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How To Prevent Shed Rot?

How to Look After Your Garden Shed

Issues with rotting wood can be a common complaint for shed owners.

Prevention is better than cure, so make sure to be proactive and try some of these quick and easy ways to prevent your shed from rotting, before it is too late.

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Rot - Cause and Identification

Before discussing the best ways to prevent rot from appearing in the first place, it is important to have a basic understanding of what causes rot and how to spot it. Rot is part of the natural decaying process, at the root of which is fungi. Fungi are attracted to damp wood as they feed on the water inside for sustenance.

This then causes a natural break down of the wood to occur. This is why rotten sheds will begin to disintegrate and fall apart once the rot has taken hold. For this reason, rot is unfortunately fairly easy to identify. The wood of your shed will either still be wet or will have dried out and become brittle.

In both instances, the wood will be flaking and the structure will have warped and broken down. This is why rot makes things so difficult to repair and why prevention is key.

Solid Foundations

Rot can only occur once wood has become wet, as this then allows the necessary fungi to grow and thrive. One of the best ways to prevent your shed getting wet in the first place is to make sure the foundations are solid.

This means that the wood cannot absorb any water from the ground, making it much less likely for damp and therefore rot to set in. You can either opt for a solid waterproof material for your shed base, such as concrete, or use girders to raise your shed off the ground and away from pooling water areas.

Garden Placement

Believe it or not, where you choose to place your shed in your garden can make a big difference when it comes to warding off rot. Choosing an area that gets plenty of sunshine is the best option as it will help to ensure that your wood shed dries out quickly after bad weather.

Placing your shed somewhere that is poorly lit, or where the roof is covered by low hanging branches, can prevent your shed from fully drying out properly. Your shed is made to be outdoors and will always get wet at some point. However, the sooner you can make sure it dries out again, the better it will be when it comes to preventing fungi from starting to grow.

Upkeep

Many people think that once they have purchased their shed they can leave it in the garden and not have to bother with caring for it again.

After all, a shed is made to be outside, right? Well, not exactly. Yes, a shed is constructed to provide outdoor storage and space, but it still needs care and attention, particularly if you have a wooden shed.

Wood is always going to be vulnerable to the effects of damp and as such will need to be treated annually. The best way to do this is by using specialist wood treatments or paints along with water-repelling sealants. Don't forget to seal any windows too as these can also crack as the weather changes and provide easy access for rot causing fungi.

Pressure Treated

If all this upkeep sounds like a bit too much hassle, then why not opt for a pressure treated shed instead? These wood sheds come with pretreated wood, meaning you don't have to worry about resealing or treating them each year.

The specialist chemicals used during the pressure treatment process means that the wood is saturated with the correct chemicals to prevent fungi from ever being able to grow.

Whilst this of course is a very attractive option for most shed owners, it does of course come with an extra cost and is not a viable solution for those keen to keep their existing shed. However, it may be the ideal solution for those looking to replace a shed that has been irreparably damaged as a result of rot and water exposure.

Guarantees

When purchasing your garden shed, it is also a good idea to keep a lookout for any guarantees that may be on offer. Many retailers now offer anti-rot guarantees for a certain number of years. So, if you are looking for a new shed, make sure to ask and take advantage of any anti-rot guarantees that may be on offer to you.

An anti-rot guarantee means that you can enjoy your shed for longer, without having to worry about any rot related issues, so don't forget to check this when you make your next shed purchase.