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Why Is My Pergola Leaking?

Pergolas are great additions to any garden, but they need to be properly maintained in order to prevent leaks.

A leaking pergola or gazebo is not only a waste of money, but can also be dangerous. Water leaks from a covered pergola can soak the wood and rot it out, making the pergola dangerous to walk under.

Pergola leaks can be caused by several different factors, including:

  1. Screw holes
  2. Leaky gutter
  3. Insufficient angle of inclination of the roof / pitch of the roof
  4. Wooden panel gaps

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve noticed water pooling in your pergola or any other part of your property. 

You might be wondering what’s causing the leak and how to fix it!

This blog post will review different causes for pergola leaks and steps to prevent them from happening again. 

We’ll start with a few common problems that can lead to a leaking roof, then we’ll discuss some ways to stop them before they happen.

Common causes of pergola leaks

If you’ve ever purchased or built a pergola, you’ve probably wished you’d done a bit more research into the time, materials, and labor cost. 

Fortunately, it turns out that pergolas are often quite economical to construct, and can provide an excellent value for your time and money. 

However, they are also not without their downsides, and if you’re familiar with the phrase “leaks are leaks, regardless of the cause” then you know what we’re talking about. 

Pergolas remain a popular choice for homeowners because they are relatively low-maintenance for outdoor space. 

But, when they do leak, it can cause damage to your outdoor structure and render the surrounding areas unfit for the purpose they were meant for.

Here are some of the most common causes of pergola or gazebo leaks, and how you can avoid them.

  1. Screw holes
  2. Leaky gutter
  3. Insufficient angle of inclination of the roof / pitch of the roof
  4. Wooden panel gaps

1. Screw holes

Pergola leaks occur when rain water runs through screw holes in the roof so that water can get in.

Pergola leaks are caused by screw holes on the roof or insufficient sealing.

Roofs can sometimes leak when screws are not properly installed, or they’re too close together and water finds its way in between them to pool on the ground below. 

When this happens, it’s time for a roof repair! 

2. Leaky gutter

Leaky gutter systems can also cause problems with pergolas, as the rainwater from a roof gutter can seep through the pergola and accumulate in the foundation, creating serious water damage. 

And downspouts are also a common cause of pergola leaks.

Other issues that can contribute to rainwater leakage from the roof of a pergola are the roof gutters not being properly insulated, the gutter liners not being closed properly at the bottom, the roof ridge being too shallow, the guttering inefficiencies or improper drainage techniques.

3. Insufficient angle of inclination of the roof

Another possible cause of pergola leaks has to do with the roof pitch.

Pergolas need slanted roofs that slope down in order to keep water from pooling inside them when it rains. 

If the roof slopes too low or you’ve got a flat roof, water will start dripping through and between panels as well as coming into contact with any wood flooring underneath where mold can grow or leave a water stain if not washed away soon after such incidents occur.

If your pergola is not properly sealed and insulated against cold temperatures with proper attic ventilation you can experience leaks through the roof. This problem will also get worse over time because of snow and ice accumulation on top of shingles as well as deterioration from high winds.

4. Wooden panel gaps

Gaps between the wood panels can lead to leaks in your pergola roof. 

Timber, like most materials around your house, has a natural tendency of expanding or contracting as it loses or gains heat and moisture from its environment.

This will cause spaces to form at joints where two pieces meet which can allow water seepage into these areas if left untreated.

If your polycarbonate or pergola covers have cracked, they will more easily absorb water and lead to dripping or leaking issues on the surface below.

Over time, natural weather conditions such as ice accumulation, rain, snowfall, and high winds can all contribute to roof damage that merits additional inspection by an expert at some point in the future.

5. Wind

If the wind is strong enough and there are no anchor kits or anchoring poles, then it can have a severe impact on how well the roof stays in place; this could lead to leaks because of water seepage due to pressure from rainwater. 

Ideally when installing anchors you should make use of them as much as possible so that they stay firmly attached for future maintenance purposes.

