Posted 21st Nov 2017 by Peter Byrne
Garden sheds will often begin to suffer during the winter months, but a few tips could help you to protect and maintain them during the colder months
BillyOh.com has come up with ten tips to help you keep your shed in one piece during the months of strong winds and heavy rain.
Sheds and outdoor buildings will need essential upkeep just like everything else, particularly during the dreary winter months. It's therefore worth following some simple but essential rules to look after your shed's roof, doors, floors and even the drainage system.
Shed security can be an even bigger problem during the winter too, as thieves will use the cold, dark nights as the perfect chance to raid back garden havens.
By carrying out regular maintenance and taking certain precautions, you can ultimately avoid what can prove to be unsightly and costly damage to your garden buildings which are often caused by winter weather, varying from damp and mould to leaks and infestations.
The top 10 tips to winter-proof your shed are:
A lot of sheds are untreated, which allows you to decorate to your own style and taste. Treating it is a great way of protect it from the harsh weather conditions.
These different treatments will have different effects too - for instance, oil-based treatments will soak into the timber, providing long-lasting UV protection, whereas pressure treating wood preservations deep into the pre-cut timber will provide a more thorough coverage as opposed to painting or spraying it - it will also protect the wood from insects and fungus.
Place your log cabin at your garden's highest point or, if your garden's flat, use bricks or a platform to elevate it at least two inches off the ground. You should also use a gutter to direct any water away from the shed.
Avoid leaves falling on to your shed's roof and blocking any guttering and drainage systems by placing it away from the trees in your garden.
The roof of any building will be particularly vulnerable in winter as high winds and heavy rain will be more frequent, especially for sheds where roofs are only nailed in. Be sure to check both the inside and outside of your shed roof, thus resolving any issues such as rusting nails, black mould, sagging of materials or dark spots, immediately.
Your shed door hinge will be one of its weakest points, and are usually attached with short screws - these can be toughened up by replacing the screws with nuts and bolts and then supergluing the nut to the bolt on the inside of the door. This way, your door is sure to stay put against the wind and rain.
Inspect your shed's windows from the inside first, as cold air could be wafting through from the outside - then, seal the windows on both the inside and outside. You can further draft-proof your shed by installing foam weather stripping insulating tape. This prevents any winter drafts and keeps moisture outside the shed.
Most garden buildings will have elevated wooden floors to allow important air circulation under the foundation - this needs to be maintained at all times, particularly in the winter months when sludgey, muddy gardens will be more common.
A major cause of rot in garden sheds is rising damp, which is caused by ground water being absorbed through the floor bearers and into the floor, so it's important to maintain a barrier between the ground and the floor of the shed, to prevent unwanted moisture.
8 Air circulation
If you're not likely to use your shed throughout the colder seasons, it's worth opening the windows and doors periodically in dry weather to increase the air flow throughout the building. This also gets rid of stagnant air which can hold a lot of moisture.
9 Let your shed breathe
Keeping perishables (paper, cardboard, material) off of the floor and walls of your shed will prevent them from sucking the moisture out of the timbers. Timber likes to breathe, so ensure you're allowing it air space to move around all of the items in the building.
Winter is the ideal time for thieves to creep into your back garden - it's often dark, cold and there's no-one who will be milling around outdoors. A way to deter criminals is by investing in a hasp and a strong padlock, or you could even go one step further and fit an alarm.