Winterizing Your Backyard Shed
Winter is probably the hardest season of the year on a garden shed. To protect it, you need to prepare for the weather to come and organize the contents. The following will provide a guide to help you winterize your outdoor storage shed.
Step 1 – Examine the Outside of the Shed
Look for any loose or damaged parts of the shed. Check that the door fits well and that the hinges and latch are in good condition.
Look at the roof. If it has shingles, check that they are all in place and in good condition. If the roof is felted, check for any tears. If there is guttering fixed to the shed, ensure that it is cleaned out together with any down pipes.
Make sure that any windows are well fitted. Replace any broken panes. Push firmly against each of the corner posts to ensure that the shed is still well braced.
Step 2 – Check the Environment
Make sure that there are no tree branches growing over the shed that could cause problems if weighed down or broken by snow. Make sure that there is nothing leaning against the shed that could create damp problem areas.
Step 3 - Check Inside the Shed
It is a good idea to empty the shed so that you can check the general condition and look for any problem areas. Look specifically for evidence of leaks. Any leaks need to be sealed.
Sweep the shed floor and walls to remove as much dirt as possible. Make sure all the shelves are in good condition and that the supports are sound.
Step 4 – Paint the Woodwork
Sheds should be painted once a year and this is the ideal time to do it. If the shed is bare wood, a coat of creosote will protect it very well.
Step 5 – Return Small Stuff to the Shed
All the tins of paint, fertilizers and odds and ends that were stored on the shelves should be checked to see that they are worth keeping. Anything that is past its ‘use by’ date should be tossed.
Step 6 – Return Gardening Equipment
Return the gardening equipment to the shed. Make sure that any tools you need for winter gardening are stored where they are easy to access. Check each tool before you store it. This is the best opportunity to check for damage and discard tools which might have become dangerous through wear and tear.
Step 7 – Machinery
Any machinery driven by gas engines should be serviced before being stored. This should ensure that they are ready as soon as the winter is over. If you have snow moving machinery make sure it is stored last. Store salt and grit for the footpaths near the door.
To be sure that you can actually get to your outdoor storage shed, it is always best to keep a snow shovel or spade inside your house.