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How Are Pergolas Anchored? (Tips to Keep Them Secured)

How Are Pergolas Anchored? (Tips to Keep Them Secured)

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A pergola can be a practical addition to your property, but you definitely don’t want it to become wobbly or even blow away because it wasn’t installed properly.

This begs the question: how are pergolas anchored?

There are multiple techniques to anchor pergolas, and you can use cement, brackets, or helical piers. Keep in mind that you can anchor the structure on concrete, wood, and even soil.

Read on to learn all about anchoring and securing a pergola to the ground.

Do You Have to Secure a Pergola to the Ground?

Yes, you need to secure the structure to the ground.

However, how you secure a pergola will depend on the design itself. For one, you’ll need to hook an attached pergola to both an external wall and the ground.

Meanwhile, you’ll have to rely on securing a freestanding pergola to the ground only. That’s because the structure doesn’t have that one side attached to a stable building for extra support.

Will a Pergola Blow Away?

Yes, a pergola that isn’t properly secured to anything will surely blow away with the wind.

That said, even a firmly fastened pergola can still be wrenched out of the ground in extreme circumstances, like the intense winds from a hurricane.

All in all, a sturdy pergola can be resistant to mild winds. Still, there are a few factors that can make the structure a bit sturdier:

  • Picking a location that’s sheltered from the wind by fences or buildings
  • Using weather-resistant and durable materials for the construction, like aluminum
  • Choosing thick columns in the design
  • Maintaining the pergola to prevent issues (rust, termites, and cracks) that make it flimsy

Do You Have to Cement a Pergola?

You don’t necessarily need to use cement when securing your pergola to your patio. With wooden patios, you use 90-degree brackets to grip the columns right on the deck floors.

On the other hand, freestanding and even hybrid designs could require some assistance. So, you might need drilled-in holes, concrete tubes, or helical piers to install a freestanding pergola on soil and grass.

How Can You Anchor or Mount a Pergola on Your Property?

There isn’t just one way to anchor your pergola. Instead, you can choose from a variety of methods to suit your needs.

Let’s take a closer look at the possible options based on the installment surface.

On the Ground

Anchoring your pergola on the soil requires a bit of digging to support the columns. This can be exhausting, but it strengthens the grip of the posts right in the ground.

Here’s how you can do it:

Pouring in Cement Footings

This method will take more work, but it creates a solid foundation for your pergola. In this case, you’ll need to dig up holes as deep as a third of the length of your designated posts.

Next, you’ll need to pour the cement and let it overflow just a bit. Then, you’ll need to punch in a base holder for the pergola’s columns.

All that’s left is to screw each post in and see how steady your pergola is after that.

Working With Ground Anchors

Ground anchors let you set your pergola without needing a shovel or cement fillings. Overall, this method gives you decent support for smaller pergolas.

Ideally, you’ll want to drive the anchors into the ground as deep as you can get. On the anchor tops, you can attach a post base or a bracket for the bottom of the pergola’s columns.

When you get the bracket or the base in place, you can easily stick the post in. Just don’t forget to fix the screws inside the post!

Submerging the Posts

For this method, you’ll need to dig up deep holes (around a third of the length of the posts) on the points where you want your pergola columns to be.

In areas with colder climates, you might want to get the holes under the frost lines to compensate for the stability of the soil.

Then you can pour in concrete and insert the posts of the pergola before it dries. Make sure to overfill the holes with concrete just a bit to make the pergola as even as possible.

On a Wooden Deck

Generally speaking, the process of anchoring a pergola on a wooden deck won’t take that long to complete. Plus, you only need a few screws, a couple of post holders, and a trusty drill to tackle this method yourself.

First off, you’ll drill in the holders on the deck to direct the screws smoothly once the brackets are in place. Then, you can attach the brackets with all the necessary screws.

Next, you’ll need to put the posts of the pergola in the post holder gently and screw in the side screws as tight as you can. Once the screws are firmly in place, your pergola is all set!

On a Concrete Slab

If you have an existing slab of concrete as a foundation for your pergola, installing the post bases should be much easier.

You can start by measuring where you want the columns to be anchored. Just make sure to align the post bases on these markings before drilling the holes through the bases and into the concrete surface below.

Then, you’ll want to clear away as much dust from the drilling process as you can before you jump into the next step.

When you’re done with the clean-up, you can hammer the anchors into the holes and secure the bolts with a ratchet. Finally, you can attach the columns to the post bases.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to anchor pergolas the right way is crucial to protect yourself and your property from damage if an intense wind blows.

Depending on the pergola’s design, you might need to secure the structure to both an external wall and the ground or just to the ground.

All in all, anchoring your pergola into cement is possible, but it isn’t always necessary. You can also anchor your pergola on soil or a wooden deck.

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