Shed maintenance - tips from the experts
To keep your shed looking great and in tip top condition takes regular maintenance. But which jobs should top your list of 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 sheddies’ top shed maintenance tips.
To avoid your shed walls rotting from the bottom up, Andy at Workshop Shed says: “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
Do you have moss growing on your shed roof? Clean it off by treating it with moss killer, says Eric the Shed at Shed Wars:
The moss does not protect the roof felt...it just absorbs water.
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.”
As well as being an eco-friendly way to keep your garden green, installing guttering and a water butt to capture run-off from your shed roof will help keep the building in good condition.
John Adams, creator of Dadblog UK says: "Guttering can be important, especially if you have a shed with a large roof…”
Keep the guttering clear and make sure it is in good condition.
But, according to to John, badly fitted or maintained guttering is a false economy, “...otherwise you run the risk of rain running off the roof and dripping into the shed and that can have disastrous consequences.”
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 John Adams of Dadblog UK says: "Sheds take a lot of abuse from the weather. You should paint the timbers with a good quality wood preserver at least once a year. It's well worth doing to lengthen the lifespan of your shed."
After talking to her very experienced dad, Vikkie Richmond, aka The Carpenters Daughter, also recommends treating the timber with a preservative once a year, but with a strict caveat:
Make sure it says ‘preservative’ on the label so it’s not coloured water.
According to Vikkie’s shed expert dad, best practice is to “use a wood preserve first and leave it for a couple of days before adding a colour.” Vikkie who uses Cuprinol Ducksback on her shed also says, “check the weather forecast and try to do when the weather is great, so it can be touch dry within an hour or two before recoating.”
If you’re applying colour, Torie over at Torie Jayne recommends that you “paint PVA glue onto nail heads to stop them rusting through the paint.” She says, “now I get no more rusty nail heads seeping through!”
Check your security
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.
John Adams tells us "Sheds and outbuildings are broken into much more frequently than houses. Check the locks on your shed are secure.”
Ensure all fixings are fitted properly and that you are using a decent purpose-built lock or padlock.
While you’re checking locks, it’s also a good idea to give the doors and windows a once over too, removing any rot and replacing any damaged frames and panels.
Inspired to get out in the garden and maintain your shed? Check out Walton’s shed maintenance guide for even more help and information.
Or, if you have any shed maintenance tips you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. Just head over to our Facebook page and drop us a line.
Lead image: Shutterstock