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Preparing a Soft Top Gazebo for winter just takes a little time and a few inexpensive cleaning and protection products.

All good things come to an end.  Summer doesn’t last forever and when we edge deeper into fall it’s time to prepare the garden and patio for the winter months ahead.

There maybe quite a long list of things to do to get the garden and all its summer accessories ready for winter.

If you have enjoyed the benefit of a soft top gazebo the earlier warm months, then unless you are very fortunate and live in a particularly temperate state, it’s time to make plans to put it to bed for winter.

Many soft top gazebos can be left out through the winter, in fact all the gazebos we recommend in our gazebo review can.

By that we mean structure can remain outside, but the soft top must be removed and brought inside.

How to Winterise A Soft Top Gazebo

The soft top that was such a good friend in the summer protecting us from the heat is not made to withstand the rigours of winter, it needs a little TLC.

Winter means cold and wind, and wind means at best a damaged soft top and at worst an airborne gazebo. It could be mildly amusing on Youtube !! 

But not if it’s your flying gazebo!!!  So the soft top has got to come off.   

A soft top gazebo frame will last for very many years, but depending on the length and intensity of the sun the soft top been under it will need replacing periodically, 

We want to keep our soft top canopy in good shape for as long as we can, so lets see how to best treat it over the winter storage period.

Soft Top Canopy Mould And Mildew Protection

It doesn’t really matter what type of material a gazebo canopy is made of, if it is not prepared and stored in a thoughtful way mould and mildew will try to grow on it in the winter storage season.

After a summer of good service it would be a shame to pull out the canopy and find it ruined or deteriorated by mould the following year.

Mould needs a damp environment and organic material to feed on so a dirty rolled up gazebo canopy is mould heaven. 

Easy Steps to Winterise Your Gazebo

1:  So first prior to stowing for the winter we advise giving the canopy a thorough wash using Borax as a cleaning and disinfecting agent. Borax is natural, and unlike bleach, which can be used to combat mould Borax won’t fade the colours in the canopy. Washing with Borax will kill off any spores that attached themselves to the fabric over the summer.

1.1 Millards Borax Gazebo Winter Maintenance
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2:  The canopy must be damp free, completely dry before storage. A dry canopy in deeper fall can be a difficult ask.  But if it’s not dry when it goes into storage look forward to a mouldy, smelly problem next spring when it resurfaces from winter hibernation.

3:  If you have sufficient space try to hang or drape your canopy rather than roll up. Most people don’t because of space, so the next best is to unroll and air it out every month. If any mould has appeared then introduce it to your new best friend Borax!!!, let it dry and re-roll.

A few minutes of canopy care during the winter might just save buying a costly new one the next spring.

Top Tip for next season. Before remounting canopy for the next season apply UV and waterproofing product to to help protect canopy through the season.

We recommend the Scotchguard Water and Sun Shield 

Gazebo Frame Winter Preventive Maintenance

The soft top gazebos reviewed on this site and are from top quality manufacturers. They are rust resistant and have been powder coated for protection. They will stand the test of winter, but like anything or anybody a little help is appreciated.

The first thing is that rust resistant is not rust proof. Most people can resist the temptation of a plate of cookies for a while, but then resistance breaks and yikes, suddenly the plate is empty.

Rust resistant really means the same, at some point resistance will break. So we need to help to hold back any rust from breaking our gazebos resistance by looking for water and humidity entry points in the structure, Points where rain can penetrate the coating and start rust or unsightly rust trails.

Typical weak points are where bolts or screws have been overtightened and broken down the powder coat. That is a perfect rain entry point to bare steel. The bolts and screws themselves will often cause unsightly rust trails over the winter months, so a little silicon spray over each will inhibit that.

Hinges are used on some gazebos integrated into L formed corner posts, they are another potential rust source.   

3.3 WD 40vGazebo Winter Maintenance
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So before leaving our gazebo structure to fend for itself for the winter we recommend a light spray of WD-40 Specialist Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant. Give particular attention to all the weak points noted above.

If your canopy is on decking or a porous decorative floor then best not allow the spray to drip onto it.  It shouldn’t cause discolouration but don’t take the risk.

With your canopy dry and safely stored, and the gazebo frame treated to a light silicon rub. The last thing to do is to check the stakes, pegs, or bolts that are securing the structure to the ground. 

All good?

  • Now you can move your gazebo tear down from the “to do list” to the done list of chores.

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