When you are planning for an outdoor gathering or time stay, the gazebo comes in handy for providing shelter from weather elements. They can cover you from rain, sun UV rays, wind, etc., and create a comforting environment for you. But it doesn’t apply to all types of weather, especially when it is very intense. Also, there are differences among gazebo types, as they come with different structures and build materials. That’s why, there lies a common question of if gazebos are capable enough to be used in the rain.
In short, the answer is yes! All gazebos are designed to be waterproof and weather-resistant. But not under all circumstances. In this article, we will dig deep if gazebos can be used in the rain. This content will also cover relevant topics such as, whether can you use a soft top gazebo in the rain, the pros and cons of gazebo being used in the rain, and lastly how to make your gazebo more waterproof. So buckle up for another helpful content for the gazebo in your backyard.
- Depending on your gazebo type, and building material; it may or may not withstand heavy rains.
- Soft top gazebos are fragile against heavy weather as their structure is light and not for heavy use.
- Metal, wooden gazebos are weather resistant and usually don’t leak water in the rain.
- All types of gazebos should be a subject of routine care to keep their integrity against rain.
- Gazebos should be made with slopes for water to slide off easily and prevent water pooling.
Can Gazebos Be Used In The Rain?
Actually, gazebos were built intending to be used in the rain. But not all the gazebos are made equally. Some lack material quality and some are not simply made intended to withstand heavy rains. We will go over different types of gazebos to see how they perform in the rain and this way you will be able to relate your gazebo with:
When talking about hard-top gazebos, roofing done with metal alloys is everybody’s favorite. From pillars to beams, edges to roofing, all are made using metal like steel, iron, and aluminum. Of them steel offers the best integrity and sturdiness, but aluminum alloys offer better weather resistance, especially from rainwater. To protect the metals from getting rusted, the gazebo manufacturers use an additional anti-rust coating on the metals. This allows metallic gazebos to better withstand rain. But it requires routine inspection and care of the gazebos to stand even longer.
Wooden gazebos are from natural hardwoods and artificial pressure-treated woods. This gazebo has a reputation for better weather protection for longer times. The woods used in making the gazebos aren’t ordinary woods, rather they are processed to be better water resistant. Natural woods such as redwood, and red-cedar come with a natural water-resistance oil in them. This oil also prevents insects to put a hole through the wall of the gazebo. Same way, artificial pressure-treated woods have an anti-water synthetic layer treated on their surface. Meaning they are equally efficient in rainwater resistance and can be used in harsh weather.
Concrete gazebos have the reputation of standing longer time in any type of adverse weather. Sometimes they are made entirely using concretes but for build flexibility, some wooden, metallic materials are also used. Concretes don’t get rust affected, and they are prone to harsh weather. A well-made concrete gazebo can last over half a century and still be water resistant. It just needs to be coated with water sealant colors every few years. So if you have such concrete gazebos then you can use them in any weather, let alone rain.
There is not much variation in soft-top gazebos. They come in a basic structure; columns/pillars/beams made of metal, wood, and roofing done using cloths. Soft top gazebos are lighter in shape and more of a ‘need to basis’ type of gazebo. This gazebo is also made rainwater resistant but only if the rain is soft in nature. Keeping your soft top gazebo in rain day after day can create rust in the metal portions. The synthetic coated polyester, vinyl-made roofing cover can lose its integrity, causing dipping water into the gazebo. Another major drawback of keeping soft top gazebos in the rain is, on heavy gusts of wind and your gazebo can be torn down in pieces or blown away with the wind easily.
Can I Leave A Soft Top Gazebo In The Rain?
Many people tend to leave their gazebo in the rain for days. It won’t be a problem if it is a hard top one. Because its roofing consists of thick anti-weather materials. But leaving your soft top gazebo in the rain for a long time can be a concerning issue for the gazebo. Note that, soft top gazebo fabrics are made rainproof, but this feature isn’t as durable as hard top ones. This fabric will slowly but surely lose its molecular strength against rainwater. In heavy rains, these fabrics may withstand the rainwater for a while, but as time goes by, water molecules will start to emerge beneath the fabric surface. Either it is because the fabric is losing its anti-water capacity or moisture within the gazebo has formed into water cells.
Regarding the structure of a soft top gazebo, it is made of steel. Iron, aluminum, wood, etc. They are also made water resistant initially. But remember metals are meant to get rust affected if left in the water for long. This means it will be a problem for them, especially the metal ones. At the same time, wooden gazebo structures are prone to rot if not protected by water sealants. Overall, soft top gazebos are not suitable for leaving in the rain for days. They can withstand small amounts of rain but heavy rains can reduce their effectiveness dramatically.
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Pros & Cons of Using A Gazebo In The Rain
Not everything about the gazebos in the rain is bad. They provide some of the most unique advantages of rain, but at the same time, there are some disadvantages too. Here are some of the major pros and con side of using a gazebo in the rain. We will take soft and hard top gazebo as a whole while discussing.
