.