Garden shed

How to Damp Proof Your Shed?

5 July 2021

Everyone in Britain who has a garden knows just how valuable a shed is. They are ideal for storing your garden tools, your gardening gear – or whatever other hobbies or clutter you might need to keep outside.

However, every single shed is subject to damp just like any other structure would be if its outside and subject to the elements.

With that in mind, it will be easy to understand why damp proofing is crucial to the ongoing health and wellbeing of your shed, and in this article we are going to provide several helpful tips on keeping your shed dry and damp free.

How Can Damp Affect My Shed?

The main ways that damp are going to effect your shed are going to be very similar to the ways that damp can effect your main property.

The first way is via water ingress, which is basically the process of water making its way into your properties constructive elements due to a defect.

The second way that dampness can occur in your shed is through condensation. This can happen if your shed doesn’t have a lot of ventilation and you often spend time inside it – or if you have your amenities like a washer or dryer in your shed, and it doesn’t vent correctly.

If moist, warm air remains within your shed and cannot escape it safely, it will condense on the first cooler surface that it comes into contact with – which in most cases will be your shed walls.

How Can I Damp Proof My Shed?

Damp proofing your shed isn’t a one off process, it’s something you will need to spend a small amount of time on periodically throughout the year. If you keep it up though you will enjoy a shed protected from the elements and the onset of damp for as long as you are vigilant.

Regular Maintenance of the Shed Roof

A main component of damp proofing your shed is keeping up a regular maintenance schedule. Obviously, a large part of that schedule should be dedicated to keeping the roof of your shed in good condition.

The roof of your shed is particularly susceptible to damp, as its not only an area that might go unnoticed during day to day activities, but also because the roof is going to be the (obvious) first point of contact for rainfall.

This means that your shed’s roof is going to be particularly vulnerable to dampness – not just because the wood that comprises the roof could establish damp, but because any potential leak could cause damp to set in your shed’s walls or flood – or any surface within.

Make sure to look out for any gaps or holes in your shed’s roof that could allow water to leak into your shed, or permeate into the shed roof. If you do find any holes then it would be best to repair them as needed.

Regular Maintenance of Walls, Windows and Doors

The walls, windows and any doors of your shed are going to be the next major concern when it comes to water ingress and dampness in your shed.

To start, you should ideally be applying wood treatment to your shed’s timber surfaces at least once a year, just because these treatments help to stave off potential rot, as its always easier to prevent than cure when it comes to property care.

Also, you should look out for any other gaps or holes present in your shed, and make sure to repair them where necessary to stop water ingress before it can happen. Wood can crack over time, so using something like a wood filler can have a great effect at stopping water seeping through the cracks.

Install Insulation in your Shed

Whilst it might not seem the most prudent thing to do, installing insulation in your shed is actually an incredibly efficient way to reduce condensation based damp.

Just like the inside of a home, your shed is going to see condensation build up when the temperature changes outside.

Insulation means that the resting temperature inside your shed is going to be a little more consistent, reducing the risk of condensation greatly, and is actually one of the chief ways that condensation, and mould, can be reduced.

Improve Your Sheds Ventilation

Another great way to reduce the build up and risk of eventual condensation based damp is with ventilation inside the shed itself.

Ventilation is key, because if there is a consistent air flow in and out of the shed then the chances of condensation and mould setting in are greatly reduced.

You can achieve this really easily, even opening up your shed doors on a regular basis (when it’s dry) will help a lot when it comes to ventilation.

However, if you want to provide an automatic airflow within your shed then it may be worth investing in passive vents that can be placed on either side of your sheds walls, without the worry of water ingress.

Damp Proofing a Shed Before it is Even Built

If you are still in the planning stages when it comes to your shed then it may well be worth looking into how you might incorporate damp proofing into the plans for the construction.

One of the main reasons that sheds can suffer badly from damp is because of moisture being drawn up from the ground via a process known as capillary action. Combine that with the fact that timber naturally attracts moisture, and you can see why damp might be a big problem if you don’t factor for it during your planning.

You can easily avoid a lot of the potential damp problems associated with capillary action by constructing your shed on a sturdy platform, and keep it off ground level. A concrete platform for example will provide a sturdy base for a shed, and provide a barrier between your sheds base and the moist ground.

Storing Tools and Equipment in Storage Boxes

Even if you do take all the extra measures described to protect your shed from damp, you might find that it still develops in your shed. We would advise that you keep your tools and other equipment in your shed within a storage box, or something similar.

This step will help your tools from becoming damaged, suffering from the likes of rust or corrosion that can often accompany damp in areas where damp or condensation is especially heavy.

Protecting Your Shed From Damp

We hope that this article has given you some idea on carrying out damp proofing on your shed. By carrying out regular maintenance, adding insulation and improving ventilation you can expect to keep your shed secure, dry, and damp free.