It’s raining outside. No, really, it’s raining right outside the window right now.
It’s falling lightly and the lightning and thunder that follows is receding into the distance, but there’s still a light rain pattering against the sidewalk out front and on the grass out back.
There’s something peaceful about it, but there’s no way I can go sit outside with a book or find a dry spot to sit and have a snack and watch nature cleanse itself – unless I have a gazebo.
Yes, it’s possible to enjoy the outdoors with a gazebo or pergola, even on a rainy day – after or during the wet stuff.
There’s no way of getting around the first factor and its safety. If you’ve got an all-metal structure and there is a threat of lightning, whether it’s covered and dry or not, science says you’re in greater danger than you would be otherwise. Let’s assume, however, that you can be sure you’re safe and that your screened in porch or covered gazebo is a safe place from the weather you’re experiencing but still want to enjoy. Perhaps you want to get wet. In that case, there’s nothing extra you have to do. You’re already ready.
Wait ‘til the wet stuff stops
This almost is too simple to list, but it requires some thought to do it right if you don’t plan on getting wet. If you know you’re going to occasionally want to use the gazebo after rain (maybe you live in a place that rains almost every afternoon) then you need places to sit that can wipe down easily or cushions that can be stored and brought out for use quickly and without too much trouble. Shop accordingly for all-weather furniture and have a bin or sealable storage so that you can keep cushions, towels, cleaning supplies and anything else that you need to get the gazebo back into working order after the rain.
Turning shade into a shield
If you use a canopy as an extra shade on particularly sunny days, you may have an all-weather shield that you can set up as a rain shield. Sometimes the prevailing rain pattern only gets one side of the structure wet, but knowing where to place that shade/shield can regain use of the structure during the rain. Even a simple umbrella can do the job if the gazebo is small enough or the umbrella big enough.
If wind isn’t blowing rain sideways, you have plenty of options of keeping even an open air gazebo from getting too wet to enjoy during the rain. Depending on the size and shape of your structure, you can either buy pre-made “all-weather” coverings or contract a company to come out and tailor an all-weather solution just for your needs. Even small structures with open-air tops can be fitted with a heavy duty but clear cover to let you stay dry while looking at a falling sky.
Removable covers can sometimes be bought along with the gazebo itself, but there are ways to keep the water out, depending on how hard the rain is falling or the wind is blowing. Privacy curtains can sometimes do double duty, if they’re made of the right materials. Plan ahead and if privacy is a concern, make sure they are all-weather, but more than just to maintain the investment.
Rainproof canopies vary in price with size and durability and having to use them often might mean looking for a more permanent solution makes more sense.
Close it up tight
You do have another option. If you don’t already, enclose the gazebo. If it’s open-air, close the sides with screen and then also get shutters installed, preferably of some all-weather kind. If you like using it mostly in a wet weather climate, you want this done professionally in the same way you’d have a screened pool enclosure done.
It all depends on how and how often you want to use your gazebo, but you can still make the most of it on rainy day.