We all use the garden shed, summer house, garden workshops and log cabins for storage and the job we would like it to do is to keep all our garden accessories dry and away from the weather. However, it’s important to ensure you have good ventilation in the building to stop damp air building up. This is not normally a problem as most sheds and workshops have a little space around the door and sometimes a space near roof level.
This is good as this will allow air to flow through the shed removing musty, damp air and also helping to remove some heat during our summers.
It’s the sun shining is on the roof, which is normally black or green, and facing the sun, this is the cause of this heat. The temperature in the shed then rises and makes it a little uncomfortable to work in or to be in. It’s also possible that the boards will shrink slightly, but don’t worry too much about that as they will expand again when the weather cools down and get a little damper.
During the winter is the main time to worry. Being closed up can allow fungal spores to multiply and this can spread to the timber of the building, encouraging rot. Also, human activity or keeping animals in there can make it worse, so ensure that the shed is ventilated on a regular basis.
If there are no points for ventilation then these can be added reasonably easier by the addition of a plastic vent on both ends of the sheds, summer house or workshop, ideally. These can be left in an open position when not being used and can be closed if you wish to keep it warmer when you are working in there. The flow of air will then allow a transfer of air within your shed aiding a much less dense and drier atmosphere. A building with an opening window is also a good source of fresh air.
Ventilation can be helped by understanding how air moves about. As air warms up it gathers a little moisture and will rise drawing in cooler air underneath, until that warms up and rises. This helps to draw air in from outside with the warm (dampish) air leaving through the vents close to the top of the garden shed walls.
You can also aid ventilation with a fan situated at the top of the building wall. When operating this will expel the warmer air and will draw in fresher drier air. However, with this option, you do need some form of power to make it work. Although this can be a little more problematic it does give you more control over the air inside your shed, so worth considering.
Another area to consider is to ensure you leave a gap between your garden shed and any wall or buildings. This is not normally a problem as the roof, which overhangs, will stop you placing your shed directly next to the wall. There is normally no need to be concerned with any building control issues because, as a rule, they don’t relate to garden sheds. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your local council if you are thinking of building right next to a wall or other building.
You will also find on most good quality garden sheds and workshops, such as 1st Choice Leisure Buildings that there are gaps in between the floor joists. These are there for a good reason and that is to allow air to circulate underneath the shed summerhouse garden workshop floorboards. This helps to keep them nice and dry. Resist the temptation to board these gaps up to stop rodents from getting underneath. I accept that it makes a nice cosy place for these creatures but if you want to stop them getting under your shed floor you can use chicken wire over these open ends.
By following simple guidelines you can extend the life of your garden shed quite considerably. The reduction in condensation created will make for a drier building. It will also help to keep your valuables from the garden drier and ready to be used, rather than ending up covered in mildew.