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DIY Weatherproofing: A Step-by-Step Guide for Protecting Wooden Garden Buildings

A wooden building can be a great addition to any garden. Whether it’s a shed or somewhere to spend some time relaxing, you can use it. However, once it’s up, you’ll need to take care of it.

One of the main parts of this is weatherproofing your wooden garden building. Taking a DIY approach is the cheapest way to go about this. It’ll improve the durability and lifespan of the building and offer more than a few other benefits.

Not only will it ensure the building is long-lasting, but it could also reduce the maintenance needed, especially when you know how to weatherproof a shed the right way. It’s worth diving into everything you need to know about the process.

Understanding the Risks

Don't leave it too late.

Before diving in, it’s worth looking at why you should weatherproof a garden building in the first place. After all, it takes quite a bit of time and effort, so you’ll want to make sure it’s worth it.

Weatherproofing your wooden garden building helps ensure it withstands the elements and lasts quite a while. The process protects the building from more than a few risks, and it’s worth being aware of these.

  • Water – Water damage is often much worse than many people assume, especially regarding wood. The building can become structurally compromised once it gets damaged enough. Because of regular rain, this could be a noticeable problem.
  • Mould – Speaking of water damage, this often leads to mould developing, especially when the damage isn’t dealt with quickly. This can be a health risk, making it worth avoiding as much as possible.
  • Pests – Pests love being indoors, and garden buildings appeal to them. If the weather damages your garden building, these critters can get inside and call it home. Nobody wants to deal with an infestation and its damage, so it’s worth avoiding as much as you can.
  • Rotting – Mould isn’t the only issue water damage to your garden building can lead to. It can also lead to the wood rotting, which compromises the structure. Eventually, it’ll end up coming down because of that. Weatherproofing makes sure that isn’t a risk.
  • Warping – Warping is relatively common in wood when it isn’t properly treated. This is when the wood starts changing shape, compromising the structure. It could make the wood snappy when left to get worse, which is never a welcome development.

If you don’t weatherproof your garden building, it’s at risk of all of these. It’ll last less time than it should, and you could see the building getting more and more damaged as time goes on.

That means you’ll either have to pay for repairs or completely replace it. Nobody wants that to happen, as it could be quite expensive. However, by spending a little time on weatherproofing, you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

Preparing for Weatherproofing

Before you can start weatherproofing your wooden garden building, you must prepare for it. The more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be when you’ve started. It’ll ensure there is no back-and-forth looking for tools and other supplies.

Thankfully, this is simple and involves picking up a few specific things. The paint or stain you plan on using is the most apparent part of this, as are the brushes you’ll use during the process.

It’s also worth investing in sandpaper or even a sanding machine to smooth out the wood and prepare it for the weatherproofing process. You’ll need to invest in a few other bits and pieces to fill in any building cracks, holes, or other damage. A sealant is excellent for this and shouldn’t cost too much.

Giving the garden building a good clean before waterproofing is also recommended. It ensures there isn’t any dirt or anything else that could interfere with the weatherproofing process.

Step-by-Step Weatherproofing

With all of the above done, it’s time to move on to weatherproofing your garden building. While this takes some time and effort, you’ve got the groundwork done, so it should be simpler than you’d think.

Instead, it’s just a matter of taking the proper steps, and you should be good to go. Thankfully, it should take you only a little time to get through. It’s just a matter of going through six particular steps, and you shouldn’t worry about it.

These are:

Treated cladding.
  • Sand Down the Wood – It’s worth sanding down a bit before you start weatherproofing a garden building. This ensures the wood is smooth, so you don’t need to worry about missing any parts of the building because of its roughness. While you can do this by hand, an industrial sander can be worth investing in. It’ll ensure the process goes quickly and easily without risking you missing anywhere.
  • Pick Between Paint and Staining – When weatherproofing any wooden building, you can choose between paint and staining. Both of these are great options and offer their pros and cons. It’s worth spending a little time comparing both, especially when it comes to the aesthetics. This is the only difference between the two, so figure out which one you’d rather go with. There are plenty of options for both, so get the one that fits your preferences.
  • Apply Your Pick – Now that you’ve figured out exactly what you’re going with, it’s time to apply it. This can be the most time-intensive part of the process, and you’ll have to ensure you do it properly. Using the right brushes plays a role in this, so you can ensure you get every part of the garden building. Take your time so you can catch up. The smaller details can be more difficult to cover properly, but it’s always worth filling them in. That way, the weather shouldn’t affect your garden building.
  • Leave to Dry – Once the staining or paint is applied, you could still have a few other steps to take. That doesn’t mean you should jump on them straight away, however. You’ll need to leave the paint or staining dry for a while. This should take a little time, and you can return to it before you know it. If you don’t leave to dry, you could make some paint and staining come off. This doesn’t just cause a mess but undoes much of the work you already did.
  • Fill in Gaps and Holes – If your garden building has been up for a while, it could have cracks and holes. There could be a few gaps if everything is partially even. It’s worth addressing these as soon as you can. Since these prevent your wooden garden building from being completely weatherproof, it’s worth filling them in. All you’ll need is a sealant, and you should be good to go. Leave to settle, and there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
  • Apply a Second Coat – If you want to make sure your garden building is properly weatherproof, then it’s worth giving it a second coat of the paint or staining you gave it. It’ll help ensure it’s completely sealed and you don’t have anything to worry about. If you’ve accidentally damaged the staining or paint when filling in the gaps and holes, this is the best time to rectify it. You shouldn’t have anything to worry about once you put the effort into it. Leave to dry like last time, and you’re all done.