- Keeps The Party Going: Gazebo is a one-of-a-kind backyard structure that can be used to host a moderate-sized party. So if the rain breaks down suddenly, no need to run towards the house. If the rain is gentle and you have any type of gazebo, then it will do the trick of saving you from rainwater, and keep the party going.
- Shelters From The Wind: When it rains, it’s not just water that can bother your backyard moment. A decent amount of wind can also alter the pouring rain water direction. Having a well-structured gazebo with solid roofing and water-resisting curtains can save you from the strong wind breeze. This allows you to have your desired and calm moment in the gazebo when it actually hailing storm outside.
- Portability: Another big advantage of having a gazebo in the rain is its portability. Lightweight gazebos, especially the fabric-roofed ones have simple and quick setup steps. This means the has started to drizzle and you can set up a gazebo before the drizzle converts into decent rain. You can also pack such a gazebo into a bag, place it into your car’s trunk, and easily set it wherever you feel it is needed.
- Aesthetic Touch In Backyard: Apart from saving you from rain and other natural elements, gazebos can indeed bring an aesthetic appearance to your backyard when it rains. If you have a bigger space in your backyard and you have set the gazebo a bit far from your house, then you can enjoy the scenic beauties from your gazebo while it is raining outside. At the same time, having a gazebo kind of completes the look of your backyard.
- Prone To Be Blown Away: As mentioned earlier, the biggest disadvantage of having a soft top gazebo is they are prone to be blown away in moderate wind. Soft top gazebos have a very light structure and similarly weaken the setting of the pillars. That makes them fragile in the rain.
- Metals Can Be Rusty: Both soft and hard top metal gazebos are vulnerable to get rust affected if kept in the rain for days, or months. The initial anti-water coating will not be there forever. So the metals can get rusty and threaten the gazebo’s longevity.
- Not The Safest Shelter: When it is raining densely, it is not safer to stay in the gazebo for long. Gazebos are normally situated in the open backyard. It is exposed to thunder strikes, wind to blow away, etc. issues.
- Water Can Leak: The common disadvantage of using a gazebo in the rain, it can leak water. If your gazebo is structurally weak, it has holes in the roofing or the fabrics have worn off, it will likely leak rainwater and make your gazebo stay uncomfortable.
Make Your Gazebo More Rainproof
Most types of gazebos are made more or less waterproof. But if you already have a set gazebo, you can modify it to be more rainproof. Some of the ways to make your existing gazebo more rainproof:
- Roofing Materials: In case your gazebo is hard to top, use metal, thatch, asphalt shingles, or tiled roofing materials that are water-resistant. They are non-porous and solid materials that can last long in resisting rain.
- Roofs Slope: It doesn’t matter which type of gazebo you have, the roofing must be designed and equipped with some slope angles. These slopes will allow rainwater to flow away from the center of the gazebo. Remember, water pooling can damage the gazebo’s waterproofness.
- Overhangs: Equip the gazebo with waterproof overhangs, especially on all the open sides. These overhangs, mostly fabrics will prevent rainwater from splashing inside.
- Waterproofing: It is not the outer side of the gazebo that needs to be waterproof all the time. Based on necessity, the gazebo’s interior walls and floors should be waterproofed too. Water can seep through the floor if isn’t paved well.
- Waterproof Sealant: Waterproof sealants are an additional chemical to increase the gazebo’s efficiency against water. This sealant will create an additional layer of protection against the elements and can help extend the life of your gazebo.
If you have fabric canvas-made gazebo roofing, then you can use additional waterproofing sprays on the fabrics. Add similarly sprayed curtains to all the open sides. For metals, use an anti-rusting coating and for wooden gazebos, use synthetic anti-water protections.
Water pooling mostly happens in the soft top gazebos with fabric as a cover. To prevent that from happening, you need to create a top spot in the center of the gazebo using additional poles. This will create a high ground and the water shall pass away quickly to the gazebo’s edge sides. If water pooling occurred in hard tops gazebo, then observe the water flow and create a slope as per needed.
There are various ways to protect a gazebo from high wind. They, first of all, secure the pillars of the gazebo with additional attachments, and weight to keep it on the ground. Use curtains as a windbreaker to stop the wind from entering the gazebo. If the wind is blowing from one specific direction, keep open in the opposite direction to stabilize the wind pressure in the gazebo.
Gazebos can be used in the rain, not all the gazebo types react well in it. There will not be any instant negative impacts other than being blown away by strong winds. Rather, the impacts will affect the gazebo in the long run. Soft top gazebos aren’t designed and built to withstand excessive weather elements such as sunlight, wind, and rain. Leaving your metal-made gazebo in the rain for too long can cause rust to grow. The roofing fabric can also weaken and leak water as a result. Hard-top gazebos are permanent structures that you can’t just re-station easily. So it is better to continuously care for, maintain, and modify your gazebo to be used in the rain.
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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.