Vergola Spain – FAQ

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I adjust the automatic Vergola Roof to control the sun and shade?

Yes. The automatic louvres rotate around its axis (rotation up to 155 degrees). You can put them in any position, to allow different angles of sun so you can control the shade.

Each bay of the automatic Vergola Roof System can be adjusted individually, that is, in installations with multiple bays, you can have different areas depending of the inclination angle of the louvres in each bay.

How do the Vergola control systems work?

The remote control system for the Vergola may be hand-held or wall-mounted as preferred. It connects electronically to a control box which is usually located in a concealed place where an automatically recharged backup battery also provides operation of the systems during temporary mains power cuts.
The rain sensor is activated to shut the louvres with the first drops of rain. The rain sensor can be deactivated, but the system will be active again after one hour.

What is the maximum area that a Vergola roof can cover?

There is no limitation to the size of a Vergola roof, which can comprise any number of bays. Each bay has a maximum dimension of 6 by 3.6 metres, and up to 8 bays can be controlled by a single control system/remote control. Roofs comprising of more than 8 bays have multiple controllers.

What designs of Vergola roofs are there?

The shape and design of a Vergola roof is limited only by imagination. Typical installations can be flat, pitched or gabled; free standing or attached to another building. Individual Vergola bays can be interspersed with other roof coverings, or installed with alternate orientations: whatever enhances your environment and suits your circumstances.

What type of framework and material would I require to build my Vergola?

The frame of the Vergola can be constructed from timber, steel, aluminum, masonry or any other building material that complies with your existing building.

Are Vergolas energy efficient?

Yes, the double skinned louvres provide both thermal insulation and sound reduction. The adjustable louvres help to reduce heating and cooling costs by controlling the amount of direct sunlight falling on exposed windows and walls. The Vergola keeps the space beneath cooler in summer and in winter can be used to trap natural warmth from the sun, as well as protecting against wind and rain.

What can I put underneath my Vergola?

We could say “The sky is the limit” because you can of course see it when the Vergola is open! But it is really up to your imagination – we can show you example installations above green areas, paved areas, outdoor furniture, indoor furnishings, kitchens, play areas, swimming pools, barbeques, car ports, restaurants and cafes terraces, etc.

You must remember that you are fitting and outdoor space, but it remains exterior, this means that dust, leaves, moisture, insects-and all the other things that make the outdoors what it is – may find it easier to get in to your Vergola – covered area (as well of course as sunlight, breezes, bird song, flower perfumes…). Care should be taken when first opening your Vergola, after a time of use, as it may shed debris or moisture that has accumulated during the time it has been closed.

If you plan to put gas radiant heaters under the Vergola, please discuss with our technical salesmen. These heaters are often used, but a minimum clearance will protect your Vergola from damage.

Can I have some help with the design of my Vergola roof?

We have our own architects to help give you ideas as to the best way to cover an area. Of course they have a lot of experience with Vergolas. Increasingly, architects and interior designers in Spain are becoming familiar with the Vergola as a roofing option and are getting to know the product.

How long does it take to install a Vergola?

Of course this depends on the skills, help and tools available. But in our experience we can say once the support framework is completed, with a professional dedicating a full day, it can take one day per bay system plus one more day. Estimated time for 1 bay system, will take 2 days, and 3 bay systems, estimated 4 days.

Larger installations or special circumstances may extend this time; our technical salesman will provide a timing estimate when preparing your quotation.

Is the Vergola roof rain proof?

Yes. Under normal weather conditions, even steady rain, the Vergola roof itself will not let in rain. In light rain, the louvres can remain partially open for ventilation if you wish, but in the fully closed position – for heavier rain – the louvres overlap with each other.

As these panels are usually installed horizontally, they may drop water from the middle parts of the screen, as well as the ends, especially when it is opened after a rainfall.

But rainproof does not mean totally waterproof – remember a Vergola is an adjustable, opening roof.

Above all, it should be remembered that a Vergola roof is not and cannot be as waterproof as a conventional fixed and tiled roof. On the other hand a Vergola opens, bringing the benefits of an “indoor-outdoor area”, but this means it is not 100% proof against severe weather conditions.

How does the rain sensor work?

The Vergola electronic control system includes a rain sensor and the control system is normally programmed to close the louvres when rain is detected. The sensor is very sensitive so as to protect against the first drops of rain. This means it may be triggered, for example, by a heavy mist or dew or putting a wet hand over it.

The rain sensor operates as the windscreen of some cars, it activates automatically when detecting humidity on the glass.

The rain detector can be over-ridden. This is important when the Vergola is being cleaned, but we also find some clients want to let in rain water, for example to water pot plants on a covered terrace. A warning light shows if the rain detector is disabled.

