Patricia's Construction and Contracting Blog: Tips for Novices to Experts

How To Treat and Maintain Your New Teak Pergola

by غزل موسوی

Teak is an extremely popular construction material that's used for pergolas and other outdoor structures.  The teak used for pergola construction is typically fine-sanded and otherwise untreated.  This means that weathering can cause the wood to lose its original honey-golden colour over time, and the teak will fade to a silvery-grey.  Although your teak pergola will still be perfectly functional and durable, you may prefer the wood to retain its natural shade.  So how can this be achieved and does this mean that your pergola is going to be high-maintenance?  Read on for more helpful information.

Teak oil

One option for treating your pergola would be to paint it with specially formulated teak oil, which is actually made from linseed or tung oil.  Although this will bring out the original colour again, the effect won't last for more than a few months before the colour fades again and the pergola requires re-treating.  This can be something of a time-consuming job and may not be practical if you intend to grow plants or vines over your pergola.

Teak sealer

Teak sealer is a better bet for pergola treatment, as it creates a barrier to oxygen, effectively preventing the wood from changing colour.  Most sealers are also formulated to provide UV protection and to prevent mould and mildew from setting in.  Teak sealer need only be applied annually, so you could wait until any planting has died back before carrying out the work.

How to apply teak sealer

You'll need to apply the teak sealer to your new pergola straight away, before it has chance to get dirty, otherwise you'll have to clean it before you can start.  It's a good idea to recruit a helper for this job for safety reasons, as you may need to carry out some of the work up on ladder, and you'll need a 'footer' to prevent the ladder from slipping.

The sealer comes in a tin, like paint.  All the supplies you need to apply it is a clean paint brush of a suitable size.  Before you begin, put an old sheet or tarp on your patio to protect it from any drips.

Start from the top of the pergola so that you can pick up any drips or splats and work them into the wood as you go.  Work methodically from one side of the pergola to the other so that you don't miss any areas, and remember to seal the underside of each pole or plank.  It's a good idea to use a smaller brush so that you can work the sealer well into each join.

Allow at least a week for the sealant to dry completely and for any fumes to disperse before introducing any plants to the area around the pergola.

In conclusion

If you want your newly constructed teak pergola to retain its natural colour, you could choose to treat it with a teak sealer product that can be obtained from good DIY stores.  Alternatively, ask your construction contractor if it would be possible to have the pergola supplied ready-treated.