How to Winterize Your Gazebo in a Few Simple Steps

A gazebo is a wooden garden structure designed to provide shelter, and with the cold weather approaching, you may wish to winterize your gazebo.

The last thing you want is for the bad weather to split the wood and damage such a beautiful focal point in your garden. Excessive water and ice may warp the wood, resulting in costly repairs.

Properly winterizing your gazebo will protect the structure and help to prevent water ingress. By giving the building a little tender loving care in the autumn, you will improve the gazebo’s longevity.

Consequently, taking the time to winterize your gazebo will maintain its good looks and usefulness for many years to come.

Winterize Your Gazebo

It is worth taking the time to winterize your gazebo and making it an essential part of your fall maintenance.

Preparing the structure before the first frosts and snowfall will give you a head start and place you in good stead for the cold weather to come.

With some simple items, such as detergent, mold remover, and a soft-bristled brush, you can quickly and easily winterize your gazebo.

Using the brush to remove the mold and then cleaning down the structure will help the gazebo withstand the winter months.

Additionally, a water-repellent spray applied to the gazebo will add extra protection.

What Is a Gazebo

The gazebos we know today usually come in the form of wooden structures with a roof, used as a seating area or shelter.

We associate such structures as pretty out-buildings open at the sides to provide a view of the surrounding area, and sometimes the open sides use a thin screen to prevent insects from getting in.

The traditional gazebo is hexagonal or octagonal in shape with an ornate roof, and you may often see bands playing in larger gazebos in public places.

However, gazebos have existed for thousands of years and date back as far as ancient Egypt.

The original purpose of such structures was as towers or lanterns on the roofs of houses to provide a view of the surrounding area.

Additionally, ancient Egyptians used gazebos as temples to honor their gods, and such structures date back as far as 5000 BC.

Ancient Romans used gazebos as a place for relaxation, and as archeological digs demonstrated in Pompeii, even poor families benefited from the use of gazebos.

Ordinary citizens used gazebos to relax from a hard day’s work in the marketplace.

Preparing to Winterize Your Gazebo

As with any job, the preparation remains the key to your success.

Spending some time on the basics will reward you with a gazebo that remains intact and beautiful throughout the winter months into the next season.

Some essential tools and equipment

To winterize your gazebo, you will need some tools and equipment to achieve your aim successfully.

A soft-bristled brush, a broom, and a hose will help you to clean the area. A screwdriver is essential to check any exposed screw heads and tighten them up.

Mold remover will restore the gazebo’s natural beauty while a water repellent spray is useful for coating the structure to give additional protection.

Hints and tips before you start

Don’t apply a water-repellent sealer to existing paint or stain finishes. The deck of the gazebo is suitable for water repellent application only if the deck remains untreated.

You may apply the sealant using a brush, and 1 gallon per 250 square feet of smooth surface should be sufficient.

The application of water repellents over painted or treated surfaces may cause cracking and further damage your gazebo.


Begin by removing any furniture from the structure as you prepare to winterize your gazebo.

Storing your furniture undercover during the winter months will protect it and prolong its life. Excessive moisture may cause rot or rust to set into your furniture and destroy it quickly.

Use a rake and a stiff brush to remove any debris from the gazebo and the surrounding area.

Good housekeeping of this nature will keep the gazebo and the area around the structure neat and tidy and prevent staining, rot, and damage.

Furthermore, any snowfalls may cover the debris and compact it, making it harder to remove in the spring.

Additionally, any dirt or rotting leaves will mingle with melting snow and ice to form a slimy sludge. This sludge will seep into the wood of the gazebo and stain it.

Also, as the gazebo absorbs the dirty sludge, cold weather will freeze the concoction, resulting in the wood splitting and warping. Therefore, a thorough sweep up at this initial stage may save you a great deal of heartache.

Good housekeeping

You wouldn’t let cobwebs form in your home, would you? Apply the same ethos to your gazebo and brush away any cobwebs using a soft-bristled brush.

The cobwebs will dissolve into the melted snow and stain the surface of your gazebo.

Be meticulous. The removal of pests nests and remains essential.

Use the mold remover

Use a bucket of warm water and the mold remover with a soft-bristled brush to scrub down the gazebo thoroughly. Be sure that you reach into all those awkward cracks and crevices to remove any dirt or debris.

Pay particular attention to the spaces between the decking and any lattice decoration. Gently scrub away any mold to leave a clean surface.

