How Do You Keep Rain From Pooling On A Pergola Canopy? 10 Ideas To Try

A pergola is a beautiful addition to any outdoor space, providing shade and a comfortable, relaxing spot. However, if you have a canopy on your pergola, you may have noticed that rainwater can pool on the surface. Not only can this be unsightly, but it can also cause damage to the canopy and potentially lead to leaks. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep rain from pooling on a pergola canopy.

Choose a Sloped Canopy

The simplest way to prevent rainwater from pooling on your pergola canopy is to choose a canopy with a sloped design. A sloped canopy is angled downward, allowing rainwater to run off the surface instead of accumulating in one spot. If installing a new pergola or replacing an existing canopy, choose a sloped design to prevent pooling.

Install a Tensioned Canopy

A tensioned canopy is a type of pergola stretched tight over the frame, creating a taut surface. This design helps prevent water pooling by allowing it to run off the surface more easily. Tensioned canopies also tend to be more durable than others, making them a good choice for areas that experience heavy rain or snow.

Add Drainage Holes

If you already have a pergola canopy that is prone to pooling, you may be able to add drainage holes to help prevent the problem. This involves drilling small holes in the surface of the canopy to allow water to drain through. Be sure to space the holes evenly and avoid making them too large, which can weaken the canopy and lead to tearing.

Use a Water-Repellent Treatment

Another way to prevent rainwater from pooling on your pergola canopy is to apply a water-repellent treatment. This type of treatment creates a hydrophobic surface that causes water to bead up and roll off the surface instead of pooling. Water-repellent treatments are available in spray-on formulas and can be applied to most pergola canopies.

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Remove Debris

Finally, one of the simplest ways to prevent rainwater from pooling on your pergola canopy is to keep the surface clean and debris-free. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can block drainage holes and create pockets where water can collect. Be sure to sweep or hose off your canopy regularly to keep it clean and debris-free.

Install a Gutter System

If your pergola is attached to your home or has a nearby structure, consider installing a gutter system to direct rainwater away from the canopy. This can help prevent water from accumulating on the surface and causing damage. Several types of gutter systems are available, including those that attach directly to the pergola frame.

Choose a Waterproof Fabric

If you are installing a new pergola canopy, consider choosing a waterproof fabric instead of a water-resistant one. Waterproof fabrics are designed to repel water and prevent it from penetrating the surface, which can help prevent pooling. Be sure to choose a durable, high-quality fabric that is resistant to tearing.

Use a Pitch Pocket

A pitch pocket is a small material placed under the canopy fabric to create a slight slope. This can help prevent water from pooling by directing it toward the edges of the canopy. Pitch pockets can be made from various materials, including foam, wood, or PVC.

Adjust the Canopy Angle

If you have a pergola canopy prone to pooling, you may be able to adjust the angle to help prevent the problem. This can be done by adjusting the canopy’s tension or by adjusting the placement of the support beams. Be sure to consult a professional if you are unsure how to adjust your canopy safely.

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Add a Drainage System

Consider adding a drainage system to your pergola canopy if all else fails. This can be done by installing a series of drainage channels or pipes beneath the canopy surface to direct water away from the center of the canopy. A professional installer can help you determine the best drainage system for your pergola.


Preventing rainwater from pooling on a pergola canopy is important to maintain its integrity and aesthetic value. A sloped or tensioned canopy, adding drainage holes, using water-repellent treatments, and removing debris are all effective ways to prevent water from pooling on a pergola canopy. These measures allow you to enjoy your outdoor space even on rainy days without worrying about water damage or unsightly pooling.