A storage shed isn’t just another piece of outdoor furniture. If you take proper care of it, it can be a lifetime investment.
However, did you know that the average lifespan of a wood shed is anywhere between 8 to 12 years? Even waterproof sheds require some looking after, because even though they may stop rain and snow from seeping in, they will wear out over time.
No matter the level of quality workmanship that goes into its construction, a wood shed requires your attention and care. Here are a few important tips for shed maintenance that you need to know to get the most out of your storage shed.
Place Your Shed Properly
The first step of shed maintenance actually involves shed placement, both where you build it on your property and where it rests on the ground. Depending on the climate of where you live, sunlight can cause the greatest environmental wear-and-tear. Even though wood sheds can withstand sun damage better than plastic or metal counterparts, they still expand and contract with the heat, which can lead to cracks appearing over time. Make sure your shed is located in a place where it will receive a few hours of shade in the day to help mitigate the effects of long hot days.
If you’re in a colder, wetter climate, even with a waterproof shed, you’ll want to make sure to use concrete pavers as a base. As the ground becomes saturated with water, especially in the winter and spring months, excessive moisture can seep into the wood and cause it to rot from the bottom up. By having a sturdy, non-absorbent paver, you can ensure greater longevity and easier shed maintenance in the future.
As a general rule, avoid placing your shed under trees if you can. During the spring, as trees begin to produce sap, they may drip onto the roof, and during the fall, leaves can pile up quickly. Both of these can rapidly speed up wear-and-tear on the roof and cause excessive dampness in the shed itself.
Depending on your local by-laws, you may not be able to place your wood shed against the fence in the backyard. This not only may annoy your neighbours, but also keeps one or more sides of the shed out of your view, keeping any signs of wear-and-tear out of sight. Try to leave enough space to walk around your shed so you can perform a circle check for damage.
Finally, keep the inside of your shed neat and organized so that you can easily check for signs of damage and repair them without having to navigate through clutter.
What To Look For When Performing Shed Maintenance
Cracks and Holes
The most obvious signs of wood shed damage are cracks, holes, and fissures along the walls, roof, and floor. If your shed has windows, check the panes and mouldings carefully for gaps.
If you have a waterproof shed, you’ll likely not encounter issues related to mold in the beginning, but over time you’ll want to look for discolorations and stains where the walls meet the roof and along the windows.
Be sure to inspect the foundation and the corners of the wood shed as well, since they are often overlooked and any damage there can spread.
Insects and Pests
Let’s face it: bugs will find a way to get in. This is true especially for wood sheds, which are left outside and unattended the vast majority of the time.
While they may not be harmful to humans (most of them, anyway), insects can accelerate the natural wear-and-tear of your wood shed as they burrow, lay eggs, and get into the items that you’re trying to safeguard (especially grains and seeds).
If you find bugs, remove them carefully or consider calling a professional exterminator, and afterwards make sure to seal any storage contents that may be attracting bugs to your shed. Also be sure to trim the grass and other vegetation around the perimeter as some plants are also havens for insects who will no doubt find their way into the wood shed.
Finally, sweep the floor and corners on a regular basis, as dust and other particulate that’s left on the ground can also leave a scent that attracts insects.
Painting and Washing your Storage Shed
One last good practice for effective shed maintenance is to take care of the exterior.
First, keep the walls and roof free of dirt, leaves, and debris as often as possible with regular washing and wiping. Don’t wait until spring cleaning to do so: if you’ve mowed the lawn, for example, grass clippings can stick to the walls. Spray them with a gentle water setting on your hose (don’t use a jet setting since it will corrode the wood over time).
Many wood sheds have weather-proofing treatments and paints that help ensure longevity, but as with anything, the treatment will deteriorate over time. After a few years – and depending what kind of elements and weather your shed has been exposed to during that time – you’ll want to re-paint your shed exterior from top to bottom.
By performing these simple preventative and ongoing shed maintenance routines, you’ll get the most out of your outdoor storage shed for a long time to come. If you’re in the market for a quality storage shed, we have a wonderful selection. Click here to learn more.
About Heartland Sheds
Heartland Sheds has been building quality sheds since 1975, with over 3 million satisfied customers. All sheds are made in the USA, and delivery and installation are included with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.