Turn on the hose

Once you have cleaned the structure, use a garden hose to rinse down the gazebo and remove any residue. The water will wash away any lingering mold remover, dirt, and debris.

Pay attention to the roof to ensure the removal of any cobwebs you missed. Spray the water into all the cracks and crevices until you feel satisfied the gazebo is ready for the next stage.

Get out your screwdriver

Once the gazebo is clean, check any visible screws to ensure they remain tight in their housing. Tighten any protruding screws to ensure a good fit.

However, do not over-tighten the screws, or you risk splitting the wood. Exposed screws may rust and stain the wood or, worse, break away to weaken the structure’s integrity.

This is an excellent time to repair any cracks. This stage is essential to prevent any wind or storm damage during the winter months.

Fiddler on the roof

Take the time to repair any damage to the roof. It is worth fixing a vinyl sheet to the roof to create a barrier between the snow and the roof.

This will prevent water ingress from melting snow and heavy rain and lessen any potential damage. Any water that seeps through the roof into the gazebo may cause rot and mildew to set in.

The vinyl sheet may also help snow to easily slide off the roof and prevent excess weight from damaging the gazebo.

Winter is coming

Throughout the winter months, check on your gazebo, especially during any snowfall. Remove the accumulated snow from the roof to prevent any excess weight, which may damage the structure.

It is also worth removing any icicles that form to lessen structural damage caused by ice.

Icicles represent a danger if they break away and fall, especially to children. Falling icicles may also damage the wood, so regularly removing the ice remains a sensible idea.

Water repellent seal

If your gazebo is untreated, you may apply a coat of water repellent sealant. Use a paintbrush to apply the finish.

The sealant will prevent water ingress and stop the wood from splitting and cracking. However, do not apply the sealant over any existing paint or stain as this will cause cracking.

How to Winterize Your Gazebo Explained

A gazebo is an attractive addition to any garden and allows you to relax while taking in the view of your surroundings.

However, if you have taken the time and the expense to build such a structure, it is worth taking the time to winterize your gazebo to protect it.

With a few essential pieces of equipment and a little bit of elbow grease, you may soon remove any build-up of dirt and mold to reveal a good, clean surface.

By repairing any cracks and tightening any loose screws, you ensure the gazebo remains robust during stormy weather.

Covering the roof with a vinyl sheet will prevent any excess water from seeping in, which may cause rot and mildew. By regularly removing any snowfall from the roof, you can avoid any unnecessary damage.

The application of a water repellent sealant to untreated wood will protect your gazebo and lengthen the structure’s life.

It is not difficult to winterize your gazebo, and the benefits of your hard work will result in a gazebo that will go on for many years to come.

Take the time to winterize your gazebo and reap the benefits of your hard work when the spring brings with it the promise of many relaxing afternoons in your garden.

Author bio

Sean Kerr lives in Cardiff, Wales, and is a published author with over 10 novels to his name so far and still counting. As well as writing his next bestseller, Sean also runs a successful jewelry making business and sells his creations online.



Grill Gazebo: How To Set Up a Backyard Cooking Heaven

You just got a brand new grill for your yard, and the first day you planned to use it, you got soaked by a gentle rain shower. Enter the grill gazebo — an invention that allows you to grill in any weather. Not only does a gazebo protect you from inclement weather while grilling, but it also serves to protect your grill when it is not in use.

Gazebos have been in use since the time of the Egyptians about 5,000 years ago. The term itself first appeared in England around 1752 and combined the word gaze with the Latin suffix “ebo,” which means “I shall.” In simple terms, gazebo means “I shall gaze.” Gazebos gained popularity in the United States during the 1800s.

Gazebo, Gazibo, Gazowie

Grill gazebos have grown in popularity during the last 20 to 30 years. Before that, gazebos were larger-scale Pavillion-type structures designed to shelter large groups of people. Common in public parks, near swimming pools, and in other public and private areas, gazebos went mainstream when they became portable.

The original pavilion was a full-scale structure, adding beauty and permanence to parks and gardens. Towns used them for public gatherings, private garden parties, and as a bandstand for holiday celebrations in the town center. Many towns worldwide still have a gazebo as a central focal point in town squares and public parks.

The first portable gazebos were commercial tents used for outdoor events, festivals, and weddings. Gradually, these massive structures became smaller with increased portability. People began using the smaller gazebos in yards for added shade and protection from the rain. They are a must-have item for most people who camp. The transition to even smaller gazebo structures was a natural shift when the popularity of outdoor grilling increased.