These should be more than enough to ensure that your wooden garden building can withstand the elements. This process shouldn’t have to be long and complicated. While you’ll have to wait for the paint or staining to dry, the rest of the process should be quick and easy.

If you have a free afternoon, like over the weekend, you could get it done then. With the benefits it offers, there’s no reason not to put the time and effort into it.

Additional Tips

By taking each of the steps above, you shouldn’t have much to worry about with your timber framed garden building. It should be quite weatherproof, and you shouldn’t worry about warping, rotting, or other issues.

However effective the above is, it doesn’t mean that’s all you can do. It’s always worth putting some time and effort into a few tips and tricks. They’ll help ensure that your garden building is as weatherproof as possible.

While this means putting more time and effort into it, it’ll be worth it. You can rest easy knowing your wooden garden building shouldn’t have any problems because of the weather.

Some of the more notable of these include:

  • Try a Chemical-Free Approach – If you’re not comfortable using chemicals when weatherproofing your garden building, you have plenty of options. These can help you weatherproof just as effectively as paint or staining, making them worth considering. Beeswax and linseed oil are the more notable options with this, as they’re some of the most effective.
  • Touch It Up Occasionally – While paint, staining, and other options last quite a while, they often don’t last forever. You should touch them up every once in a while. Inspect your garden at least once a season to see if there’s any damage or the need for a touch-up. It’ll make sure your garden stays protected.
  • Weatherproof the Roof – When you’re weatherproofing wooden garden buildings, it’s natural to focus on the walls. The roof can be easily overlooked when you’re doing this. It’s worth spending a little time and effort to protect the building properly. You’ve no reason not to put a little effort into it.

By doing these in addition to the above, you should make sure your wooden garden shed is as weatherproof as possible. You shouldn’t have to worry about any weather-related damage, and you’ll have an amazing garden building for quite some time.

Maintaining the Weatherproofing

Once you’ve done the above, you could think you have nothing else to do. Your garden building will be weatherproof, after all. Unfortunately, it takes more time and effort than that, especially when you want your garden building to last quite a while.

You’ll need to maintain the weatherproofing in the months and years afterwards. Thankfully, this shouldn’t have to be a time-consuming process, and you’ll already have most of the hard work done.

It’s a matter of putting the time and effort into a few notable areas. Regularly inspecting the garden building for signs of damage is a noteworthy part of this. If there is any damage, your garden building might need to be weatherproof. Tackle any damage you come across as soon as you find it.

Cleaning the outside of the shed and applying a fresh coat of paint or sealant is also recommended. This will ensure that your garden building stays weatherproof for as long as you have it. Thankfully, this should be a few times, and it’ll be more than worth the time and effort you put into it.

We can supply ready painted garden buildings

Sadolin 'Blue Grey' Wood Stain
Sadolin Superdec Blue Grey Paint - 1st Choice Leisure Buildings
Sadolin 'Hidcote Green' Stain
Sadolin Superdec Hidcote Green Stain - 1st Choice Leisure Buildings
Sadolin 'Polynedia White' Paint
Sadolin Superdec Polynedia White Wood Stain - 1st Choice Leisure Buildings
Sadolin 'White' Wood Stain
Sadolin Superdec White Wood Stain - 1st Choice Leisure Buildings
Please note that all colour shown are indicative only and will vary depending upon the light on the day the photo was taken. Additionally all screens will display the image differently. If exact colour is essential then please order a sample pot.

Weatherproof Like a Pro: More Expert Advice for Wooden Garden Buildings

Wooden garden buildings are a popular option for UK homeowners. They’re cost-effective, easy to assemble, and have various designs that fit all needs. Whether you want a workshop space, summer houses or sheds to store your belongings, you’re sure to find a building that suits your needs.

