The Best Pergolas for Windy Areas
As Capetonians we all know what we are in for from October to March every year, that blustering South Easter and unless you are a Kite surfer – it brings no joy!
What is the Best Wind Resistant Pergola?
Pergolas have rapidly become one of the most popular outdoor structures for residential and commercial applications. A pergola can help define a space, offer shade, and is less expensive and elaborate than a gazebo to build.
Materials like fiberglass, some softwoods (Pine), and un-reinforced vinyl can mean that your pergola is too light or flimsy to withstand high winds. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to both the pergola design AND its material so you can choose a wind-resistant pergola that will last.
Which Materials Are Best?
Pergolas are stationary structures that can be installed in one of two ways. They can be either freestanding or attached to a building. They’re basically constructed of two to four columns, with a roof that can be: open/closed and/or designed with manoeuvrable slats or topped with a different material to create a sunshade.
Regardless of the style and roofing, though, most pergolas are fairly open structures. Whether they’re permanently attached to the ground or fastened to a deck, the columns or legs of the design need to be able to support the roof structure, without bowing, twisting, or breaking in the event of high winds. Because pergolas don’t have walls to block wind and help share the load, the legs need to do their part to hold things up.
The type of material you choose to build your pergola is your first consideration in finding the most wind-resistant pergola design. There are several options on the market, with most people gravitating toward one of a few popular choices.
Hardwood pergolas are popular for their endless customization. But they’re not used as often as they once were because wood is so high maintenance. Cedar and pressure-treated columns both have a tendency to crack over time, and every type of wood requires a lot of work in scraping and painting to maintain its appearance and prevent problems with rot.
When it’s in good condition, wood is very durable and can hold up well in many climates. The problem comes with time and age; when the wood begins to age, it develops more cracks and eventually starts to soften. At this point, it begins to lose its structural integrity, and a high wind could be all that’s needed to finish off the structure for good.
To prevent this, you would need to stay on top of the maintenance, by painting and repairing as needed.
Composite Timber Pergolas are attractive outdoor structures made from composite timber, which is an extremely versatile material and combines the traditional appearance of wood with the durability of an engineered composite.
From shade to structures, Composite Timber Pergolas are a great way to add beauty and function to any outdoor space. They have a unique formula that provides an attractive long-lasting material which is strong, durable and weathers extremely well. Composite Timber Pergolas are striking yet have a traditional appearance.
Composite Timber Pergolas require little maintenance and will not rot or splinter. They are UV stabilised to withstand harsh climates and are eco-friendly with an 87% recycled material content. They require no painting or staining. The only care and attention needed is to spray your pergola with a hosepipe to clear any debris then washing with a soft bristled brush.
Steel/Aluminium Metal Pergolas
Metal pergolas are a good option for durability and security, and heavy enough not to be an issue in high winds. However, metal pergolas on their own tend to be higher in maintenance.
Steel can corrode if it’s exposed to the elements, and all it takes is a scratch on the paint for it to start to rust. Aluminium doesn’t corrode, but it can dent as well as fade, so it needs to have its finish retouched every few years to look its best. Not retouching a fading metal can sometimes mean that the baked-on finish will come off on your hands and clothes, not ideal for most applications.
Pergola Styles for Wind-Resistance
If you’re truly looking for a wind-resistant pergola, choosing a durable material is a good start — but it isn’t the only thing you can do to provide strength and stability. Pergolas can be either freestanding or attached, and attached pergolas gain the benefit of the strength and wind buffer from the house.
Attaching a pergola to the home either on the deck or patio can dramatically increase its wind resistance. Paired with the right materials, these pergolas will last for years with fewer issues in strong winds.
Contact Pergola Pro today to add a durable, and beautiful, outdoor pergola to your home.