What Should I Cover My Pergola with for Shade?

Posted in: This & That

A pergola is an interesting architectural element that adds character to your patio or deck. It not only acts as a visual focal point of your yard but also provides an ambient space where you can converge and relax with friends and family. However, unlike a formal porch, a pergola won’t protect you from the sun or the rain unless you cover it up.

Wooden pergola covering patio with outdoor furniture.

Luckily, there are several pergola covers that can help increase protection against harmful UV rays and rain. Let’s go through some options that you can consider if you’re looking to cover your pergola.

  1. Waterproof Canopy

Traditionally, canvas has been used in tent material since it offers ample shade and repels water off the surface once treated with a waterproof. Conversely, canvas makes a solid material for protecting your pergola against sunlight and rain. The best thing is that you can use canopy in your DIY projects and install without a professional. For a more advanced solution, homeowners can invest in a retractable canopy.

Outdoor patio covered with a canvas cover


  • Lightweight and requires minimal structural support
  • Wide range of colors available
  • It’s inexpensive


  • Forms pockets of water during a heavy downpour
  • Subject to wear and tear over time
  • Less convenient

  1. Corrugated Polycarbonate

You can also install corrugated polycarbonate panels to block direct entry of sunlight or rain into your pergola. Most of these panels boast a special coating that helps prevent damage from UV rays. They are most suited for residential applications.

Wood pergola covered with corrugated polycarbonate


  • Easy to install
  • Inexpensive
  • Protects you from UV rays from the sun


  • Will yellow and brittle over time
  • Easily get scratched during cleaning
  • Will not hold up to hail


  1. Shingles

Often, individuals do turn to shingles when they want something to cover their pergola. And there are various kinds of shingles in the market. However, the type you go for should be based on the climate, your budget, construction codes and restrictions, and your tastes and preferences. The most common types of shingles are asphalt, tile, and metal. Different types of shingles have their benefits and flaws, but they make great covers for your pergola.

Free standing pergola covered with metal


  • Leakproof
  • Come with insulation that helps reduce the amount of heat
  • Come in various options and colors for improved aesthetic and curb appeal


  • Besides the asphalt shingle, the rest are relatively expensive
  • It totally blocks natural light
  • Usually requires professional installation

  1. Multiwall Polycarbonate Systems

Also known as SkyPoly, multiwall systems are structured sheet products that come in double and triple-layered configurations. These products are made of the highest quality materials that allow sunlight through but restrict all other unwanted elements such as UV rays, rain, and heat. With multiwall pergola covers, you can relax in this outdoor space, whether it’s raining or the sun is shining brightly. Get yourself this architectural grade multiwall carbonate system today and make your pergola all-season.

Wooden pergola with a clear skypoly cover protecting a patio with furniture.


  • Leakproof
  • Impact and hail resistant
  • Allows in light, but reduces the temperatures under the pergola
  • 10 year warranty against turning yellow and becoming brittle


  • More expensive than corrugated polycarbonate panels
  • Can be installed by handy homeowners, but professional installation is recommended

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