Mother Nature can be ruthless when it comes to outdoor structures, such as your garden gazebo. To keep the next fierce storm from damaging your gazebo, take the time to reinforce your gazebo against structural damage.
Things You'll Need
- Deck screws
- Steel brackets, braces and connections
- PVC pipe
Construct a small concrete deck around the gazebo, and then attach your gazebo to it with 2-inch wood screws. Many gazebos come with stakes that allow you to peg your tent to the ground. Unfortunately, loose soil won't hold your gazebo in place when strong winds kick up.
Mount L-brackets to the frame's upper corners. Many manufacturers use thin metal strips to support the gazebo's top sections. In pleasant weather, these work well. However, mounting steel L-brackets in their place will greatly increase your gazebo's strength when wild winds blow.
Attach joint braces to all major connections of the gazebo. If yours has a cloth roof, it is probably supported by hinged "rafters." High winds create tension on these joists and could cause them to give way, tearing the roof. Joint braces will ensure that doesn't happen.
Upgrade to spring-loaded connections. Because bolts are extremely rigid, they can actually do more harm than good during major storms. Under pressure, the bolts will hold firm and your gazebo's metal frame will take the full force of structural stress, often bending as a result. Spring-loaded connections permit a measure of flexibility, and then snap back into place when harsh winds subside.
Brace damaged beams with PVC pipe if your gazebo does experience damage. Slide a piece of PVC pipe over the bent section of framework to keep it strong. Usually, warping will occur along the top sections of the gazebo, and it's easy to hide the pipe in this location with the overhang of the cloth roof. Should you be unable to find a replacement beam, spray paint the pipe to match your gazebo's color and only you will know it's there.
Tips & Warnings
- If you know a storm is coming, detach your gazebo's roof to minimize potential stress.
- Wear protective eyewear and gloves when handling pieces of sharp metal.
- Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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