Weatherproofing your shed, especially for or during the winter months will help protect it from the effects of the environment, making it last a lifetime.
Unfortunately, we cannot control the weather. so when the temperatures drop, we can look to enjoy some frequent showers, strong winds and on the rare occasion, even some snow.
Unlike certain animals, we do not hibernate, increasing our chances of still using our sheds at some point during the winter. Whether it’s for storing garden tools, using it as a children’s playing area or catching up on overdue paperwork.
However, a garden shed can very easily get neglected from proper maintenance and regular repairs. A weathered shed with holes or gaps in the wood can cause unpleasant drafts or allow water to accumulate on the inside. Even just a little moisture can damage your shed and compromise its structural strength through weakened joints or warped wood, meaning that you might end up having to replace it after just a few seasons.
To avoid the above issues and save yourself the money down the line, follow these steps on weatherproofing your shed and follow them every winter.
1. Elevate your shed
This step should ideally take place before you even build your shed. Building your shed on supports that help it stay off the ground will keep groundwater from soaking into it. This can be done by using cinder blocks or other stone supports designed specifically for garden sheds.
The airflow that is created by lifting your shed up will allow the ground underneath to dry, meaning that the water will never reach the bottom of your shed. This will prevent rotting or mould from occurring on the base of your shed, increasing the chances that it will be strong enough to withstand the harsh winter weather.
When it comes to lifting a shed that is already sitting directly on the ground, your options are limited. Your best bet is to use heavy machinery to hoist the shed up, giving you the space to build a support structure under it. This is a costly solution, so you’re better off using experienced professionals like Ace Sheds, who will ensure that your shed is built up off the ground.
2. Waterproof your shed
A crucial part of weatherproofing is knowing how to waterproof your shed. Water leaks are the biggest enemy of garden sheds and the contents they hold within. They can happen easily, especially in sheds that are not being properly maintained.
The easiest way to improve the water-resistance of your shed is to paint it with waterproof paint, suitable for wood. You can pick one up from most building & construction stores for a reasonable price. Painting the outside of your shed will create a water-repelling barrier, stopping the water from absorbing into the wood.
Adding a shed felt to your roof is also a very important part of the waterproofing process. Not the easiest of tasks as it requires a healthy amount of precision, but it cannot be ignored if you want your shed to provide you and your tools with protection for many years to come.
To apply felt to the roof of your shed, make sure that your roof is clean. Starting at the bottom, roll the felt along ensuring that you leave enough space for the water to drip off (approximately ¾ of an inch). Once done, apply felting nails to the roof to secure the felt.
Most pre-ordered sheds from trusted suppliers like Ace Sheds come with a felted roof, but it’s still important to check for damage and wear, year after year, and apply any fixes to the roof as necessary.
3. Apply Sealant
For a small amount of money, you can treat your walls and roof with a wood-based sealant. Often applied with an easy to use gun, a good sealant product will fill in any cracks or holes between the planks, preventing the cold winter air and moisture from entering your shed.
It is also important to pay regular attention to the windows and doors of your shed and to keep them in good condition. After a period of time, the wood might shrink, causing cracks and exposing the interior of your shed to harmful weather conditions.
If you spot any gaps around the fitting of the windows of your shed, fill them in with expanding foam, builder’s caulking or wooden splines. Any cracks around the doors should be sealed by fitting draft excluder tape.
Check your doors, windows and frames for rot by prodding the wood with a screwdriver. If you find any soft, wet patches, dig them out with the tool and apply a good quality wood filler before sanding the surface and repainting with waterproof paint.
4. Mould Treatment
‘How to stop mould in my shed’, I hear you say… Mould in garden sheds is one of the leading causes of early shed disintegration. Most sheds are built to last a lifetime, but they require regular maintenance and repairs. Mould treatment and prevention is a crucial element of looking after your shed.
To stop mould inside a shed you should make sure that it is well ventilated. This applies all year round but is most crucial during the winter months when you might not use it as much. Occasionally opening doors and windows in dry weather will also help stop mould developing in a shed.
Regulating the humidity levels to 30-50%, depending on the time of the year, by running a dehumidifier in your shed will help prevent mould and mildew.
However, if your shed is not wired, the next best option is to install a hygrometer to help you keep an eye on your shed’s humidity levels and allow you to take action when required.
To help you get the moisture out of your storage building once the levels get too high, you could purchase a commercial desiccant (a substance that draws moisture to itself) or simply use household products like cat litter, charcoal briquets or baking soda.
We can’t always prevent rot from building up though, so once any mould is discovered in your shed, it’s important to act swiftly. You will need to remove all of the contents of your shed, including any furniture to make sure that you treat all of the clusters of mould that have developed in your storage room.
Once done, open all doors and windows and apply bleach to the affected areas with a sponge or a cloth. This will kill all the existing live spores and help lighten the blackening substantially.
You will then need to leave your shed to air for a day, to help circulate the fresh air and prevent any further build-up of moisture.
For best results, apply anti-fungal or pesticide product to all wooden areas inside your shed and leave to air again for 24 hours.
If you wish to cover up the staining caused by the mould, you can apply some colour to the inside of your shed once you’re positive the excessive moisture has been removed.
5. Investigate your shed
Even if you have just completed all of the above steps, be sure to investigate your shed on a regular basis. Severe weather conditions can tire the timber in a single season, so frequent maintenance will help you spot any signs of deterioration early and allow you time to repair your shed before the winter really sets in for good.
We also believe that it is good practice to give your locks a squirt of oil every now and then during the colder months, to prevent them from rusting and making it difficult for you to open once the spring rolls around again.
Choose Ace Sheds to help weatherproof your shed
Being an Ace Shed customer will guarantee that you will receive more than just a great service. We promise to provide you with a long-lasting product and on-going maintenance support to make sure that you continue to enjoy your shed, year after year.
Give us a call on 01233 822 042 to speak to one of our experienced professionals today!