How to Spot Pergola Damage – PolymerOutdoor

Jun 22, 2023

Many homes have expanded their living space into the outdoors. Incorporating your outdoor space gives our home an entirely new ambiance. Accompanying this surge is the rising demand for high-quality pergolas. Investing in high-quality materials is the key to a long-lasting outdoor structure. However, being outdoors exposes them to all kinds of weather effects and elements. Knowing how to spot damage is the key to getting the most out of your outdoor structure.

How to Spot Pergola Damage

Pergola maintenance can be as simple as power washing it to remove mildew, dirt, and grime. Inspecting your outdoor structure is important for making sure you get the most out of it. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to do. Visual inspections are usually enough to gauge the condition of your outdoor structure. However, what damage you should look for can vary by material. 

Types of Pergola Damage

Different types of material can react to moisture, blunt force trauma, or changing weather conditions in various ways. What to look out for depends on what your outdoor structure is made of. Spotting the damage can help save the structure or give you key indicators as to when it’s time to invest in a new one. 

For Wood Pergolas

Wood is an incredibly popular cost-effective option for many homeowners. Wood can be treated for better resistance to sun or water damage, and many homeowners choose to apply a pergola stain for a unique color. Despite its diverse selection of style and color options, it requires a lot of maintenance. Wood can succumb to termite damage, sun damage, and rotting.  

If you notice any fading of the wood stain, sun damage, rotting, splitting, splintering, or termite damage, it’s time for a new pergola. 

Cedar Pergola Damage

Cedar material is among the most wood options available, known for its luxurious and timeless style. Cedar is popular in regions with high humidity, as it is extremely rot-resistant. Modern cedar pergolas also commonly include finishes to further improve their lifespan.  

However, even with regular maintenance, outdoor cedar pergolas can still slowly wear away over time. If your pergola has a rough or splintery surface, or if the finish is beginning to peel, it may be time to invest in a new one. 

For Metal Pergolas

Some homeowners opt for a durable, more lightweight pergola material. Metals are a core component of construction, and many outdoor structures are built out of aluminum. Despite its structural integrity, prolonged exposure to weather effects can lead to damage over time. Cracking can lead to water damage and rust, while dents or splitting could lead to reduced structural integrity.  

If you notice cracks, dents, dings, rust/sun damage, or chipped paint, it may be time to invest in a new pergola. 

For Vinyl Pergolas

Vinyl has been rising in popularity in recent years and is most notable for being impervious to rot. It’s a lightweight, sturdy material that can endure some of the harshest conditions. However, despite its resilience, it can still weaken over time. Vinyl is known for its smooth and sleek surface. You can tell if the vinyl is old by spotting visual blemishes when light hits it. This is often caused by UV damage. It may also be rough to the touch. 

For Fiberglass Pergolas

Fiberglass material is a great blend of cost-effectiveness, low maintenance, and style. Its strength and durability make it the go-to material for larger outdoor structures, as it allows for design flexibility and remains sturdy. It is also strong enough to endure harsh conditions. Fiberglass is made of ultra-fine glass fibers woven together, which makes for an ultra-strong material. However, it can still weaken as time goes on. 

Fiberglass damage often appears in the form of cracking, water damage, fatigue, or visible fibers coming through the shell. 

Topgal Polycarbonate Pergola Covers by PolymerOutdoor

Pergolas require maintenance in order to continue being a staple of your outdoor space. Low-maintenance pergolas require long-lasting materials that can handle the varying weather conditions your area may experience. A polycarbonate pergola cover can further enhance the strength of your material. Polycarbonate covers are among the longest-lasting pergola materials, offering extremely high impact resistance, light weight, and a diverse selection of colors. 

For areas that feature high humidity or lots of sunshine, Polygal pergola covers provide additional UV protection. Metals, wood, and other materials will sustain sun damage over time. Installing a Polygal pergola cover will enhance UV protection and prolong the life of your pergola material. To invest in long-term protection, contact PolymerOutdoor today. 



Contact us for a quote, to schedule an installation, or to ask any questions you may have. We’ll be happy to help you enhance the aesthetic appeal of your yard!