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Why Does My Gazebo Have Holes? (Exploring the Purpose)

Gazebos are arguably one of the best forms of shelter to exist amongst the outdoor enthusiasts. Whether they are permanently built in a backyard or park, set up as a grilling station, or even tucked away in the car on camping trips, these structures are definitely worth it! When it comes to the portable variants, you may find that they showcase several small ‘grommet’ holes along the run of the canopy. So, why does my gazebo have holes?

What the heck are they? Don’t stress; these holes are added to the design to serve a purpose. The main reason for these added holes is for drainage. They also help relieve wind pressure and provide much needed ventilation. In this article, we’ll go through the reasons in a lot more detail, as well as the consequences of not having these gazebo saving holes. Let’s go!

Why does my gazebo have holes? all you need to know
Why does my gazebo have holes?

Why does my gazebo have holes?

In general, there are 3 main reasons why a gazebo would contain any sort of holes. They include minimizing wind damage, improving ventilation, and also allowing water to drain away. Who would have thought that a run of small holes could prevent these issues from occurring? 

There are generally 3 types of gazebos. Permanently built, hardtop and pop-up. A gazebo built on site is usually customized with gutters and drainage and built using heavy-duty materials. Therefore it wouldn’t need these holes. On the other hand, hardtops and pop-ups are usually manufactured using more lightweight and flexible materials.

Why does my gazebo have holes (detail explanation)
Why does my gazebo have holes (detail explanation)

Consequently, they are at greater risk of damages that aren’t mitigated using these small holes.  Let’s look at the main roles these added holes play in some more detail. 

1. To Provide Wind Pressure Relief

The last thing you want on your camping trip or grill session is your gazebo to be picked up and thrown around like a kite. It’s stressful, it’s frustrating, and it’s also dangerous. Luckily, most newer models have these perfectly engineered holes that are evenly spread to allow the winds to flow through the tent without causing much damage. They aren’t 100% guaranteed to stop the wind, but they do an extremely good job of dampening the force. 

2. For Better Ventilation

Whether you’re sleeping, grilling, or simply lounging around in your gazebo, one aspect that can make the experience less enjoyable is stale or humid air. Adding these holes is a great way to assist with ventilation.

Most holes are added to the gazebos’ upper canopy, which allows the sides to be closed while letting the air flow freely out the top. This is great for humidity or smoke from grills where the heated air tends to rise.  

3. Work as a drainage for Pooling Rainwater

One of the worst things to occur in an outdoor experience is a downpour of rain. Having a good quality gazebo can make these moments much more bearable, providing they have these cute little drainage holes added to the design. The main feature of these holes is to drain all water from the roof to prevent it from creating large pools of water. These pools can become extremely heavy and cause sagging and/or collapse, even the strongest gazebo models under the sheer weight of the water. 

4. Other Uses

It’s not always recommended, but depending on the strength and quality of your gazebo, the holes can be used as a tie off points to help anchor the shelter. Additionally, it’s possible to use the holes to hang things such as lighting and cables, clothes (using hangers), or even lamps. Make sure to test these with care before setting anything up for longer periods.

Cons of Gazebos not Having Holes

Most of the newer models come with pre-punched holes these days. For those that don’t, a few risks need to be considered when thinking about setting up your gazebo in the great outdoors. These include. 

Cons of Gazebos not Having Holes
Cons of Gazebos not Having Holes

1. The Structure Can Sag

The biggest problem that a gazebo without ‘drag’ holes can pose is its overall ability to maintain its strength and stability. Many portable gazebos are built with the thought of being packed down in a carry bag until required. In this form, they can be set up in a matter of minutes and dismantled in the same amount of time.

Meaning they lack the sturdy foundations that a more permanent structure has. They are often manufactured using weaker materials such as polyesters and clip-in or retractable aluminum poles. Consequently, the overall structure can easily sag when certain weather elements batter lightweight materials.

Rain and snow can simply land on the structure’s roof and pull it downwards. Throw in a bit of wind to drag the weighted down gazebo around, and you can find yourself with a warped gazebo.  

2. It can Collapse

The warped frame can buckle and collapse when a gazebo is subject to certain weather conditions for long periods. The same goes with a roof full of water or snow; the gazebo material can tear apart, leaving you with a nonusable shelter. This is why these ‘holes’ are so beneficial on gazebos. As much as they seem pointless, it’s the little things that can save a lot of future headaches. 

How Many Holes Are Needed in A Gazebo?

In most cases, gazebos generally have a minimum of 4 holes. It’s common to see 1 hole in each corner; this amount is adequate to relieve the pressure of a smaller gazebo. Larger gazebos will have an extra 1 per side (4 bases + 4 extra = 8 in total) and then add an extra 4 per side as the size gets larger. Eg (4 bases + 8 extra = 12 in total, 4 bases + 12 extra = 16 in total) and so on.

The holes are usually between 1-3 inches in diameter. Depending on the model, it may be possible to use these holes to hang objects such as cables, lighting/lamps, clothes on hangers, etc., using wire or cable ties. 

Other Gazebo Articles You May Find Useful: How Far Should Gazebo Be From House? | Can You Put A Gazebo On Grass?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a grommet hole?

Grommet holes are variable sized holes that are added to a range of materials using a grommet press. They are often used on tarps, tents, gazebos, etc, as a tie down point. The grommet hole usually has a smooth metal opening to allow ropes and other tying materials to slide without getting caught or fraying. 

Are grommets easy to install?

Grommets are extremely easy to install. All you need is a grommet, a grommet stamp, a bullet peg, and a hammer. Simply punch a hole out of your desired fabric using the grommet stamp. Then place the hole in the fabric over the top of the stamp with the pointy side of the grommet ring facing upwards. Finally, tap the other flat side of the grommet using the bullet peg and ensure it is locked in place. Enjoy!

Can I secure my gazebo using the grommet holes?

As long as the gazebo is sturdy and of decent quality, there is no reason why you can’t use the grommet holes to anchor your gazebo. Simply tie some rope to the holes and attach them to camping stakes in the ground at a 45-degree angle.

Can I hang things from the holes in my gazebo?

Most gazebo manufacturers design grommet holes with enough strength to hang up smaller items such as lamps. However, it’s always best to check with the user manual to see if there are any restrictions. Good quality gazebos can usually allow users to add cable ties and ropes to hang up cables, lighting, lamps, clothes on hangers, plants, etc.


As much as they seem like a defunct addition, gazebo grommet holes are there to serve a purpose. Not only that, but the reason for their existence can save you from much greater problems. When ventilation, drainage, and wind pressure relief are required, holes are the perfect simple fix! We hope that this guide has been helpful. You can read about similar topics here on our website. Check back again soon for more.

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