How to stop pergola leaks

  • To prevent future leaks involving screw holes drilled into your pergola because of faulty installation, be sure to install screws with pilot holes that will provide extra protection against moisture getting through if there is any type of leakage problem from day one. It’ll also make it easier later when you need to fix any problems that do occur down the line! 
  • The best way to solve the wood panel gaps problem is by filling up any gaps that are seen with silicone roof sealant so that there’s no more chance for water leakage from happening again. However, be sure not to use too much adhesive because once you paint over top of it, the product won’t go on smoothly anymore due to all the bumps underneath. avoid using too much adhesive because after painting over top there would be bumps under paint which doesn’t allow level application. 

Must-have tips for proper pergola construction

For some people, a pergola is a necessity. 

It’s the perfect way to add shade and privacy to a backyard, while providing a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. 

However, if you are looking for some helpful tips on proper construction, then here are the things to keep in mind when constructing a pergola that will give you a lifetime of enjoyment.

Things to consider while building a pergola

Where to install a pergola

Pergolas are an amazing choice of structure to provide shade, privacy and light penetration within your landscaping, patio or outdoor living space.

There are many reasons to consider the location of the pergola when constructing one. 

In the event that you wish to position it in an advantageous spot in relation to your landscaping, it is better to choose the placement that will result in the least amount of foot traffic or path where your pergola is situated.

Another important consideration when it comes to the pergola itself is the shading it will bring to a particular area of the garden. 

In essence, when constructing a pergola, you will be able to divide your landscape in two and thus it will be possible to create privacy within your garden, whilst maintaining a large area of the garden which will be shaded.

How to make a pergola more beautiful

If you are looking for a stylish way to decorate your backyard, pergolas are a great idea. 

Nowadays, pergolas have a massive popularity among homeowners who like to make their backyard more attractive. 

An old adage says a home can be made up of the things you keep and the things you throw away. 

A home that is fully furnished and organized will be much more enjoyable, efficient, and healthy. 

The same can be said for your exterior. 

People often overlook the huge impact shade plants have on an outside shed and patio. 

They should not be overlooked and each plant serves a purpose, both for nature and interior design.

How long do you think your beautification might last? 

Some people report a beautification project may last more than a year depending on the environmental conditions. 

If you don’t find any shortcomings, your beautification might last even two years. 

Another way to measure the beautification is to take a picture. 

If you’re still happy with your pergola after a year or two, it’s a success. 

If you want your beautification to last the duration of your lease, you might want to consider a beautification option, such as providing flower pots, additional shrubs and trees and more flowers to increase the beauty value of your pergola.

How to keep a pergola clean 

When it comes to keeping a pergola clean, there are many factors to consider. 

For a start, you’ll need to make sure that it’s in good condition. If it’s too old or too full of debris, then it might become impossible to keep clean. 

If it’s been left outside for too long, then algae may grow on the structure, requiring a thorough clean to remove. 

Another factor to consider is how often you’ll need to clean it. 

If you only need to do so every once in a while, then there’s no need to worry, but if you’re planning on having a clean pergola all the time, then you’ll need to ensure that it’s well maintained.

A well-maintained wooden or metal pergola has a much longer life span, especially when it is regularly cleaned and painted. 

What to watch out for while installing pergola 

While there are many benefits to engage pergola installers during the summer months, having one built during winter is a bad idea. 

The main reason is because the cold weather is unsuitable for sitting outside in the open, and the structure can easily be damaged.

As the weather gets colder, most people start looking for a way to stay warm before the biting winter winds begin. 

Pergolas could also be damaged or destroyed by heavy rains or snow. 

Wet wood can rot over time and impact the structure over time. 

The bottom line: Using pergolas in bad locations can be a bad idea. This often results in premature decay, severe damage, or a total collapse.

Zebedee Nambaleo
Zebedee Nambaleo

Zebedee is the founder of RealEstate Ke. He creates content by carefully examining and analyzing the real estate market, home improvement resources, and government data. His analysis is based on the principle of supplying high-quality, relevant, and in-depth information to his audience. By evaluating the current conditions and predicting future trends, he provides his audience with invaluable insights that allow them to make better decisions.