Modern pergolas are marvels of modern technology that easily transform any patio, deck or pool deck into an all-weather outdoor living space. While there is no such thing as a maintenance free pergola, modern aluminum materials do make for a low maintenance pergola. So, let’s take a look at how you maintain your new Azenco pergola.
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Wood and Vinyl Pergolas vs. Aluminum Pergolas
While wood and vinyl pergolas are common choices for homeowners looking to create a covered patio, these materials come with some significant disadvantages compared to their modern brethren crafted from high-quality aluminum. Wood pergolas are prone to rotting over time, and they are very heavy, which limits where you can locate your pergola. Vinyl pergolas are less susceptible to environmental damage, but they can fade in the sun over time or develop cracks.
Aluminum pergolas, like the Azenco R-Blade adjustable louvered roof pergola, or the Azenco R-Shade fixed-roof pergolas, deliver life-long durability, lightweight construction, and minimal pergola maintenance over time. When it comes to maintenance, natural wood pergolas require routine painting or waterproofing. Vinyl can be a magnet for mold and mildew. Aluminum pergolas though are the easiest pergolas to maintain.
Benefits of Minimal Maintenance with Modern Pergolas
There are several advantages related to easy maintenance of your pergola. By choosing a pergola fabricated from high quality aluminum you are eliminating hours of painting and scrubbing that wood and vinyl pergola owners will endure. Also, the associated costs of maintaining these more traditional materials can be reoccurring expenses year after year from paint or stain to costly cleaning solutions or hired maintenance help. With all the time and money you are saving on pergola maintenance, you are free to make the most of your time in your luxurious outdoor living space.
Maintaining Your Azenco Pergola
Our pergolas are all crafted from the highest-quality aluminum to ensure the longest-life for your new outdoor structure. We also employ the highest-quality exterior powder coatings to ward off oxidation, and prevent colors from fading in the sun. With these superior materials, our low maintenance pergola minimizes your routine pergola maintenance as well.
Just like any residential structure, regular inspection of your pergola is the best way to ensure it lasts a lifetime. We recommend a visual inspection at least twice per year. If you live in cooler climates where the leaves fall, make a point to inspect your pergola during this time of year. Another inspection in the spring will help catch any debris that fell during the winter as well.
The only other bits of maintenance that you need to do is to keep the internal gutter system clear of obstructions, and prevent mold or mildew from collecting on the exterior. While the pergola structure is very simple to maintain, if you are looking to minimize maintenance demands for your entire outdoor living space, make sure to consider easy to clean pergola flooring ideas when you design your space as well.
How to Clean a Pergola
We usually recommend customers conduct an annual cleaning of their pergola, and that process starts with the gutters. Here are some tips for keeping your modern aluminum pergola looking fresh for years.
Keeping Gutters Clear
The hidden gutter system captures all the rainwater flowing off your pergola roof, shipping that rainwater through downspouts in the support columns. Keeping these gutters and downspouts clear of debris is quite simple. We recommend using a leaf blower to clear debris from the pergola roof and pergola gutter. Then, gently hose out the gutters. You can also use a soft brush with environmentally-friendly detergent, if needed, to clean any mold or dirt from the gutters.
Pressure Wash with Caution
If your pergola is erected near wooded areas, you may see mildew begin to collect on the exterior. We recommend an annual bath with a mildew prevention agent. It will always be easier to prevent mildew growth than trying to eradicate it once it has taken over. To prevent mildew, shower your pergola with a solution as follows:
- 1/3 cup detergent (laundry detergent liquid or powder)
- 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate powder also called T.S.P. (ask your local hardware store)
- 1/4 gallon sodium hypo chloride 5% solution (Clorox® or equivalent)
- 3/4 gallon water
Finally, hose down the structure with clean water immediately after applying the solution.
Preventing Black Streaks
If you’ve stayed on top of your routine gutter cleaning, exterior black streaks should not be an issue. That said, life happens and sometimes a gutter becomes clogged unknowingly. The mess that builds up in the gutter can backup and leak down the side of the pergola. The best way to remove these streaks is with a gutter cleaner concentrate available at most hardware stores.
Cleaning Caulking Compounds
Our unique ability to custom extrude the aluminum segments that make up your pergola means that we also limit the joints requiring caulking. Where caulking materials are needed, we recommend owners clean the compounds as part of their routine pergola maintenance. The process is extremely simple, spray hydrogen peroxide on the caulking and allow it to soak for 10 minutes, then sponge or brush away any stains. Alternatively, you can use a paste of baking soda and water, allowing it to soak for 20 minutes, or undiluted vinegar that soaks for a full hour before being rinsed away.
What is the Lifespan of my Azenco Pergola
Optimizing your outdoor living space with a modern aluminum pergola will bring you years of enjoyment. Adding a pergola will also help elevate your home value should you eventually decide to sell the property. When investing in a modern pergola, many customers are curious about the lifespan of their outdoor living structure.
While wood and vinyl pergolas should not be expected to last more than 10 or 12 years, an Azenco aluminum pergola can last a lifetime if properly maintained. In fact, we offer 15-year warranties on both the aluminum structure and the exterior powder coating. So, you can feel confident that Azenco will stand behind its durability for years to come. The ultimate lifespan of your pergola will largely depend on how well you care for it over time. Catching nicks or scratches early will allow for timely repair that will prolong its life. Also, while the structure of your pergola is intended to last a lifetime, integrated components like electric motors or LED light fixtures do have their own expected lifespans. Under most conditions, these components are readily replaced by one of our qualified dealers.
An Eco-Friendly End to a Pergola Lifespan
Our commitment to the most Earth-friendly practices even extends to our manufacturing processes. We invest in the most energy-efficient manufacturing equipment possible, and we have optimized our processes to mitigate aluminum waste from our robotic laser cutting machines. When there are bits of excess trimmings, they are collected and recycled for other uses.
The inevitable end-of-service for a modern aluminum pergola may be decades away, but owners of an Azenco pergola can take solace that when it does reach its end, your pergola is 100% recyclable. Both the high-quality aluminum and the exterior powder coatings we employ in our innovative manufacturing facility were selected to allow the entire pergola, from the pergola roof to the pergola support columns, to be recycled and reused.
Pergola Maintenance Conclusion
The year-long joy that modern aluminum pergola will bring to your outdoor living space easily makes it an investment you will enjoy for years. With minimal pergola maintenance you will continue to enjoy it for years to come. If you would like to explore pergola plans for your deck, pool or garden, please contact us today and we will connect you with one of our expert pergolas contractors near you.