Our gazebo further deteriorated since I posted of our pool noodle experiment.
The leaks in the cover worsened and there was a tear in one side as well. As the gazebo is our kitchen/dining and living area, you can imagine our daily tasks were even more challenging in the rain.
Nick did some research and found a good price for a replacement gazebo cover. We fitted it today, pleased to see the heavier material and better design.
The hooked straps are now reinforced (the previous cover tore at the site of one these straps).
We purchased a length of cable from our favourite tip shop the other day (along with our "new" picnic table).
The pool noodles work well but tend to flatten, losing effectiveness - and then drop to the ground. Of course, the old cover had already weathered various rainy weather and two corner areas were stretched as a result. Nick thought it would be best to mount the loops to a new cover, before it suffered any sagging due to rain. He wanted to try a different material for the loops, hence the fibre-optic cable is being trialed. One loop is longer than the others. It's been left in place but can easily be shortened if the others are deemed more useful. (The loop ends are secured in place with cable ties).
The new cover definitely provides better shade (with a UPF rating of 50) - and we are hoping for improved shelter in the rain also but we're not in any hurry to test that aspect! Fingers crossed that Nick's loopiness works!