I can picture it now, sitting back in your metal gazebo in the summer, sipping a cool glass of beer or homemade lemonade. Seems perfect to me. But hang on a minute – won’t I get t0o hot in there with the sun beating down on the metal roof of the gazebo?
Metal gazebos do get hot in summer, but in doing so they deflect the hot rays of the sun away from the inside of the gazebo – keeping the people underneath it and anything else inside cool in warm weather.
Let’s look at why metal gazebos get hot in summer (and cool you down), and how we can care for our gazebo at other times of the year. We’ll also consider which type of metal is best for your gazebo, and look at how long a metal one will last after being exposed to sunshine, rain and snow for many years.
Do Hardtop Metal Gazebos Get Hot in The Sun?
This feels counter-intuitive; however a metal roof is actually beneficial if you live in a hot climate. The metal reflects the heat, deflecting the sun’s rays and keeping the inside cooler.
Different designs behave differently in hot weather. A hardtop gazebo with the traditional-looking two-tier metal roof has great cooling benefits. The two-tied design helps to dissipate heat, and helps air to circulate around the inside. A roof vent is also great if you plan to use your grill in your gazebo.
You can get all sorts of features that help to keep your gazebo comfy in the summer. Mosquito nets around the open sides keep the bugs at bay, and these can be tied to the side when you don’t want to use them. Likewise, lightweight drapes give you the option of complete shade or shelter from summer rain. Make sure your gazebo has fittings in place for these.
As an alternative, some gazebos have metal structures but polycarbonate roofs. These are still incredibly tough, but let some light in while still blocking out UV rays.
Can You Leave a Metal Gazebo Up All Year?
This depends on two things: the quality of your gazebo and how extreme your climate is. Some structures are designed to be hardier than others.
If your gazebo is made entirely from metal (ie, with a hardtop, rather than a metal structure with a fabric canopy), you should be able to leave it up all year, as long as it is a sturdy, good-quality structure that has been well-anchored into secure ground. Some gazebos are able to withstand winds of up to 60 mph; but hopefully, your yard isn’t as exposed as that.
A gazebo is a real bonus in a winter garden. Many have hooks ready for lanterns, so you can create a real cozy space with outdoor rugs and durable wicker furniture. (Although, keep these furnishings stashed away or covered when you’re not using them, as they won’t survive inclement weather as well as the gazebo will.)
Look out for structures with vented roofs that will allow you to grill or use a fire pit inside the gazebo all year round (and are angled so that they won’t let in the rain or snow). A metal roof, of course, won’t be damaged by any stray sparks or rising heat.
Can a Metal Gazebo Withstand Snow?
Metal gazebos are renowned for their ability to withstand all sorts of weather. However, how do they deal with a fall of snow?
A metal roof will cope with a snowfall; however, this needs to be paired with a set of robust legs and strong ground anchors. A delicate, minimalist structure may not have the same strength as a sturdier design.
If you’re expecting snowfall to be an issue for your yard, choose steel over aluminum for your gazebo as it’s a stronger metal. Steel also comes in different grades of strength, so if you live, say, in New England and want a metal gazebo that stays up all year, look for a heavy-gauge steel that will deal with snow.
We recommend clearing the snow off the gazebo roof, using a snow rake. Don’t try to test your hardtop gazebo by seeing just how many feet of snow it can take, but keep it regularly raked. Some designs also have gutters around the roof, which is ideal for snow melt as well as rain.
How Do You Winterize a Metal Gazebo?
Unlike a pop up or fabric gazebo, your metal structure isn’t going to spend the holidays in the garage. One, because this would be a well-nigh impossible task, and two, because it doesn’t need to. A metal gazebo is designed to stay in your yard all year round.
It’s still a good idea to prepare it for the colder weather, and there are a few steps you can take to “winterize” your metal gazebo.
As we touched on earlier, think about what you keep in your gazebo and whether it is as weather-proof as the structure itself. A permanent hot tub can remain, a light bistro table can’t. In theory, synthetic wicker furniture should withstand weather if it’s covered – but, you don’t want to risk it being blown about and crashing against the gazebo’s legs.
So, clean, remove and store your garden furniture and accessories, including mosquito nets and drapes. Then, give the gazebo itself a good pre-winter clean. Sweep up debris like leaves and dirt from the floor and gutter. Give it a dust or vacuum to discourage pests, then wash it with soapy water.
Make sure that it’s anchored well, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s windy where you live, do you need additional fastenings for the winter?
If you have a steel frame, it should have been powder-coated already with a waterproofing, anti-rust treatment. You can get top-up anti-corrosion sprays, which some folks recommend using on your steel gazebo before the winter kicks in. Again, we suggest seeing what your manufacturer says about this, as it may not be necessary.
And our main top tip? Make sure your BBQ and a few chairs are stored within easy reach. There’s nothing quite as cozy as getting wrapped up and grilling a few burgers or hot dogs on a cold winter’s day.
Which is Better a Steel or Aluminum Gazebo?
To be honest, there isn’t much in it. Aluminum and steel are tough metals that are ideally suited to outdoor life, and provided you take care of the gazebo, should last you for years. Both metals will cope with fluctuations in temperature, whether that’s lots of sun or frequent rain showers.
Aluminum is resistant to weather and rust, and won’t be damaged by the moisture if it’s used to cover a hot tub. It’s also lightweight for gazebo manoeuvring.
Steel needs to have a protective coating to prevent it rusting. In the unlikely event that part of a steel gazebo is damaged, you can bend it back into shape (this is risky with aluminum which could snap).
Neither metal will warp or bend due to temperature fluctuations or time. Also, provided the steel has been properly treated with a powder coating, you shouldn’t need to paint or treat it as you would a wooden gazebo.Simply clean it regularly with soapy water to keep it looking fresh.
Of course, there is a third metal: cast iron. This is the most expensive option, but as it’s so sturdy, it’s ideal if you want a permanent structure. Like steel, it must be coated for it to be fully weather-resistant.
How Long Do Metal Gazebos Last?
A good-quality metal gazebo that’s been powder coated to prevent rust should last you about ten years, and we’ve heard some people say theirs have lasted upwards of fifteen.
To give you a comparison, a premium pop-up gazebo will last up to five years (if you take very good care of it). So, a metal gazebo might cost you more, but you won’t have the hassle and expense of replacing it after just a few years.
Of course, you’ll need to look after your metal gazebo. Use the anchor bolts to make sure it’s secure, and follow the care instructions (which do actually tend to be pretty minimal: mostly, keep it clean and free of debris). Choose a model where any non-metal parts are also robust and reliable.
So there we have it – your metal gazebo will get hot in the summer, but in doing so it will actually deflect the sun’s rays and make everything inside the gazebo cooler (including you).And if you care for your metal gazebo properly in the wetter, colder and more snowy months – you should ensure that it lasts at least 10 to 15 years.
So that’s a decade and a half of socializing and relaxing with family and friends under your elegant, ornate metal topped gazebo. Do I get an invite? 🙂