However, the British climate is anything but forgiving, and many people in the UK soon learn that wooden garden buildings require some care and maintenance. Even the most substantial buildings, from cold winters to rainy autumns and April showers, won’t be completely immune to the elements.

So, if you want to learn how to prolong the life of your garden building, you’re in the right place. This guide will show you how to weatherproof your wooden garden shed and protect it from the worst British weather.

Insulating the building

Wood is a natural material; as such, it can contract and expand in response to changes in temperature. If you live in an area with particularly cold winters, your shed could develop cracks and let the cold in.

To prevent this, it’s essential to insulate your building, which will help it retain warmth during the colder season.

Add insulation to the shed roof

Adding insulation to the walls and roofs is one of the best ways to keep your shed warm in winter. It ensures that cold air won’t be able to penetrate the building, which is essential when most buildings don’t have central heating.

There are many ways to install insulation, but the most popular forms are fibreglass or polystyrene. Once you lay the timber boards and add the insulation, you can add a layer of sheet material over the top and then fix the roofing material.

Insulate the shed floor

Another way to keep your shed warm is to insulate the flooring, which can be a vast source of cold during the winter. All you need to do is lay timber down onto the base of your garden building and add polystyrene or fibreglass during the gaps.

Once complete, add a layer of plywood to ensure the cold air doesn’t get through.

Insulating the shed walls 

Insulation also benefits the walls of your building, as it prevents heat from escaping and cold air from entering. For example, you can add fibreglass or polystyrene to the stud work on the roof and floor before adding the internal cladding.

However, some buildings have thicker timber; you might not need to add insulation in these cases.

If the timber measures at:

  • 44mm – It will have adequate insulation – but might require extra support for colder areas.
  • 70mm – You probably won’t need to add insulation to the walls, but you can do it anyway for peace of mind. However, ensure that the insulation is not fixed directly to the log cabin walls, as they need to move according to the time of the year.
Choose buildings with built-in insulation

An alternative to adding insulation yourself is to opt for a garden building that comes with it built-in. It saves a lot of time and is the better option for people with limited DIY knowledge, as you can be sure that the insulation will be effective.

At 1st Choice Leisure Buildings, we offer insulation kits with most of our sheds, summerhouses, workshops and log cabins. In many cases, we offer installation, too, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Insulation might seem inconvenient, but you will appreciate it when the weather gets colder.

Shows image of garden sheds insulated with horizontal T&G boards
Make your shed waterproof 

Making your shed waterproof is another way to weatherproof and protect it from the elements. It’s vital if you live in an area with high rainfall, as water can cause severe damage to a wooden garden building.

There are numerous ways to make your shed waterproof, and it’s critical in protecting and maintaining the building.

Use concrete bases

One of the best ways to waterproof your shed is to use a concrete base to prevent water from seeping in and damaging the floor.

To do this, you’ll need to select the area where you want the shed to go and install the concrete base with a damp-proof membrane. Some people prefer wooden floors, which can be beneficial, but if you have a heavy-duty building, you should choose the more robust option.

Install guttering

If your shed doesn’t have gutters, you should install them. Gutter systems are excellent for collecting rainwater and diverting it away from the building. It’s a relatively straightforward process; you only need to fix the brackets onto the shed and clip the gutters into place.

You can then connect the downpipe to a drain or water butt, ensuring that the water is safely diverted away.

Add a coat of exterior paint

Exterior paint is designed to weatherproof your shed and protect the wood from rot and decay. These paints add extra protection, but using a high-quality brand is essential for the best results.

It would help if you also considered adding a second coat for extra protection, further reducing the risk of damage.

Felt the roof

Felt is a material often used on roofs to prevent water from getting through. It is easy to install: All you need to do is unroll the felt and nail it into place. For extra protection, add roofing sealant around the edges.

When this happens, you need to spray sealant around the tiles or add an extra layer of felt. A waterproof shed roof is central to ensuring your building remains dry, and leaks through the top of the shed will cause significant issues later on.

Use builder’s caulking to seal windows and door frames

Caulking is another great way to weatherproof your shed. It seals any gaps around doors and windows, preventing water and draughts from entering the building and helping to insulate it.

To use builder’s caulk, run a bead of sealant around the door or window frame and smooth it down with a putty knife. You can leave it to dry for 24 hours before painting over it.

Expanding foam is also an excellent solution for sealing gaps, as it can be easily applied and quickly hardens.

Maintaining garden sheds

Once you’ve weatherproofed your garden shed, it’s crucial to maintain it so that it continues to withstand the elements. Regular maintenance can prevent leaks and damage, so doing extra work makes all the difference.

