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Product Maintenance Guide - Gazebos and Arbours

Although the specialist in-house design and manufacturing teams at Dunster House ensure that all the gazebos and arbours we sell are built to last, performing regular maintenance will help prolong their life and protect your investment.

 

The Key Areas To Focus On When Performing Maintenance      

 


Here at Dunster House, we recommend that systematic checks are carried out on your wooden gazebos and arbours at least once a year. Here is a list of the key areas to focus on when performing maintenance.

 

  • Removing mould and mildew
  • Weed control
  • Preventative maintenance that will protect your gazebos, pergolas and arbours
  • Performing maintenance to the roof of your gazebo
  • Treating and painting a wooden gazebo, pergolas or arbour
  • Inspecting for insect infestation and additional maintenance tips

 

For more detail on how you can perform the key maintenance to your wooden gazebo outlined above, please read on for our comprehensive guide.

 

Removing mould and mildew

 

       


Mildew is a type of mould that can grow and flourish in any environment where oxygen, moisture and organic material can combine to cause a reaction. If it grows upon your gazebo, pergolas or arbour it will appear green in appearance and will ruin its aesthetic. The good news is that most mould and mildew can be removed via a few simple cleaning-based steps.


The equipment and materials that you will need:

 

  • Water
  • Two buckets
  • Mild detergent
  • Three soft cloths
  • Rubber gloves
  • Furniture cleaner
  • Paste wax


Steps for removing mildew from your wooden gazebo:

 

  • First of all fill one of your buckets with water and then add the mild detergent. Fill the second bucket with clear water.
  • Take the soft cloth and moisten it in the mild detergent solution. Then wring the cloth out so that it is barely moist.
  • Use the barely moist cloth to scrub the areas of your gazebo affected by mildew. For the best results, concentrate on each problem area at a time.
  • Once you are pleased that the problem area has been sufficiently cleaned, take another clean cloth and rinse with clean water. Then take a third clean cloth to dry the problem section.
  • If a white layer appears after you have cleaned the problem section of your wooden gazebo, it will be because of a build-up of wax. If this is the case, use the furniture cleaner to remove this waxy residue.
  • Finally, apply a thin layer of paste wax to provide your wooden gazebo with an attractive finish, post clean.


Additional tips for removing mildew from your wooden gazebo, pergola or arbour

 

If your wooden gazebo has a painted finish, replace the use of a mild detergent with chlorine beach and forego the application of furniture cleaner and paste wax. Instead, after cleaning, let the wood dry out naturally.

 

As an additional protective measure, you can use protective sprays, available at most good hardware retailers, which you can then spray upon your gazebo or arbour to help it resist water and soil.


 Weed control

 

   

 

 

Performing weed control on the area surrounding your gazebo, pergola or arbour is vitally important for protecting it against associated damage. If you have trained climbing plants to engulf your arbour, the chances of it being infiltrated with weeds will increase.

 

When performing weed control, make sure that you remove all unwanted common weeds such as crab grass, brambles and particularly climbing vines which have the potential to cause so much damage to the structure.


Preventative maintenance that will protect your gazebo, pergola or arbour


Throughout the year, the fittings such as nuts, bolts and screws that hold your gazebo or arbour together can become loose, compromising its structural integrity. For this reason, it is vitally important that you perform checks, at least annually, to ensure that they are securely fastened.

 

To perform the needed maintenance, you will need one or all of the following; a screwdriver, adjustable spanner or socket set, depending on the fitting, so make sure you have access to each. Tighten each fitting gently as over tightening can cause cracks and damage to the wood.

 

Our canopy gazebos feature a uniquely designed metal foot pad made from galvanised steel, which can be cleaned using a water-based emulsifier, alkaline-based cleaners with a pH of 12 or lower or organic solvents.

 

Performing maintenance to the roof of your gazebo

 

 

It is important to check the roof of your gazebo at least twice a year for damage, and immediately after a severe storm. Ensuring that your gazebo roof is leak-free is one of the most important maintenance tasks that you can perform to protect it.

 

If you notice that any branches or an excessive amount of leaves have fallen onto the roof, then you will need to take measures to remove them. If you need to use a ladder, and you don't have anybody free to assist and support, make sure that you lean it against a supporting area, such as a beam.

 

Once you are safely perched upon your ladder, remove any debris slowly and carefully ensuring no further damage is inflicted upon the roof. If there is damage to the shingle/felt covering this will need to be replaced to ensure that the roof remains waterproof.

 

The canopy that we use in our Canopy Gazebos is made from 100% Olefin mater which is water repellent and stain resistant. Olefin can be washed with lukewarm water and detergent, but bleach can also be used. Dry cleaning Olefin is not recommended, as many dry-cleaning solvents can swell the fibres. As Olefin dries quickly, low tumble drying with little or no heat is the recommended method of drying. Olefin fibre has a low melting point so items should be ironed at a very low temperature, if at all.  



Treating and painting a wooden gazebo


Some of the gazebos that we sell at Dunster House come untreated and will therefore need to be treated to protect them from the damaging effects of weather. Regular re-treatment is recommended to ensure your gazebo receives the best maintenance possible.

 

Timber as a natural product will crack, however if you become alarmed with the size of the crack you can use the waterproof sealant caulk in order to fill it. If you are using a solvent based caulk, you’ll need to wait another 24 hours before applying the treatment.

 

When preparing your wooden gazebo for applying/re-applying treatment you should have removed all mould and mildew first, as well as any dirt, cobwebs and any other debris that may have built up.


 

                        

When choosing your treatment we recommend that you opt for our PremiumPlus, Premier or Deluxe treatment that you can now buy separately by clicking here. Our PremiumPlus, Premier and Deluxe range of treatments are solvent based treatments and last 3-4 years, so will need re-applying less regularly. We offer two different types of PremiumPlus treatment, the standard being solvent based and the block treatment being water based. We do offer a budget stain that is water based, however this will need to be re-applied annually in order to offer the required protection.

 

Ensure that your product is clean from dirt, dust, wax, mould, mildew and grease by following the tips given earlier in this text. The area which requires treating needs to be dry and free from other coatings or repellents. If you have used treatment previously, then ensure it is weathered sufficiently as this will allow the treatment time to penetrate the surface. To achieve the best results, sand the wood lightly in the direction of the grain, making sure that the dust generated during the process is fully removed before proceeding.

 

You only need to treat your product once a year. When thinking about the right time of year to apply your treatment, ensure that you choose a time which you can be sure will have 2 days of dry, cool weather. We recommend the end of summer as it is not humid, has no direct sunlight and low risk of rain. You need to allow for 24 hours between the two treatments to ensure that it has had time to penetrate the smooth planed timber. If you have chosen a solvent based treatment, it will take longer to dry than water based treatments, ensure that you give enough time for the first coat to dry before adding the second one.

 

At Dunster House, we’re committed to making sure you get the best so if you have any questions, we’re happy to help! Contact us if you need any help or further information.