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Is a Pergola Wobbly? (6 Causes of Instability)

Is a Pergola Wobbly? (6 Causes of Instability)

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Pergolas make your patio or your porch more beautiful than it already is. However, there are instances wherein it moves or wobbles whenever you hold onto it.

As such, people always ask: Is a pergola wobbly? The fast answer is yes. A pergola is wobbly if and only if you have a wood pergola because it’s prone to rotting. Additionally, wood pergolas can’t handle extreme weather conditions.

If you have an aluminum or a vinyl pergola, it shouldn’t budge at all unless there are loose screws or bolts.

Keep on reading to discover the reasons why a pergola is wobbly!

Why Does My Pergola Wobble?

Various factors contribute to the wobbliness of your pergola. It might be because of your pergola’s condition, material, or even the structure itself.

1 – Pergola’s Material

Pergolas come in different materials, such as wood, aluminum, vinyl, and other types of metal. Although if you have a wood pergola, it’s prone to wobbling because the material decays quickly.

Wood deteriorates whenever it gets exposed to extreme weather conditions like rain and snow. Due to the climate, moisture gets trapped in the wood fibers. As a result, it leads to molds and rotting.

Moreover, moisture also attracts insects, like wood-boring beetles. When they start burrowing into the wood posts of your pergola, it can make the whole structure wobble.

On the other hand, you shouldn’t worry if you have an aluminum or a vinyl pergola because they aren’t prone to wobbling. They can withstand weather conditions, and they’re generally sturdier than wood.

2 – Poorly-Built Pergola

Building your pergola isn’t a bad thing. However, we can’t help it if we make mistakes while assembling it.

Another reason why your pergola wobbles is you might’ve missed a crucial step, like securing the bolts in the wood posts. You should double-check the instruction sheet and recall every single step that you’ve done.

If you can’t pinpoint the problem, you should call a professional to fix the structure of your pergola.

3 – Loose Screws and Bolts

You should also check the screws and bolts of your pergola, especially in the beam hangers. These structures keep the timber joists or the parallel planks on your pergola in place.

It’s common for the bolts and screws to loosen over time because of vibration and extreme stress on the structure.

What you have to do is simply check each screw and bolt that you can find on your pergola. If you see a loose one, simply tighten it.

4 – Uneven Ground

The ground plays a massive role in the stability of your pergola. If there are no problems with the bolts and the material of your pergola, the problem must lie in the area where it’s situated.

First, check your land if it’s uneven. Most of the time, people overlook the fact that you need to place a pergola in a flat area.

If you’ve accidentally affixed your pergola on uneven ground, you have no choice but to transfer the whole structure.

As such, it’s best to determine whether the ground where you’ll place the pergola is flat before installing it.

If your land is flat, you should check the posts to see if they are even. In case they’re not, you should replace the posts so they’ll stop wobbling.

5 – There’s Too Much Stress on the Structure

Another reason your pergola wobbles is that there’s too much stress on the whole structure. If you have plants, a swing, or a hammock, they may be too heavy for the pergola.

Pergolas can only carry so much weight. When the weight is too much for the structure, it can start breaking and wobbling, especially if it’s a wood pergola. Said material is more pliable than aluminum or vinyl, for instance.

You can remove some plants hanging on your pergola, or you can omit the swing and the hammock to reduce the stress on the whole structure.

6 – Posts Aren’t Secured

How people secure the posts of their pergola differs from one another. Some prefer cementing the posts in concrete, while others prefer screwing the posts into the soil.

However, no matter how secure you think your pergola’s posts are, there’s still a time that they’ll get loose due to environmental issues, such as weathering and soil erosion.

You should regularly inspect the ground where your pergola lies. If the concrete has cracked due to weathering, it’ll make the structure wobble.

The same goes if you’ve secured your pergola’s posts into the soil, as it can also wobble if the soil has eroded.

Is It Okay if My Pergola Is Wobbly?

It’s risky to keep a wobbly pergola. Once you’ve noticed that your pergola is constantly shaking, you need to immediately determine where the problem is coming from.

If you can’t fix the pergola yourself, don’t hesitate to call a professional. Although wobbling might not seem like a big deal, there’s a high chance that your pergola might collapse if you don’t address the issues right away.

Final Thoughts

So, is a pergola wobbly? The quick answer to that is yes, especially when the condition of your pergola is poor.

You should take immediate action when your pergola starts shaking because it’s dangerous. Your pergola can collapse anytime, and it can even lead to unwanted injuries. Always secure your pergola so that you can enjoy relaxing without any risks.

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