How to Maintain a Shed - 12 Tips You Need to Know

Buying a shed and having it store your belongings or used as an extra living space is just the start, shed maintenance is something that you’ll need to upkeep unless you’re willing to replace the shed every few years. 

Maintaining your garden shed will take some time and dedication, but the payoff ensures that you have a strong structure that will look as good as it did when you first had it installed or built. 

If you’re not sure how to maintain a shed, then we have a full guide on the tips and tricks that you’ll need to carry out regularly to keep your shed in tip-top shape. 

1. Wash the outside 

It doesn’t really matter what the shed is built from, you still need to take the time to keep it clean. Whether it’s a composite shed, wood or metal you want to clean the exterior regularly before stains become a permanent fixture and also put a stopper to any mildew growth. 

Simple soap and water with a bucket and sponge is the simplest way to keep your shed clean. But if you have a pressure washer this is the quickest way to clean your shed exterior. Ensure that you use the lowest pressure setting to ensure you don’t damage the outside of the garden building. 

2. Treat wood regularly 

If you have a wooden shed you’ll need to spend time each year treating the wood, ensuring it’s protected through cold and wet weather particularly. 

It’s likely that if you’ve bought a ready-made shed that it will be treated by the manufacturer, however, it’s best to double-check as you’ll want to treat the wood within the first six months if not, then every year should provide adequate protection against the elements. 

3. Repair holes 

Whilst you’re cleaning your shed, give it a look over to ensure that there aren’t any small holes forming. If you leave them and don’t repair them straight away it could cost you a lot more in the long run. 

4. Maintain the metal fittings 

Not only do rusted metal fittings look untidy, but they don’t perform as well as they should, so it’s vital that you maintain them.

If you’re shed is pre-built and comes with cheap fixtures it’s worth replacing them in the first instance for ones created with galvanised steel. 

You’ll want to ensure that your fittings are oiled a couple of times a year, look for one that doubles up as a rust suppressant to help prolong the life of your metal fixtures. 

5. Keep the shed base clear 

Keeping the base of the shed clear from soil or plants is essential for avoiding your shed walls rotting from the bottom upwards. 

If you allow stuff to congregate at the base of the shed, you’re allowing moisture to hold onto the surface of the wood. This creates the perfect breeding ground for mould and fungi, which will eventually lead to your wood rotting. 

6. Watch out for nearby plants 

As we mentioned above, you’ll want to keep the bottom of the shed clear from debris and soil. But you need to also be wary of trees or plants that are close to your shed. 

Having plants too close to your shed can slow air circulation, which can become a problem after large amounts of rainfall. If your shed is surrounded by plants, rainwater won’t have a chance to dry quickly which could result in a mouldy shed. 

If there are overhanging branches by your shed, it could damage your roof, so be wary of this and cut back anything that could cause damage and incur costs for you. 

7. Keep windows secure 

Not only do you want to ensure that your windows are secure for security reasons, but you don’t want to develop dampness as a result of condensation. Every year ensure there aren’t any gaps in your shed windows. 

8. Give your shed a facelift 

Whilst it’s vital for your shed’s longevity to maintain it, you also want your shed to look good. This means giving it a cosmetic facelift with a lick of paint every year or two. This will not only keep your shed looking its best but also boost the overall look of your garden too. Compliment your garden, and choose something for your own style, whether that’s a wooden look or a bright colour. 

9. Keep the inside clean 

It’s easy to allow items to build up if you’re using your shed for storage, you can simply squeeze something else in there. But it’s important for your shed’s health that you clean out the inside of the shed regularly. Especially when items like bikes and golf clubs are stored in there as they soak up a lot of moisture. 

10. Keep organised 

As well as keeping the insides of your shed clean, you’ll want to ensure that they stay organised too. Take the time to make sure that everything has its place. 

Use things like magnetic strips to keep odd bits stored easily, use pegboards as another storage method, and hooks allow you to easily keep track of other items too. 

Make the most of the wall space as much as the floor space when it comes to organising your shed. 

11. Keep the shed pest-free 

Even the smallest of pests can be a nuisance and contribute to the deterioration of your shed. Keeping your shed pest-free can be time-consuming for you, but it’s vital for helping to keep your shed strong and sturdy through the years. Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Keep the perimeter of the shed clean and clear, ensure the grass is trimmed back from this area. 

  • Don’t stack firewood against the shed walls.

  • Don’t use your shed as a home for your wheelie bins, you’ll attract all different kinds of pests from the small to the bigger ones like rats and squirrels. 

  • Keep your floor clean by brushing it every few months.

  • If you store items like soil or seeds in your shed, ensure that you’re well sealed. If a pest gets a hint of a scent, they’ll burrow their way in. 

  • Ensure water isn’t allowed to pool, and clear up any that does. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other bugs, they’ll even lay eggs in the water.

12. Always think preventative maintenance

When it comes to maintaining your shed year in, year out, the best thing to think is that prevention is better than cure. By keeping on top of your shed, you’ll spend less time and money as opposed to if something big goes wrong. Keep checking on the shed’s roof, look for tears in the felt. 

Watch out for any decaying floorboards, you’ll want these to be replaced as soon as you can. Store your items thoughtfully, keeping things in order all year round. Don’t let items build-up and keep them clean to guarantee that there can’t be any hidden problems lurking.


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