Shed maintenance - tips from the experts

Shed maintenance - tips from the experts

To keep your shed looking great and in tip top condition takes regular maintenance. But which jobs should become priorities? To find out, we turned to the people who know best – shed owners who’ve learnt a thing or two about keeping their sheds ship shape. Here are our favourite shed maintenance tips from experienced sheddies.

Clear debris

Green shed with clear base
Like Andy’s workshop, make sure the base of your shed is clear from debris
Image source: WorkshopShed

To avoid your shed walls rotting from the bottom up, Andy at Workshop Shed says that you should “clear away any soil or plant build up from around the base.

Look for signs of damp such as moss or algae on the outside or fungus on the inside and clean those off.

Not only does dirt and debris hold moisture to the surface of the wood, it also provides the perfect growing conditions for fungi and mould which cause wood rot.

The same goes for overgrowing plants which slow air circulation. If the area around your shed is clogged with plants, rain water won’t dry very quickly and your shed will get mouldy.

Check the roof

Moss covering shed roof
Moss on a shed roof
Image source: Shed Wars

Do you have moss growing on your shed roof? Clean it off by treating it with moss killer, says Eric from Shed Wars. Why? “The moss doesn’t protect the roof just absorbs water,” he explains.

Also remove any leaves and twigs so that rain water is free to run off the roof – water left to pool will quickly damage your shed roof.

When checking the roof, take a good look from the inside too, Eric says: “If there is water damage you have to replace the roof felt. Remove old felt completely, including nails, as these will damage the replacement.

If you need some tips on how to repair the roof felt on your shed, take a quick look at this quick guide from Waltons’ expert team. 

Fit guttering

Guttering and waterbutt in shed roof
Guttering helps to maintain your shed’s health
Image source: Shutterstock

As well as being an eco-friendly way to collect water and keep your garden green, installing guttering to capture run-off from your shed roof helps to keep the building in good condition.

Over at YouTube channel Allotment Book, Liam’s video demonstrates just how easy it is to fit gutters and connect them to water butts. He collects rainwater from both sides of his shed’s apex roof, channelling the downpipes into large water butts using simple push fittings. His top tip is to create a slight downward slope when hanging the gutters, to help the water flow freely and prevent any pooling. 

Once your gutters are installed, Phill from the YouTube channel Phill Wyatt Projects recommends covering them with mesh to prevent them getting blocked up with leaves. Watch his video to see his finished gutters, along with a clever drainage system that channels the water away from his wooden workshop to protect it from rot. 

Apply wood stain

Man wood staining shed exterior
Protective wood stain will keep your shed safe from the elements
Image source: POUSE around the HOUSE

If there’s one thing all our contributors agree about, it’s the importance of regularly treating your shed to a thorough application of quality woodstain. As Pouse of YouTube channel POUSE around the HOUSE explains: “I go with a solvent based preservative as I want my shed to last as long as possible.” But you can also choose water-based wood treatments if you prefer. 

Pouse demonstrates the full step-by-step process of painting his shed, starting with a quick and easy prep task followed by some clever painting hacks to help you get a perfect finish. Try his fantastic tip for painting window frames. He uses a piece of cut cardboard to mask the window glass while getting the preservative right into the weakest points around the frame.

Check your security

Wooden shiplap security shed from Waltons
A solid shed with small windows and a strong lock helps protect your valuables
Image source: 8 x 6 Security Shiplap Apex Wooden Shed from Waltons

While it’s great to check, maintain and stain your shed with wood preservative, it’s also vital that you pay attention to your shed’s security features. Pete from Grey Matters tells us that “break-ins to garden sheds rise dramatically over the winter,” when expensive tools and equipment are often stored away. In his helpful video, Pete suggests hanging curtains or applying window paint to keep the contents of your shed out of view.

Doors and windows are usually the weakest parts of a garden shed. For this reason Pete recommends fitting a row of block locks to reinforce the outside of the door. But his top tip is to deliberately strip the screw heads in the door hinges to prevent someone quickly removing them with a screwdriver. 

Andy from Mad Dog Survival goes one stage further, showing us the DIY metal security bar he’s made for his shed’s door. Although it’s not entirely fool-proof against the most determined thieves, he says it does make a lot of noise when tampered with, which acts as a further deterrent. 

Inspired to get on with some shed maintenance? Check out Walton’s shed maintenance guide for even more help and information. Once you're done, give it a spring clean with these 10 genius ways to organise your shed.

Lead image: Shutterstock

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