How to Take Care of your Backyard Wooden Shed

                                                                   backyard wooden shed

Wooden backyard sheds are a necessity for every garden. From garden sheds to storage sheds, backyard wood sheds in New Zealand have a variety of uses. Not only are they more attractive than metal and plastic sheds, but wooden sheds are more affordable. Better suited to New Zealand weather, wooden sheds are also both warmer and more durable. Even the cheaper, more affordable wooden sheds can last a lifetime.

However, it is important to keep your wooden shed properly maintained. If not given proper care, your shed will have a shorter life. This is especially true for a New Zealand storage shed, which is exposed to a wide range of weather like rain, snow, and sun, all of which can damage the timber. Moisture can also seep into the wood, causing algae, rot, and mold to grow. Insects, termites, and mold can also damage the wooden shed.

Because of this, it is of extreme importance that you take proper care of your backyard wood shed. This may seem a daunting and tedious task at first. However, taking care of your wooden shed is well worth it, whether it’s a simple garden shed in Christchurch or a heavy equipment storage shed in Ashburton. Spending some time every year taking care of your backyard shed is far more affordable and less time consuming than replacing rotten wood, and it’s definitely better than having to go to a New Zealand shed company to buy an entirely new wooden shed.

To help you out, here is a comprehensive guide to maintaining your backyard wood shed.

Preparing the Walls

The first part of your backyard shed you should make a point to maintain are the walls. As wooden sheds are prone to rot, it’s important to apply some type of finish to give it protection from moisture penetration and keep it water-resistant. Wood is usually already treated, so expect your New Zealand storage shed to already have a base coat. It’s still important to add an extra layer of finish - whether it is a wood preservative, wood stains, or wood oils.

Before you do this, though, you first have to prepare your shed. Make sure that nothing is in contact with your shed’s walls or roof. Overhanging tree branches or hedges can pose a threat, possibly piercing the roofing, increasing the chances of water damage, and scraping away the base coat finish.

Next, wash and brush all the wooden surfaces of your backyard shed. Remove dust, cobwebs, and other dirt, to make sure the finish is applied directly to the shed surface and does not include other materials in the coat. Make sure to clean both inside and outside of the wooden shed.

Afterward, inspect the wood for any cracks. You’ll have to make sure the backyard shed’s surfaces are as smooth as possible, so the finish can be applied easily. If the cracks aren’t very big, you will have to apply epoxy and wood dust as a filler. You may also need to sandpaper weak areas of the wood. If there are parts with damp or partially rotted wood, treat those areas with wood hardener. If the rotten wood needs replacement, replace them with new panels. Also, make sure to fasten all loose panels tightly to the shed.

Choosing the Finish

When your backyard wooden shed is ready for the finish, you need to consider what type of finish to use. The most common option is solvent-based wood preservers. Wood preservers seep deep into the wood, protecting the timber from insects and rot. You can choose a clear wood preserver, or one with a brown color to retain the natural wood appearance. It’s important to know that many wood preservers contain wax, and may repel other water-based types of finishing that are applied on top of it.

Another option is using exterior wood oils, which also penetrate the wood, keeping it supple and nourished while keeping it water-repellent and preventing it from warping and forming cracks and splits. Some wood oils are also UV-resistant, which will help prevent your wooden shed bleaching from sun damage.

If you prefer your shed to have color, consider using garden paints or wood stains. Garden paints will let you coat your New Zealand storage shed in bright, clean colors, while wood stains are similar to wood preservers that give protection while coloring the wood.

Whatever you choose to apply as a finish to your backyard shed, make sure to apply a fresh coat of the same material you first used annually. Do this in times of warm weather, when no rain is forecast for the next few days, and always make sure to clean your shed beforehand.

Maintaining the Windows and Doors

Make sure to check your wooden shed’s windows and doors yearly, and make sure they are intact to keep water from entering. Check if all hinges are regularly lubricated, and the areas around the window sills and door frames are kept free from dirt. Water tends to collect in windows and door cracks, so check if the wood holding the windows and doors in place is still in good condition, and if in need of replacement, do so.

See if the putty around each window is still intact - both inside and outside the backyard shed. Old, brittle putty can result in leaking windows, which can let moisture enter the shed’s interior and damage the wood. If it is cracked or worn away and in need of replacement, simply reapply putty to the window. Before doing this, though, remove the old putty. You may also consider using silicone as an alternative to putty since it is equally effective in keeping windows sealed.

As for your door, check if it closes smoothly. If your door gets stuck, make sure to clean the door frame from the spider webs, leaves, insects, and other dirt that may have accumulated there. You may also need to sand the door’s edges if the wood has warped over time. To prevent water from seeping in during rainy weather, you may also consider putting a rain protector over your door.

Maintaining the Roof

The roof is probably the part of the shed that needs the least maintenance, yet is the most important to keep maintained. If your roof is near a tree, make sure to clean any debris off the top of the roof to prevent the material from sagging. Regularly check your roof to see if your backyard shed’s roofing felt needs replacing. If you discover a rip or tear, the best choice is to remove the damaged part and replace it immediately.

If your backyard shed has a metal roof, check for holes. While these are uncommon, as metal roofs are generally very durable, you should immediately apply roofing cement to the area. If there are panels with rust, cut them out and replace the panel. In the case that your metal roof is painted, maintain the paint as well. Every 1-2 years, scrape off peeling paint, then apply a fresh coat to ensure your roof is properly protected.

All in all, maintaining your wooden garden shed or storage shed may seem like much work. But it’s definitely worth it keeping the structure in good condition. Durable and affordable, wooden sheds are most effective for storage and the most aesthetically pleasing addition for your backyard when kept in good condition.

However, there may come a point when it’s impractical to restore an old shed. When the wood is too damaged, it may be too inconvenient, time-consuming, and expensive to replace it. This is the time you should consider buying a new shed.

We at The Wooden Shed Company provide quality, affordable wooden sheds of all sizes all across New Zealand. To contact us, call us at 027 441 4010 or email us at the Call us now to request a quote!


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