Can You Leave a Gazebo Up the Whole Year? Tips for Doing it Right
Absolutely yes, a gazebo can stay up the whole year, but it depends on the type of gazebo you have. There are several types of gazebos which are made from different materials. The raw materials of a gazebo are what determines the strength of a gazebo.
Therefore some types of gazebo can be left outside for a whole year while others are made from light materials which cannot survive the harsh seasons like winter. Store indoors gazebos that are not durable during the hash seasons.
Types of Gazebos and Their Durabilities
- Hardtop gazebos
These are gazebos that have hard roofs which are held up by four or five supports. Each corner has one support and one at the center. They do not have built-in floors hence the name pergolas with roofs.
In general terms these types of gazebos are made from strong materials that can withstand the harsh seasons like the winter.
Because of the hard roofs this type of gazebo can uphold a snow load during winter. You are advised to regularly brush off the snow from the roof to reduce the force impacted on the supports.
These structures can also withstand the brunt that comes in during summer storms and sometimes during winter blizzards. In conclusion, your hard top gazebo can be safe when left up all year round.
- Soft top gazebos
This type of gazebo resembles a canopy with four supports, having one in each corner.
These structures fully resemble the hard top gazebos the only difference is the roof whereby these ones have soft material. There are different manufacturers of soft top gazebos, but 90% of them do not have the ability to withstand harsh seasons and strong winds.
Most of them are torn by the weight of the snow. Sometimes when rain water pools on them, they also tear.
Their largest enemy is strong wind that can blow them off and tear them apart.
From above, we can see that this type of gazebo cannot stay up the whole year. This is why many home owners recommend storing them during the cold seasons or during storms. You can also just remove the canopy and leave the frame standing.
How to Prepare Your Gazebo for a Harsh Season (winter)
During the hot summer months people, animals and gazebos are all very happy with the warm weather, but when winter comes people and animals run indoors leaving gazebos outside. Protecting your gazebo from snow, wind, and storms will make it stay long. Some people call this process winterizing your gazebo.
Below are a few essential things that you have to do before or during winter;
- Remove all patio furniture
Remove all patio furniture from your gazebo and take them into the storage area.
Make sure you first clean the patio furniture and give them time to dry then cover them before you take them indoors.
You can use patio furniture covers to cover the furniture or use large pieces of plastic sheets. Give the wet furniture time to dry before storing them, or else they will be smelly the next time you need them.
Leaving the patio furniture in the gazebo can ruin the structural integrity of your gazebo, especially if they get buffeted by strong wind.
- Remove all debris
Before winter, most trees lose their leaves and branches. So, remove all the dry leaves and dead branches in and around the gazebo.
Do not forget the sand and soil that collect on the roof and floor. These materials look small but can cause real damage to the gazebo. The problem comes when they rot and make wood also to start decomposing or if it is a metallic surface, it may rust.
On the other hand, if the leaves rot on top of a soft roof, they can reduce the waterproofing ability of the canopy. The waterproof coat will be removed by the rotting leaves leaving the fabric unprotected.
- Clean and paint the frame
Clean all the dust and cobwebs on the gazebo frame before winter arrives. Remember to also re-paint the frame. Doing so will protect your gazebo from rusting during winter. Cleaning prevents pests and rodents from making your gazebo their winter homes. If pests stay in your gazebo they will start tearing the canopy and weakening the frame.
- Regularly remove snow from the roof
It is always interesting when snow piles up on the roof but it is very dangerous when it starts to melt. Melting snow leads to structural damages even if the gazebo is made of hard durable material. Remove the snow before it starts to melt, because water can be absorbed by the roof which in turn may lead to rotting or rusting.
On the other hand, the weight of the snow can weaken the gazebo legs or even collapse the roof. Compacted snow takes a long time to melt hence causing many problems on the gazebo canopy.
- Treat the gazebo
If you own a wooden gazebo, apply wood preservative on the wooden frame and roof before winter. This will ensure the gazebo stays strong during snow months and the super cold winds.
If you own a metallic gazebo, apply anti-corrosion sprays that will keep the steel frame and roof strong and prevent rusting.
And if you have a pop up gazebo (soft roof), then it is time you take it indoors for safe keeping. You will use it during much warmer months.
You are advised to use some reinforcement tools like ropes and tarps to firmly anchor your gazebo on the ground. This is because during winter, a strong wind can easily blow away your gazebo.
Yes you can leave your gazebo up the whole year, but please consider the material your gazebo is made of. Many home owners recommend only hard top gazebos can be left up the whole year. As for the soft top gazebo, you can only remove the canopy and store it indoors but leave the frames standing.