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A Checklist for Waterproofing Your Garden Shed

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Your plants aren’t the only things you should think about when planning for extreme weather. Though your plants need to be sheltered and your trees must be supported, you must also secure your shed or any structures you have in your backyard. A garden shed is built to protect items, but it should also be protected against strong winds and heavy downpours. 

If you have a rickety shed, you’re opening your garden to a number of problems. For one, your tools and equipment might get damaged by the rain. Another thing is that strong winds might tear down sections of your shed and damage your trees and plants. To prevent this from happening, you should already start waterproofing your shed during the summer months. Here are some ways you can prepare your shed for the rainy season.

Install a base for your shed

When waterproofing a structure, you must start from the ground up. If it is possible, have a waterproof base built before your shed if you don’t know what to put around the bottom of a shed. The platform should be raised off the ground to keep the shed floor away from damp soil. 

A raised foundation also keeps the air flowing and prevents the accumulation of mold, mildew, and spores. If you already have a shed, consider relocating it for the moment and building a base where you want it to stand.

There are ready-made wooden shed bases in the market, but some are more heavy-duty than others. Choose a pressure-treated base that is resistant to rot. Larger structures would need bases made from more substantial material, so choose concrete for big sheds. The trade-off here, though, is that concrete does not allow air to circulate. You would need floor bearers between the concrete and the bottom of the shed to aid in air circulation.

Clean the gutters around the shed

If water collects around your shed and is unable to drain down the gutter, it can lead to debris build-ups. This, in turn, would make flooding likely. Prevent your garden from becoming inundated by regularly sweeping out fallen leaves, twigs, rocks, and other trash that might accumulate in this area.

Clean and inspect the roof

Rains can wear down the planks and fittings of any structure, and if you don’t check your shed roof and its framing you might be surprised to find massive leaks in your shed. The rainy season can bring relentless downpours, so you must be aware of any gap or crack that might widen into a larger problem when the wet months come in.

In particular, you must keep an eye on roof edges, ridge lines, and places where materials are nailed together or joined with other ones. Your roof might also be covered in felt, which might get damaged during rainy weather as well. This is easy enough to fix, requiring only extra felt and some sealant. All you need to do is lift up the damaged area, spray the uncovered part with sealant, and press it down.

Ripped shingles can be remedied by a layer of sealant on the lower surface. For badly-damaged roofs, you can opt for a complete renovation. Choose an alternative like EPDM rubber or another durable material.

Patch up windows and doors

The frames around your windows and doors are likely made of wood. This means they must be maintained regularly; wood shrinks over time, and this creates gaps that allow water to enter. Check if your wooden frames are starting to crack, and fill the spaces up with caulking or foam. 

Furthermore, water can rot wood, so you have to regularly check the posts for soft spots. Probe a post or a frame to find areas that need fillers—you can use a screwdriver to do this. If you want your frames to have more protection, you can fit a draft excluder around these.

Top up the wood treatment

Your pressure-treated shed might be protected against rot, but that would only be good for a few months. If your garden suffers an insect or fungus infestation, this will reduce your treatment’s effectiveness and leave your structure vulnerable to breaking down. 

Keep your shed protected by renewing the wood preservative every year. Water-based stains and waterproof shed paint are both good ways of keeping your structure strong. These are also less toxic compared to chemical stains.

Conclusion

Your garden shed needs care just like your plants and trees. To keep your building structurally safe, you must clean it regularly and prevent cracks and gaps from developing. If you have maintenance measures for your shed, you’re sure that it will serve you for years to come.

Shed Mechanics provides the best wood shed plans, reviews, and advice. If you’re thinking of building a shed from scratch or renovating your existing one, visit My Shed Plan today! We’ve got you covered.