The good old fashioned British garden shed and log cabin, loved by most, are available in many shapes and sizes and this is visible within most gardens. Most are well cared for, some are showing signs of being unloved and some are in a state of disrepair, probably beyond repair. But when you think of their usefulness of these buildings maybe you will take a look at your shed to see what needs doing.
Your garden shed, which has been sitting unassumingly (if that is a word) at the bottom of your garden guarding your precious tools, bikes, garden furniture etc. year in year out does need a little looking after. When your new shed arrived you had every good intention of caring for it but like most resolutions, they tend to be forgotten. Now is the time to give your shed some payback.
The most important thing is to make sure there is no water getting into your shed, and during the winter – snow. The obvious place to start is the shed roofing felt. Take a look for signs of damp inside the shed and, if you see any, try to establish where the damp is coming from. This can be a little tricky sometimes as to where you see the damp marks may be a little away from the roof defect.
If there are no damp marks on the shed roof then you can move on, if there is then you need to find out where it is coming from. Take a look on the roof and try to see if any of the clout nails which is holding the felt in place has moved. If so, ideally, you need to remove them and reposition the nail and tack back into place. Apply a little mastic to the old hole.
Also, take a look at the felt itself to see if it is torn. This can occur when you have animals on the roof or if a nearby branch keeps blowing over the felt in the wind. It both instances you need to rectify the problem so your shed remains dry, most probably with some new felt. If the old felt is laying flat then you can felt over the top but you will need longer clout headed nails, otherwise remove the felt and after ensuring the surface if clear and flat then re-felt the shed.
Then take a look at the shed floor to ensure it is not sitting in water making the shed floor wet. An occasional rain shower is not a great problem but constant dampness can be. If the shed appears to be a damp location then the best thing you can do is to lift the shed up and onto some pressure treated floor bearers. This will mean you emptying the shed out and, quite honestly, is a lot of work but if you don’t then your shed floor will rot prematurely and you will need a new garden shed.
You will find also that the extra space under the shed will allow the wind to blow through nicely and this will help to keep it dry in the future. You may find piles of leaves blown up against the shed floor and if so, you need to clear these away so the floor can stay dry.
Take a look at your windows on your shed and ensure that no water is coming in at the bottom. If there are signs of damp then you need to dry the area and then afterwards apply a good quality sealant to the bottom to stop the problem reappearing. Any cracked panes of glass should be replaced. Besides the above examine the boards of the shed and ensure there are no boards which have split right through. If you have then you need to replace them.
The final thing to do is to ensure that your building has a good coat of treatment on it. You will find that it is only the sides facing the weather which needs treating on a regular basis. The sides of the shed which are sheltered from the weather will tend to be all right.
Just recently I checked my summerhouse which I got from 1st Choice Leisure Summer Buildings in 2000 and found that the back and side panels do not show any sign of wear. The treatment appears to be OK which is great after nearly 13 years. It may be after checking all of the above that your shed has had its day and it is now time to replace it. If so be very careful before buying a new one, certainly if you buy ‘blind’ on the Internet as many of these, being made with cheap chipboard and OSB (sheet material) roofs will not stand the test of time. By examining a new shed at a garden building display site, such as this one, you can feel confident they will stand the test of time and, as a bonus, will able to talk to someone who can give you good advice based on years of experience. This must make sense in the long run.