A gazebo is a versatile addition for your backyard. Gazebos visually frame a backyard and provide a shaded place to sit and relax in your backyard. They’re wonderful when you’re entertaining guests and on warm, rainy days when you still want to relax outside with a cup of coffee. Now that the weather is starting to cool down, you still have many more weeks of gazebo use to go, but it’s never too early to start thinking about winter maintenance.
Proper winter maintenance will extend the lifespan of your gazebo significantly. A gazebo made of solid wood and good materials will be fine outdoors through the winter as long as you take the proper steps to take care of it. Some of the issues you might face due to the winter and changing temperatures include water damage, mold and mildew, and pieces coming loose. Once you install a gazebo, you want it to last as long as possible. Follow these steps to get more time out of your gazebo.
#1 Put the Furniture Inside
First find a place to put all your gazebo furniture, including tables and chairs. Store them in the garage, a shed, the basement, or any room you have devoted to storage with the right winter protection. Take them in before the first snowfall so you have time to give the gazebo a proper cleaning.
#2 Sweep Up Debris
Now that the gazebo deck is clear, you can sweep up the debris such as leaves, twigs, maple keys, and any kind of dirt or grime that’s been blown into your gazebo. These can leave stains after a snowfall and you want to get rid of them.
#3 Clean Up Cobwebs & Leaves
The same goes for the abundant fall leaves you’re going to find on your gazebo deck. You’ve probably noticed the way wet leaves can stain wood if they’re not swept away. Take this chance to sweep away cobwebs in the corners, too. The cool weather brings spiders out to play and the cobwebs will be abundant.
#4 Wash Down the Gazebo
When you’re worried about water damage, this can seem counterintuitive, but hosing down the gazebo is the single most effective way to get rid of all the grime and debris that’s accumulated in the cracks and crevices of your gazebo. This debris will rot over time and start to damage your gazebo. Make sure you get it out before everything freezes.
#5 Remove Mildew with a Brush
Notice mildew, mold, or algae building up on your gazebo? Get out the scrub brush and get to work scouring it, or else it’s only going to grow and damage your gazebo. Use warm water and a liquid detergent. Also, never use a wire brush that could scratch the wood.
#6 Fix Loose Screws
Wood warps and changes size and shape when temperatures fluctuate. This can cause screws to loosen, so do a once-over before the season changes and tighten any screws that have come loose.
Warping, wood splitting, mildew, and water damage are all major concerns for a gazebo, but with these winter maintenance tips, you should be ready to go next spring. Get more life out of your gazebo and take the proper seasonal precautions.