Wood preservative treatments

Wood treatments are vital for maintaining garden sheds, as they help to protect the wood from rot. You should apply a treatment at least once a year, but if you live in an area with high rainfall, you should do it more often.

To apply the treatment, use a paintbrush or roller to spread it evenly over the shed’s surface. Once it’s dry, add an extra layer of exterior waterproof shed paint for additional protection.

Check for signs of wear and tear

It’s essential to regularly check your shed for any signs of wear and tear, as this can quickly lead to severe damage. Check the roof tiles and gutters to ensure they’re secure, and look for any cracks or gaps in the walls.

Ensure the shed has sufficient ventilation

Good ventilation is essential for garden sheds, as it helps to prevent dampness and condensation. You can achieve this by regularly opening the doors and windows or installing vents in the walls.

Static vents work well, but if you live in a naturally damp area, you could also use a dehumidifier to prevent excess water, moisture, and mould from building up.

Use oil for the hinges and locks

Oiling the hinges and locks on your shed is also a good idea, as this will prevent them from rusting. This is particularly important if you live in an area with high humidity, as this can cause metal to corrode quickly.

To oil the hinges, remove them from the door and apply a small amount of oil. Wipe away any excess with a cloth, and then replace them. You can either use WD-40 or a specialist lubricant designed for locks.

Use heaters to keep the building warm

Invest in a heater to keep the building warm if you’re using your shed during winter. Many different types of heaters are available, so make sure you choose one that’s appropriate for the size of your shed.

Fan heaters work well because they circulate warm air around the shed, while halogen heaters provide more direct heat.

Choose a garden shed or building with superior features

When looking for a garden shed, summerhouse, or workshop, consider which features matter most to you. For example, a cheap garden building might seem like an excellent idea, but when it comes to maintenance and longevity, it won’t last long.

At 1st Choice Leisure Buildings, we specialise in providing the highest quality solutions for your garden needs. Each of our buildings offers superior durability and is designed for a long life.

Buildings with redwood timber last longer

If you want to buy a new garden shed, choose one made from redwood timber. Redwood is naturally resistant to rot and decay, so it’s an excellent choice for long-lasting construction —especially when compared with whitewood timber.

Redwood buildings are more expensive, but they’re the clear winner when considering their longevity. You’ll have to replace a whitewood building sooner, and the costs can increase, but redwood is an insurance policy.

Toughened glass windows as standard

When it comes to the windows in your shed, choosing ones made from toughened glass is essential. Toughened glass is much stronger than regular glass, so it’s less likely to break – even if something hits it.

Our buildings have toughened glass as standard, ensuring you can enjoy your shed or summerhouse with minimal hassle.

Free assembly with many of our buildings

Finally, we offer free assembly with many of our buildings. If you need more confidence in your DIY skills or need more time to assemble the shed yourself, our team can do it for you.

We’ll deliver the building to your home and assemble it in your garden, so all you need to do is sit back and relax. Once we’re finished, you can enjoy your garden room and rest assured that the structural integrity will withstand the test of time.

The bottom line

So now you know how to weatherproof and waterproof a shed, you can choose the perfect garden building. Many of our buildings are naturally waterproof, and we work hard to offer the best solutions for any budget.

Please browse from our extensive selection today, or contact us if you’d like some support.

Conclusion

You’ll need to know how to weatherproof a shed from the moment you get it, as it ensures the building’s longevity. Weatherproofing increases the building’s durability and provides protection against the elements.

A DIY approach can be the cheapest way to weatherproof your shed. While it takes time and effort, it shouldn’t be difficult.

About Author:

Robin Antill is an established authority in the field of quality garden building manufacturing, boasting over four decades of experience. Having founded Titan Garden Buildings in 1979, he demonstrated a commitment to excellence from the outset by moving away from subpar materials and embarking on crafting buildings of superior quality.


His lineage of craftsmanship, traced back to his father and grandfather's business in Cleethorpes, underscores his dedication to quality and customer satisfaction. Robin's son, Craig, who joined the business in 1990, brings additional expertise, having honed his skills at Guildford College in joinery.


Together, they elevated Titan Garden Buildings, which eventually evolved into 1st Choice Leisure Buildings. Their enduring focus on premium materials, top-notch manufacturing, and unparalleled customer service, along with Craig's digital acumen in creating the company's online presence, showcase their expertise and reliability in the industry.


Robin’s expertise was featured in Realtor.com, Homes&Gardens, The London Economic, and dozens other publications.


Woking Show Site
1st Choice Leisure Buildings
Woking Garden Buildings Show Site
Sutton Green Garden Centre,
Whitmoor Ln, Sutton Green,
Guildford,
GU4 7QA
Phone 01483 237550