Soft Top or Hard Top: Choosing Your Grill Gazebo

Most grill gazebos measure in the 5-foot by 8-foot range and stand at least 6-feet tall. They have a singular purpose — to protect your cooking area from weather, falling acorns, bird droppings, and sun. There are two main types of portable grill gazebo — soft-top and hardtop.

The hardtop grill gazebo is usually a metal frame with a plastic or metal top. This style gazebo adds more permanence than a soft top. If you have a designated spot on your patio, a hardtop grill gazebo may be a great addition to your yard. The hardtop is generally more expensive but is also sturdier.

The soft top grill gazebo has a canvas, duck cloth, or synthetic material roof. While less expensive, they are also lighter weight and should have extra anchoring. Soft top gazebos are easier to move around within your yard, especially if you don’t have a permanent placement for your grill.

Free-Standing or Permanent Mounting

The difference between a free-standing and a permanently mounted grill gazebo is exactly what you think it is. One is always anchored, using dirt or concrete, and the other is not, although it may be staked down or bolted to a concrete patio.

If you are building a grill area and want to go all-out and install a permanent gazebo, you can find plans easily. We found several with a 30-second search:

From this point forward, we will be discussing only the portable hardtop and soft top style grill gazebos.

Size Does Matter

We only mention size because there are several things to consider when shopping for the perfect grill set-up.

  • What size space do you have?
  • What size grill do you have?
  • How tall are you?
  • Will more than one person be operating the grill at any time?

There are probably more things that will come into play, but those are the main areas. If you have a super huge commercial-grade grill that is nine feet wide, it won’t fit well under an eight-foot-wide roof. Likewise, if you only have a 24-inch wide hibachi-style grill on a small table, do you need the 12-foot-wide enclosure?

Head-height is a significant consideration. If you are over six-feet tall, you want a gazebo at least seven feet tall. Nobody would be comfortable grilling with a crick in their neck from bending down.

With that said, take a few minutes to figure out the best size for your needs before you start shopping.

No, These Soft Tops Aren’t Convertibles

While most people think of convertible automobiles when they hear the phrase soft top, that isn’t what we’re talking about here. A soft-top gazebo has a cloth top instead of metal, corrugated plastic, or other rigid material. The soft top makes them more portable, and they should be taken down and stored during winter months.

We found a variety of soft-top gazebos. As we stated earlier, the most common size is five feet by eight-foot. Some of these models do have size choices for larger units. Due to the popularity of these gazebos, they may be out-of-stock temporarily in some areas. Usually this is a brief interruption of availability, possibly seasonal. Most retailers have email notification systems that will notify when the item is in stock.

CASAINC 5 ft. x 8 ft. Grill Gazebo

The CASAINC 5 ft. x 8 ft. Grill Gazebo is functional and great looking. The canopy is gray and will match any outdoor decor. The top allows excellent ventilation, so that heat from the grill dissipates nicely.

The canopy is constructed with durable 220g polyester fabric with a polyurethane coating (PU) to make it water-resistent. The PU coating also adds to Ultraviolet (UV) protection. That means that both you and your grill will be safe from the damaging rays of the sun.

The frame is sturdy and easy-to-assemble. Although the assembly time will vary and is much easier with two people, one person can assemble this gazebo quickly.

Heathermoore Patio Grill Gazebo

The Heathermoore by Hampton Bay is very popular. Its black, steel frame assembles with no tools. The frame structure includes two work-area shelves for staging, prepping food, or serving guests efficiently. Measuring in at the standard 5-feet by 8-feet, There is plenty of room under the generous tan canopy for you and your grill.

This canopy structure weighs in at just under 42 pounds, so you will want to anchor it on breezy days for safety. Anchors are provided, but there are mixed reviews on the level of security they provide. This item does carry a two-year manufacturer warranty while others in this class average only 90-day warranties.

Sunjoy 8 ft. x 5 ft. Grill Gazebo

This Sunjoy grill gazebo is spot on for grill enthusiasts. The dark brown, powder-coated finish on the steel frame will last years. The matching red canopy top is great looking, vented, two-tiered, and provides outstanding UV protection.

With two side shelves, this unit adds the convenience of utility hooks for your cooking utensils, serving utensils, and potholders. As one of the most sought-after models, you will want to order this early as it is difficult to find later in the grilling season. Ground anchors are provided for soft surfaces, but you should use other means on a hard patio or wooden deck. This item carries a six-month limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Sunjoy Deering 5 ft. x 8 ft. Brown Steel 2-Tier Grill Gazebo

Another entry from Sunjoy, the Deering, includes the same great features. Two shelves for serving and handy utensil hooks. The two-toned weather-resistent canopy has a two-tier design for ventilation and protection from the weather.