Will I need to install rain gutters for my Vergola roof?

With the Roof System, the gutter has drains located in the lowest points, where the water collected by the louvres will drain. This rainwater is then directed down through pipes to drain or storage to be used again.

If your Vergola is located in a position where run-off from an existing roof may fall onto it, you may wish to consider installing additional guttering on your existing roof. This will depend upon what level of rain protection you require in the area beneath the Vergola. The Vergola roofing system is designed to handle its own rainwater run-off, but not additional load that may fall (perhaps from some height and at some speed) from an overhanging roof.

How does a Vergola manage in strong winds?

Vergolas were designed in Australia for its harsh weather conditions which frequently include winds of tropical cyclone strength. The relevant Australian building standard with which Vergolas comply are AS1562 (which sets out the requirements for design and installation of self supporting metal roofs), and AS1170.2 (which sets out requirements for wind loads used in design of structures). To illustrate the confidence of the Australian company, they have installed a Vergola system on the waterfront at Darwin in the tropical far north of Australia, often the location of severe cyclonic storms.

In the Mediterranean climate, the sturdy construction of the Vergola means that it can easily resist our Levante, Sirocco and other winds year after year without ripping, tearing or flapping, unlike a canvas or fabric cover.

What if it freezes?

Sub-zero temperatures in any environment in the Iberian region will not affect your Vergola. If snow has fallen, and particularly if it has frozen, then it should be cleared off before attempting to operate the louvres. If you install a Vergola in northern Spain and local weather forecasts predict ‘heavy snow’, leave the lovres in an open position to avoid problems with the weight of the snow.

Can I use a Vergola next to the sea?

Yes. Probably most installations in Australia are close to the sea and many are built on absolute waterfronts. Maintenance guidelines suggest that Vergolas subject to direct salt-water spray should be washed down with fresh water weekly, or after a heavy storm, just as recommended for any waterfront construction, boat etc.

What is a Vergola made from?

The main component of a Vergola is its patented, aerofoil-shaped louvres which are manufactured in Australia using a strong, multi-coated steel product called Colorbond®. In environments close to the sea, it is recommended that the roof is washed down with fresh water at least once a month (a good rainfall will do the job); but the material has been successfully tested for up to 1,000 hours of continuous salt-water spray.

The Louvres have no moving parts in the bearings, ensuring many years of virtually maintenance-free operation, apart from the occasional clean.

We manufacture the guttering systems locally using powder-coated aluminum.

What exactly does the 10 year warranty cover?

We guarantee the louvres for 10 years from the date of installation. All other components and materials as manufacturers own warranties.

What colours are available?

Vergola roofs are available in a neutral off white colour (it’s called “surfmist” by the manufacturer). It is very suitable as a ceiling, and not unpleasantly glaring when opened in bright sun. The colour goes well with typical local design, both traditional and modern. If clients wish to have another colour, a complete range is available through powder-coating the louvres and other components. However in this case, we can only pass on the length of guarantee offered by the local powder-coating company, which is typically around 2 years.

How do you clean a Vergola?

The easiest way to clean a Vergola is to gently wash it down with a garden hose. Occasional rain will do the job for you, but otherwise gentle mopping (with car body detergent if appropriate) can be used to remove bird droppings and other debris. We find that clients with installations such as patios of garden furniture, or outdoor cafes, tend to hose down their Vergolas at the same time as they are washing down the rest of the area. The rain sensor will need to be switched off, of course.

Where Vergolas are installed over sensitive areas (such as delicate fabrics, electronics or kitchens) then using a hose or uncontrolled spray is not an option, and more care must be taken. With the louvres set to vertical, both sides can be cleaned with a damp mop on a pole. The rain sensor should still be switched off so that the louvres do not unexpectedly close.

What other maintenance is required?

Essentially none. Batteries in the remote controllers should be replaced periodically. If you are in an area where sand or leaves blow onto the Vergola, it’s a good idea to clean out the integral gutters from time to time, as you would with any gutter. The motors and control systems are sealed and require no maintenance. It’s a good idea to make sure the rain sensor is kept uncovered and free of fallen debris.

Is it as good as a conventional roof?

Actually, we think Vergolas are better than conventional roofs in many ways, providing sun, rain and wind control as they do. But as with any other temporary or moveable shelter, a Vergola is not, and does not pretend to be, as weatherproof as a well-built, conventional roof -just as any window or patio door (for example) would not resist storm conditions as well as a solid masonry wall.

Strong winds or heavy prolonged rain may result in slight splashing. In the unlikely event this occures optional weather seals are available.

Do you have any other questions?

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