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Pergolas are an excellent way to add shade and ambiance to your backyard patio. However, like any other outdoor structure, you will need to take care of it if you want it to continue to look great. Luckily, pergola maintenance is a job that almost any homeowner can tackle with great results. Keep reading to find out how what other homeowners do to keep their pergola in tip-top shape without breaking the bank.
Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey, President of WikiLawn

Inexpensive Pergola Maintenance

It takes about $3,000 to build a new pergola. If you build it the right way with durable materials and protection from the elements, maintaining it doesn’t cost much. Usually, all we have to do is repaint with weather-fast paint and reseal with water and sunproof sealer.

Wind damage can obviously impact your pergola, though I wouldn’t consider that a maintenance issue. For the sake of argument, however, you would probably only pay a few hundred dollars for parts and labor to replace any elements of the pergola damaged by weather or debris.

Tips for Cost-Effective Pergola Maintenance

Maintaining a pergola is relatively inexpensive. Each year, whether your pergola is composite, vinyl, or wood, you’ll need to clean it. The tools you’ll need are a power washer, a scrub brush, and detergent.

A power washer will be either a one-time expense of around $200 or a yearly rental cost of around $70. The detergent will cost less than five dollars, and a scrub brush will cost less than $10.

If you have any mildew, you’ll need to spray the area with a bleach and water solution. You probably have bleach as a normal household item, but if not, a gallon of bleach costs less than five dollars.

Once your pergola is clean, if it’s composite or vinyl, your maintenance is finished. If your pergola is wooden, you’ll need to stain or paint it after cleaning. A gallon of stain is typically sufficient for a pergola, and it will cost $50 to $150.

If you do the work yourself, you’ll save money on the cost of hiring a handyman or landscaper to do the maintenance for you.

If you’re planning to stay in the home for several years, you’ll save money in the long run by purchasing a power washer. If you plan to sell your home and don’t have any reason to own a power washer, renting one is the most cost-effective option.

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson, a home improvement expert with Clearsurance.com.
Matt Scott

Matt Scott

Matt Scott, Owner of Termite Survey.

Pergola Maintenance

It can be quite a hefty amount, depending on the size of the pergola, but paint jobs alone may cost you a few thousand dollars (ballpark is around $3,000).

Reducing the Cost.
The process of taking off the old paint and refurbishing it with a new one can get pretty pricey. You can do this yourself to save money, but be prepared to do some long, tiring work.

An Easy and Cheap Way to Maintain a Pergola

Maintaining your pergola should actually be pretty inexpensive. You can get a good quality wood varnish for around $40, and it should last you a few months.

The best way to keep your maintenance cost down on pergolas, and any other outdoor furniture, is routine maintenance. Depending on how much sun it’s getting, you may need to varnish it at least once a month.

Mix your wood varnish with some turpentine to thin it out so the wood will absorb it better, and give it at least two coats. Mixing varnish with turps also stretches it out more so that your bottle will last longer.

You could also move your pergola into an area with less sunlight and reduce how often you need to do maintenance. If you follow these steps, maintaining your pergola will be easy and cheap.

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell, Co-founder of The Charming Bench Company.

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