The assembly is easy, and replacement parts are available to extend the life of your investment. This item carries a six-month manufacturer’s warranty. Although anchors are provided, you may need additional anchoring or weights.

Costway 8’ x 5’ Barbecue Grill Gazebo

This Costway structure is sturdy and beautiful to add to any outdoor patio area. Two shelves provide serving and staging areas to help any chef make fantastic meals. The sturdy steel frame supports a two-tiered, ventilated canopy top. The khaki-colored top blends well with any patio furniture or decor. An included LED light allows for barbequing under lower light conditions.

No Waxing Needed for These Hardtops

If you have a permanent outdoor grill setup, investing in a hardtop grill gazebo is a good choice. Many of the hardtop models offer additional aesthetic value with curves and angles. Increased durability, stability, and weight all contribute to these gorgeous backyard structures.

Sojag 6′ x 8′ Messina Hardtop Grill Gazebo

The powder-coated finish on the Messina Hardtop Grill Gazebo will last for years. Designed to protect against UV rays, rust, and corrosion, the galvanized steel is super durable. Made to blend well with any decor, the roof is light grey. The two-tiered design aids in ventilation, allows smoke to escape quickly and protects you and your grill from inclement weather.

Two shelves provide space for serving, food preparation, or just leaning against for a chat. This unit meets CPAI-84 International safety standards for flame resistance. Although assembly is required, this unit will go together smoothly and last a lifetime.

Sunjoy Seagate 5 ft. x 8 ft. Grill Gazebo

To join their family of soft-top gazebos, Sunjoy offers the Seagate Hardtop. Using a two-tiered and vented roof design allows for excellent ventilation while providing great cover from the weather. The brown frame is constructed with strong, powder-coated steel and includes shelves on both sides. The addition of utensil hooks on the shelves is like gravy on the biscuits.

Assembly instructions are illustrated and easy-to-follow. Sunjoy also has a knowledgeable team of customer service reps ready to help if you hit assembly snags. The inverted chevron design of the roof will protect you and your grill from the sun and weather.

Corsica 6.7 ft. x 4 ft. Hard Top Grill Gazebo

The Corsica Hardtop offered by Hampton Bay is slightly smaller at 6.7 feet by 4 feet and less expensive. If you have a limited area or budget, this may be a perfect fit. The Corsica includes all the same features as its larger brethren in a more compact and portable frame. Two shelves on the sides provide serving and prep areas. The roof is an inverted rocker-style design that provides adequate protection from the elements.

While consumer reviews are lower on this unit, many of the complaints center on missing screws. Be sure to verify all your materials before beginning assembly.

Penguin BBQ Grill Gazebo 5′ x 8′

The Penguin BBQ Grill Gazebo offered by Sears is a 5-feet by 8-feet structure with a two-tiered inverted rocker-style roof. Made with an aluminum frame and a polycarbonate roof, this structure may be lighter than others in the same class.

It includes solid glass shelves, plus racks and hooks for spices and utensils. With a chocolate brown powder-coated finish, this structure will blend well on your patio. The Penguin is durable enough to leave assembled even in wintry climates.

Walker 8 ft. x 5 ft. Steel Grill Gazebo

Durable steel construction tops the list of ingredients for the Walker offered by Hampton Bay. Leaves, falling acorns, rain, snow, and bird droppings are no match for this sturdy gazebo. With attractive natural slate shelves and under-shelf storage areas, you can use this setup all year. Built-in utensil hooks and wine glass hangers round out the amenities.

The frame has a powder-coated finish and heavy-duty steel construction. The double-tiered roof allows plenty of ventilation while providing excellent protection from the elements. This gazebo is an investment in your outdoor adventure.

The Right Grill Gazebo for Your Backyard Cooking Heaven

Just a quick recap before you head out to shop. Determine your needs and wants before shopping. Measure your available space as this needs to be greater than the listed outside dimensions of your structure. If your patio is only 5-feet by 7-feet, a 5-feet by 8-feet gazebo won’t fit without hanging over the edge.

Other things to consider are whether you want a permanent structure or a temporary, portable unit. Both have advantages and disadvantages based on your available space.

If you own your home, adding a permanent structure will add to your resale value. If you rent, the portable form can move with you to a new home.

Enjoy your slice of heaven on earth!