Weatherproof Like a Pro: Expert Advice for Wooden Garden Buildings
Wooden garden buildings are a popular option for UK homeowners. They’re cost-effective, easy to assemble and come in various designs for all needs. Whether you want a workshop space, summerhouse or a shed 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 do require some care and maintenance. From cold winters to rainy autumns and April showers, even the strongest buildings 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 from happening, it’s essential to take some steps to insulate your building, as this will help it to retain warmth during the colder season.
Add insulation to the shed roof
One of the best ways to keep your shed warm in winter is to add insulation to the walls and roofs. 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, as it can be a huge 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
The walls of your building might also benefit from insulation, as it will prevent heat from escaping and cold air from entering. Like the roof and floor, you can add fibreglass or polystyrene to the stud work before adding the internal cladding.
However, some buildings come with thicker timber; in these cases, you might not need to add any insulation.
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 walls on a log cabin 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.
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 a critical step 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.
If your shed doesn’t have gutters, you might want to install them as they’re excellent for collecting rainwater and diverting it away from the building. It’s a relatively straightforward process; all you need to do is 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 it’s essential to use a high-quality brand 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 that people often use on roofs to ensure no water gets through. Felting is easy to install, and all you need to do is unroll the felt and nail it into place. You might also want to add roofing sealant around the edges for extra protection.
When this happens, you need to spray some 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 further down the line.
Use builder’s caulking to seal windows and door frames
Caulking is another great way to weatherproof your shed, as it seals any gaps around doors and windows. This will prevent water and draughts from entering the building and help insulate it.
To use builder’s caulk, you need to run a bead of sealant around the door or window frame and then smooth it down with a putty knife. You can then 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 putting in the 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 might need to do it more often.
To apply the treatment, use a paintbrush or roller to spread it over the surface of the shed evenly. Once it’s dry, you can 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 and moisture build-up and mould.
Use oil for the hinges and locks
It’s also a good idea to oil the hinges and locks on your shed, 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 to each one. Wipe away any excess with a cloth, and then replace them. For the locks, you can either use WD-40 or a specialist lubricant designed for locks.
Use heaters to keep the building warm
If you’re using your shed during winter, you might want to invest in a heater to keep the building warm. There are many different types of heaters 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, you should 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, the building 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; being designed for a very long life.
Buildings with redwood timber last longer
If you’re looking to buy a new garden shed, it’s worth opting for one made from redwood timber. It’s naturally resistant to rot and decay, so it’s an excellent choice for a long-lasting shed – especially when compared with whitewood timber.
Redwood buildings are more expensive, but they’re the clear winner when you consider how long they last. 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’re not confident in your DIY skills or don’t have the 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 for your needs. Many of our buildings are naturally waterproof, and we work hard to offer the best possible solutions for any budget.
Please feel free to browse from our extensive selection today, or contact us if you’d like some support.