How to Prepare Your Shed for Winter

How to Prepare Your Shed for Winter

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Avoid a winter collapse of your outdoor shed.

Your shed doesn’t have to be prepared for winter, right? Think again. Structurally, your shed may seem okay, but there could be unseen problems that might worsen in the middle of the winter, especially following a heavy, wet snowfall. A worst case scenario: your shed collapses, damaging or ruining everything that is inside.

Shed Materials

If your shed is made of polymer, the only thing that you may have to do is give it a good cleaning before winter sets in and checking the connection points to ensure that nothing has worked its way loose.

If your shed is made of aluminum, check the bolts to ensure that nothing has separated and the various sections — sides, top and flooring to verify that everything is connected. Clean off debris, including leaves and branches, from the top of the shed.

For wooden sheds, your winter preparation is a bit more complex, requiring you to treat the timber once annually to preserve the wood. Wood, when it absorbs or loses moisture, is prone to shrink or swell. To prevent moisture from damaging the wood, a sealant such as a varnish can preserve the wood. Even better: consider a three-in-one paint arrangement that includes primer, undercoat and a gloss for the best protection and most satisfying look advises Jeff Howell, writing for the Telegraph. [1]

Shed Interior

Inside, your shed likely contains valuable equipment including a lawn mower, leaf blower, snow blower, gardening equipment and pool supplies. Any motorized equipment should be winterized including your lawn mower, which can benefit from its gasoline and gas lines drained and oil changed. Swap out the spark plug now or wait until spring just as you prepare to cut the grass for the first time.

Cover over any equipment that is prone to rusting with plastic sheathing. Sweep out interior and remove any standing water. Identify the location of the leak and seal that entrance. Look for signs of animal habitation including squirrels and other rodents looking for a place to hole up for the winter.

Shed Exterior

Lastly, look around the exterior perimeter of the shed to ensure that the surrounding ground is firm and that the shed is set evenly upon its foundation. [2] Holes suggest that animals may be living underneath the shed and possibly preparing to enter the shed through the floor. Build up the soil around the shed, too, if water beats a path to the shed and threatens to get inside.

References

[1] The Telegraph; Wood Preservatives: ‘Why Has My Shed Door Swollen So Much?’; Jeff Howell; February 17, 2010

[2] Popular Mechanics; 5 Secrets to Building a Better Shed: DIY Guy; Joseph Truini; June 27, 2008

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Categories: Outdoor Structures

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".