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I have heard countless horror stories, rumours, and inaccurate info about summer houses riddled with dampness and deterioration. While this can happen, it shouldn’t, and I want to set the story straight and remove any doubt you may have.

If you have a quality summer house with the right preventative factors, dampness shouldn’t be an issue. So do summer houses get damp? Possibly, but I explain below how this can be avoided, and how your summer house can be a damp-free haven, any time of the year.

Importance of Preventing Dampness in Summer Houses

If you are unaware, let’s start with a quick crash course on the problem of dampness. It can occur in outbuildings in certain circumstances due to a build-up of moisture.

Dampness results in mould and can rot timber. In extreme cases, an excess of dampness can cause respiratory problems, blocked noses, and allergic reactions, particularly in children and people with existing skin and/or respiratory problems. Basically, dampness is bad so you don’t want it occurring in your summer house!

Factors Contributing to Dampness

To understand how to prevent dampness in your summer house you must first know what causes it. There are several common factors including moisture, ventilation, and the construction quality of the structure.

Moisture Sources

Knowing where the moisture sources are occurring is important to prevent dampness. This can be through seepage from the ground, holes in the roof, or poor sealing around windows and doors. If you do get dampness it should be easy to spot and you can then look at what is causing the problem in that area.

Inadequate Ventilation

Poor ventilation is a prime cause of dampness as moisture can build up inside your summer house without an adequate flow of hot and cold air to balance the interior pressure. If you never have the doors and windows open, or your summer house has no air vents, this could cause poor ventilation.

Construction and Materials

Shoddy construction quality with loose joints, cracks, and gaps can all contribute to dampness as the water can easily seep in. If you opt for a cheap summer house that uses poor-quality materials then it is far more likely to get damp as opposed to one of our premium summer house options. The initial cost may be more, but you will save on repairs and maintenance due to repairs from damp problems.

How to Prevent Your Summer House From Getting Damp?

Armed with the knowledge of how dampness occurs you can tackle the issue head-on and make sure your summer house has a range of preventative features such as waterproofing and insulation.

Proper Insulation and Vapor Barriers

I advise only considering a properly insulated summer house. Ideally, it should have insulation on the floor, roof, and walls. This should be adequately thick and is a primary preventative measure against dampness but will also make the summer house habitable all year round – even in the cold winter months.

Ventilation and Air Circulation

Whenever you use your summer house, make sure you open the windows and doors to promote healthy air circulation. Not only is this good for your breathing, but it helps reduce condensation and the possibility of dampness.

Even if you are not using your summer house on a particular day you should leave the windows on a latch or prop the door open providing the weather is OK.

Ideally, the structure should also have a series of air vents on the external walls to further improve circulation.

Regular Maintenance and Repairs

If you want your summer house to last then you must be willing to look after it and upkeep it. This will mean period repairs such as re-applying stain and waterproof treatment or re-sealing windows and doors for example. This little work will ensure your summer house lasts for decades and doesn’t get damp.


Waterproofing is a simple anti-damp measure too and this can be done in several ways in a summer house. The roof can be made from waterproof materials to make sure that rainwater doesn’t penetrate through. Also, waterproof stain or treatment on the external walls helps protect from rain and dampness.

Choosing Damp-Resistant Materials

Ideally, the cabin should be made from high-quality timber and it should have a damp-resistant ceiling. The external treatment should have damp-resistant qualities and you can even look for damp-proof paint to use on the plastering that goes over the plasterboard and insulation frame.

A Properly Maintained Summer House Shouldn’t Get Damp

As you can see, the key is to get the right summer house with suitable materials and features. Insulation is a must, while other things like waterproofing, proper air circulation and ventilation make a huge difference. Combined together, these features work to prevent dampness and ensure your summer house is always habitable and dry.

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,
Phone 01483 237550