Can Pergolas Protect You from Rain?

Can pergolas protect you from rain? Yes! With the right adjustments, material, and weather protection, a pergola can protect you from rain.

There are many criticisms about pergolas, one being that the open-rafter roofing leaves plenty of chances for the rain to come in and ruin your time outside.

With such wide gaps, what’s stopping the rain from pouring down on you and your guests?

There are ways to adjust the louvers for your pergola eliminating rain from entering the roof. Just as you adjust the louvers for sun direction, completely closing them will stop rain from pouring in.

Adding lattices, canopies, or shades can help redirect rain and reduce the area under the pergola from getting soaked.

A pergola is a perfect structure to have in your outside space.

It allows you to bring the entertainment outdoors, to have guests over, and to sit and enjoy the fresh air; no matter how hot the sun might be.

With the rafters on top, you get the open-air feel that only the sunshine can provide, while still being able to stay cool in the shade.

A pergola truly is the best of both worlds when it comes to time outside.

But you may be wondering; can pergolas protect you from rain?

Well, with a pergola on its own, this is a fair criticism. However, pergolas are seldom just the wooden structure we all picture.

Wooden pergola with ceiling in backyard showing now pergolas protect you from rain.

Weather Protection For Your Pergola

With the right additional feature or roofing style, a pergola can provide plenty of fun in the sun as well as the rain. There are ways pergolas protect you from rain.

If you have a standard pergola, you’ll likely need an extra cover or two to protect you from the rain. The pergola structure itself will continue to be weather resistant.

Most pergolas are treated to resist water. This will help to add to your rain protection while under the pergola for shelter.

Some pergolas feature a built-in gutter system that provides ample drainage so that you aren’t left with a pool of water on top of your flat pergola roof.

While your pergola structure itself might not be great at stopping the rain, pergolas can be outfitted with whatever features you need to provide ample rain protection.

Louvered Roof

The type of roof on your pergola will dictate how effective it is at resisting rain.

One of the most popular types of pergola is the louvered roof.

Louvered-style roofs are typically aluminum, slanted rafters that can easily be adjusted to account for the angle of the sun. Some pergolas have louvers made from the same wood as the frame.

With the louvered pergola, you can close off the roof so that no sun gets through, or you can open it up completely for maximum sunshine. The same holds true for keeping the rain from coming through.

If a storm is just around the corner, you can prepare your space by closing off the roof so that no rain slips through and ruins your outdoor experience. This shows louvered pergolas protect you from rain.

Many of these louvered-roof pergolas also feature a drainage system so the rain doesn’t collect and fall when you open the pergola back up.

As far as rain protection goes, a louvered pergola is a great option.

Maintaining Your Pergola

Maintenance is simple with a pergola as they’re typically built to withstand the elements for years at a time.

Most pergola materials are well-prepared to handle strong winds, heavy rains, and years outside in the sun.

It is pretty simple to keep your pergola maintained year after year.

With that being said, it would be best to keep an eye on the system as a whole.

If you notice any rust, cracks, rot, or general wear and tear, getting a head start on addressing it could save you higher costs down the road.

Waterproofing the System

Some materials might not be ready to handle the weather, but that’s a simple fix.

If you’re using wood to build a pergola that is supplied by a local mill or home center, chances are it hasn’t been treated to be waterproof yet.

If this is the case, you can simply purchase some treatment yourself from a hardware store. It is an easy paint job and can be done by hand with only a few application tools.

Add a couple of coats and you’re now ready for the rainy season to arrive.

If your pergola is made from fiberglass, vinyl, or an aluminum, chances are you’re already protected from the elements.

These materials are built to withstand the rain and will require very little maintenance to keep in top condition.

There are also plenty of already treated woods that are used in most pergolas.

Be sure to find out the status of the treatment of the materials you’re using.

Features That Help Pergolas Protect You From Rain

If you have a wooden or fiberglass pergola, hope is not lost!

There are plenty of extra features you can add to your pergola to ensure that it can shelter you from the rain.

Another good thing about pergolas is how simple it is to add these features to them. With your standard pergola, shade, lattices, and canopies can be affixed to help save the day from the rain.

Waterproof Lattices

Lattices are a fantastic addition to any pergola and they offer plenty of additional rain protection. The only way that rain is hitting you with a lattice installed is if it’s coming at you sideways.

If the wind is powerful enough to force the rain sideways, you should probably be inside anyway, regardless of how much cover you have.

With that being said, a waterproof lattice will provide plenty of coverage from the storm, along with the side benefit of added privacy!


With the right canopy installed, you can thoroughly protect yourself from the rain in any pergola.

Canopies add a style factor. With a waterproof curtain above your heads, the rain will have no effect on your afternoon outside.

Quality canopies can be easily installed on your pergola and will provide you the rain cover that you might not get from the rafters alone.

Most canopies are easy to install with simple tying off the corners once in place. A canopy is also reasonably priced and gives that quality look to the pergola.

When pergolas protect you from rain, you have peace of mind.

Different Materials

Adding a simple roof to your pergola will go a long way to protecting you from the elements.

Simple roofs like aluminum or tin can easily cover up your space when the storm is coming.

Add these to your pergola and provide your space with the protection you desire and cover up when the rain is coming.

These types of roofs are simple to install and offer a unique, modern look to every pergola. Protecting yourself from the rain in a pergola is simple!

Continue Reading: Waterproof Pergola Roof Ideas

Final Thoughts

Can pergolas protect you from rain? Now we know the answer is yes!

Having a plan when buying the pergola will be helpful getting the right materials for water protection.

Remember, the louvered pergola can give a quick solution when the rain starts. That may be one pergola option when looking to make a purchase.

You can add lattices, canopies and the like to your already existing pergola, so you wouldn’t need to buy another pergola.

With one or two modifications, it is easy to take your pergola from a shade-providing structure to a rain-protecting structure.

This will let you keep the fun times going outside should a little rain develop.

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!