This time of year, your shed can expect to take a battering, with the strong winds and heavy rain taking their toll
This has prompted garden building and furniture retailer BillyOh.com to come up with ten of the best ways to help you to protect and maintain your shed from the elements.
Taking certain precautions and conducting some regular maintenance can help you avoid unsightly and costly damage to your garden buildings,
1 Treat your shed
A lot of sheds are untreated so that you can decorate to your own style and taste. However, treating it actually protects it from harsh weather conditions.
Different treatments will have a variety of effects too. For example, oil-based treatments will soak into the timber, providing long-lasting UV protection, whereas pressure treating wood preservatives deep into the pre-cut timber has a more thorough coverage than painting or spraying it, and will also protect the wood from insects and fungus.
Place your log cabin at the highest point in your garden or, if your garden's flat, use bricks or a platform to elevate it by at least two inches off the ground. Also, use a gutter to direct the water away from your shed.
Avoid having any leaves fall on to the roof of your shed and blocking any guttering and drainage systems by placing it away from trees in your garden.
The roof of any building will be especially vulnerable during the winter months when high winds and heavy rain are more frequent, particularly for sheds where roofs could be nailed in. Make sure you check both the inside and outside of your shed roof and resolve any issues such as rusting nails, black mould, sagging of materials or dark spots.
Your shed door hinge will be one of its weakest points. Usually attached with short screws, these can be toughened up by replacing the screws with nuts and bolts and supergluing the nut to the bolt on the inside of the door. This way, your door is sure to stay put amongst the wind and rain.
Inspect your shed's windows from the inside first, as cold air could be wafting through from the outside. Seal the windows both inside and out, and draft-proof your shed by installing foam weather stripping insulating tape. This prevents winter drafts and keeps moisture from outside the shed.
Wooden floors in most garden buildings will be elevated to allow air circulation under the foundation - this needs to be maintained at all times, especially in winter when sludgey, muddy gardens will be common.
A significant cause of rot in garden sheds will be rising damp which is caused by ground water being absorbed through the floor bearers and into the floor. Therefore, it's important to maintain a barrier between the ground and the floor of your shed, to prevent any unwanted moisture.
8 Air circulation
If you're not likely to use your shed during the colder months, it's worth opening the windows and doors periodically to increase the air flow throughout the building and get rid of stagnant air which can hold a lot of moisture.
9 Let your shed breathe
Keep perishables (ie paper, cardboard, material) off of the floor and walls to prevent them from sucking moisture out of the timbers - they like to breathe so make sure you allow air space around all of the items in the building.
Winter is the perfect time of year for thieves to creep into your back gardens, as it's often dark, cold and there's likely to be no-one else milling around. A way of deterring criminals is to invest in a hasp and a strong padlock, or alternatively, go one step further and fit an alarm.