After you acquire a portable wooden shed, your first concern will probably be where in your garden will it be located. Your attention will next shift to planning and organizing it’s interior. With that done and considering it’s a brand new shed, your instinct will be to sit back and relax.
Except that isn’t the prudent thing to do if you want it to remain in good condition. Like any other building structure, portable wooden sheds need regular maintenance to better withstand the vagaries of the weather and time (see examples of portable sheds here https://www.woodtex.com/portable-buildings/).
Here are a number of practical things that you can do:
Clear Shrubs, Trees and Leaning Objects
Cut back shrubs and trees near the shed since they’ll only serve to impede air circulation and slow down the drying out of timber between rain showers. Overhanging branches introduce an even greater hazard – impact damage to the roof during high winds.
Also, it is possible for logs, tools and garden furniture to be left leaning against the back wall of the shed which will only lead to moisture accumulation. No matter what the object is, the golden rule is to make sure nothing remains in contact with the shed’s exterior.
Wood Treatment and Preservative
All exposed timber must be treated with high quality preservative to protect it from the effects of rain and snow. This is something you must do when you first install the shed (assuming it hadn’t been treated by the manufacturer) and continue to do at regular intervals.
The best wood preservatives, stains and paints will protect the shed from wood boring insects, fungal infection and rot. They also form a waterproof layer that prevents moisture from coming into direct contact with the wood surface.
Inspect the Roof
If the wooden shed has loose shingles or felt, their likelihood of withstanding strong winds is significantly reduced. It’s far better to tighten things up and make small changes before the huge winds strike. Otherwise, the building may experience damage that will require expensive emergency repairs.
You can find replacement shingles and felt at your local building materials store.
Check Out Joints
Examine the locks, handles, hinges and padlocks to ensure they are all moving smoothly. Apply a coat of oil on these metal joints to keep it that way. If you want to get the lubricating oil right inside the contact points without taking things apart, you’ll need a spray can with a straw.
Also, ensure windows and doors open and close easily. In case they don’t, check to confirm the frames aren’t twisted, warped or swollen. If necessary, plane or sand down surfaces in order to free up sticking windows or doors but remember to apply wood treatment and preservative afterwards.
Clear the Gutters
Your shed needs gutters for efficient draining of rainfall. However, a gutter can also introduce new risks. For a portable wooden shed, check that gutters aren’t blocked once a week or every fortnight. Clear any leaves, twigs and other objects that may have accumulated.
Blocked gutters can cause overflow of rainwater down the structure’s wooden walls causing damp and rot. Should the shed be underneath a large tree, leaf and twig buildup could prove a headache. Place a mesh trap at the top of the downpipe that will allow water to flow through but stop litter from blocking the pipe itself.
Check for Subsidence
When going through your regular maintenance routine, use a spirit level to check that the windows, door frames and walls are still at right angles relative to the ground. If they are no longer at 90 degrees, your shed could be suffering from the effects of damp or subsidence.
This is a problem that besets portable buildings significantly more than permanent buildings. It won’t always be easy to rectify but your chances of successful resolution are significantly increased when you identify the problem early.
Tidy Up the Inside
Tidying up the shed won’t lead to prolonged usability. However, keeping the inside clean and neatly organized makes it easier to catch early warning signs of deterioration such as watermarks, mold and rot. Pay particular attention to the interior after a downpour. It will be the best time to establish the presence of leaks in the roofs, walls, windows or doors.
Clear Out Debris from the Base
Like trees and shrubs, grass and fallen leaves around the foot of a wooden building can slow down air flow and hamper the drying out of wooden walls or the building foundation. This makes the shed more vulnerable to moisture damage even if the entire shed has been treated with preservative as required. Clear debris at least once a week.
Wood is one of the most beautiful materials you can use for construction. It exudes elegance and aesthetic appeal. Yet, wood loses its allure when it starts to deteriorate. Regular yet minimal maintenance can increase your shed’s lifespan and actually reduce overall costs in the long term.