Your Shed In The Winter - How To Keep It And What To Keep Inside

Snow, cold, rain, wind - these are the four enemies of the garden furniture during the cold season. Even if you live in area where it doesn't snow and the temperatures don't go too low (you lucky), you still need to think about your furniture and especially the shed. There are two main things you need to focus on: the shed itself and the things you store in it. Let's see what is the influence of the four enemies on each of them:

Your Shed And The Snow

Snow makes the garden look nice and clean. The shed can also look good covered by thick snow - and sometimes this can be useful.
Winter Shed
Photo by seaworthy at Flickr

If it's very cold outside (under 0 degrees C / 32 F) the snow can serve as isolation and keep the temperature in the shed a bit better. If you store temperature sensitive stuff inside, it's good to keep the snow on top and around the shed when it's too cold. When the weather is better however you need to clean up the snow. Otherwise it starts to thaw which causes water leaks. The water leaks are especially dangerous in the winter - the water goes even in the smaller cracks and stays there for long to cause the wooden shed rot and the metal shed rust. When the weather becomes very cold again, the water turns into ice and makes the cracks wider and wider.

When the snow stays for long specially on a wooden shed it can damage the shed roof. Not all roofs are designed to sustain too heavy/thick snow cover (that's why gable roofs are better for places with severe winter). So keep the snow over it only when it's very cold.

If the snow doesn't go inside the shed it's not going to cause problems to what you store. However if you bring in snow with your shoes try to clean it as it may make the floor of the shed slippery.

Your Shed And The Rain

In many areas winter is recognized more with the rains rather than for the snow. The abundant rains causes similar problems. In fact when it rains it's easier for the water to find cracks and create leaks in a not well isolated shed. When it's cold and the sunlight is scanty the shed remains wet for days or even weeks. This can cause rot and mould outside, and what's worse - inside. There isn't much you can do agains water - you should have isolated the shed well before the winter.

If water goes inside in the cold time it can freeze into ice, then thaw, then freeze again and so on for very long time. The dampness can be disastrous for tools, clothes and food that you might be storing in the shed. So you should at least make sure that the shed remains dry inside - clean the water, ventilate it regilarly and dry it with a tower when needed.

Your Shed And The Cold

The cold itself isn't that dangerous for most good sheds. You should however have in mind few important things:

  • The vinyl sheds may lose solidity when the weather is very cold (plastic has this disadvantage). Be more careful during such time not to break a door, wall or a shelf inside.

  • If you store food or drinks in it you may need additional isolation from the low temperatures - towels, nylon etc.

  • When it's very cold don't touch metal shed or metal parts of the shed with unprotected hand. It can be very unpleasant and even got you injured.

  • Doors and windows may become harder to open and close due to changes in the material structure

It's not economically accountable to heat the shed during the cold time, but you can at least improve the isolation.

Your Shed And The Wind

Wind - when talking about normal winter winds, not a hurricane - is the least of the problems for your shed. The wind itself isn't going to cause much - its destructive power increases when it rains or snow. The wind can help the water and snow get inside the shed using slits around the doors and the windows (if you have windows). It also reduces the temperature inside and increases the cold. If the door doens't close well a stron wind can open it and do quite unpleasant damages inside the shed.

Protecting the shed from the wind is not a winter-specific action. It starts from the moment of choosing your shed location. You can reduce the wind's power by placind the shed near a fence, near the house or near a tree. If you know the which direction is most windy in your place, you can situate the shed in a way that not a wall, but an edge will meet it.

There's nothing scary in the winter as long as your garden shed is concerned but if you want it to live longer and serve you well you need to put some care for it.

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