Daily Life

The Different Types of Waterproof Materials You Can Use for Covering Your Pergola


A pergola adds beauty to your outdoor space. It’s no doubt an interesting element, but it does not serve the purposes that a porch does. Pergolas do not give protection against rain. But if you are looking for something to cover your pergola with, you can choose from the various permanent and temporary cover options available in the market.

For temporary usages, you can choose from the various materials to attend to your immediate requirements. Some will be pocket-friendly options, while others may cost you a few hundred dollars. In this article, you will get to know about the different types of waterproof materials that you can use to cover your pergola. 

Canvas covers

Installing a canopy is perhaps the costliest option. Either you have to install it on its top or under its eaves. Usually, the canvas is mainly used for making tents. When treated, they can act as a waterproof material quite well.

The canvas, as such, is not the expensive part, but the installation is. If you want a retractable system, you have to hire a good contractor for its installation. And it will need a considerable amount of money to have a system that will allow your pergola shade cover to slide over its roof when you need it and retract back when you don’t.

Tarp covers

Tarps are a good choice for covering the pergola temporarily. They are affordable, durable, sturdy, water-resistant, and give you the needed protection against the sun and the rain. Heavy-duty tarps last long but are not usually recommended for residential use.

You get various color options in tarp covers. Even you can have your pergola covered in clear vinyl tarps that would allow you to enjoy the sun and at the same time can be accessed during the rainy season. A clear vinyl will also give you an unobstructed view of the surroundings.


Well, these are definitely a high-end option as a pergola cover. Heavy-duty plastic, fiberglass, or wood is typically used to make the louvers. Their installation is a tricky business that will require the help of a professional.

Corrugated fiberglass

If you want to use corrugated fiberglass to cover the pergola, you can manage the roofing all by yourself. All you have to do is place the roofing panels on the beams. This option is less expensive. If you select clear or light-colored panels, they will let in the sun rays.

But the only problem with them is once they are placed, you will have a hard time removing them. If you are looking for a pergola cover that you can put on and take off as and when required, then corrugated fiberglass is not your go-to option. 

Metal roof

Though they are expensive, metal roofs are considered to be the most durable of all types of cover options. You can shape them as per your requirement. Copper, aluminum, tin, and steel is the preferred choice for metal roofs. But you cannot use them in regions that experience hot summers as the metal will heat up under the sun, and your pergola will not be in a usable state during those days.


The above options are only for those who want a waterproof cover. But if you are not particular about it, then you have other choices like –

  • shade from live plants
  • bamboo shade
  • mesh covers
  • a thin sheet of wood
  • customized fabric cover

First, narrow down your requisites. It will help you to find the right cover for your pergola. 

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