4 Cedar Pergola Maintenance Tips
A cedar pergola is a good choice if you want to boost the natural appeal of your garden. It acts as a excellent support structure for your plants. A pergola can also enhance the appearance of walkways and patios. Cedar is one of the most suitable woods you can select for a pergola. It has a high resistance to rot and insect damage. However, as with all wooden outdoor structures, proper maintenance helps to keep it in good condition for longer. Below are 4 tips to help you care for yours.
Wash your pergola regularly to keep it clean. It is less likely to attract mildew from dirt build-up if you wash frequently. Avoid harsh cleaning detergents and abrasives. These can cause discoloration on your pergola. They also weaken the composition of wood. Use a mild detergent and water to clean your pergola well. A soft bristle brush helps to remove dirt effectively. Rinse well with a garden hose and allow it to dry naturally. You may choose to simply hose down your pergola when you don't have the time for a through wash. It helps to get rid of dust and dislodge dirt like bird droppings. Be sure to use a medium pressure setting on your garden hose for your pergola. High pressure can damage the structure of the wood. It is a good idea to wash your pergola every 2 to 3 weeks.
2. Mildew and Stains
Whenever you spot mildew on your wooden pergola, you need to act fast. If left unattended to, it can develop extensively and ruin the fine appearance of your pergola. Fasteners used on the pergola may also cause stains with time. Corrosive fasteners create black or dark brown stains on the wood. Mix a cup of oxygen bleach with a gallon of water. Place in a spray bottle. Apply onto the fence after you've washed. Allow the solution to clear the stains. Once you see them lighten, you can wash again with soapy water followed by a good rinse.
3. Staining and Sealing
With time, the color of your pergola will turn from its light reddish color to silvery-gray. This is due to the natural weathering process of cedar. You may wish to preserve the original color. A sealant especially suited for hardwoods can assist in color preservation. It is best to clean your pergola first before you apply a stain and sealant. Spray the pergola with a semi-transparent oil-based wood stain that is suitable for cedar. Allow it to dry completely before you spray on a sealant. You may re-apply every 3 to 4 years.
If you notice stains caused by corrosive fasteners, it is best to replace these. Use fasteners such as aluminum or stainless steel that won't react with cedar. Although these cost more, they help to give your pergola a nice and clean look. This also helps to prevent the incidence of stains and reduce the maintenance work that goes with it. Tighten any loose fasteners. Undertake repairs on damaged sections in good time so that the whole structure reflects uniform beauty.