The disadvantages of damp in your man-made shed

bolt-1751089_640

Sheds are the types of structures that can accumulate damp very easily. Usually people don’t even think about damp being a problem because sheds are normally well ventilated and you don’t normally store anything valuable in sheds. However, damp is a big problem – especially with wooden sheds – and if you’re not careful, you could end up with a big problem on your hands.

Wet rot

Assuming you’ve made your shed from wood, damp can often trigger wet rot, which can cut the lifespan of your shed by years. Water can seep into the wood either through condensation or trapped moisture, and if you’ve built your shed directly into the ground, the wood can absorb the moisture from the earth. Wet rot can leave you with an unstable and dangerous structure that could fall down on you at any moment and put anyone that enters at risk.

Warping and sagging

When the wood of your shed absorbs moisture, it can often bend out of shape. Your shed could end up leaning completely to one side or the wood can twist the nails and screws out of place. If this were to happen to your shed, it could possibly collapse at any moment. You could endanger anyone in close proximity of the structure, because warped wood is often unpredictable in the way it might fall apart. If the roof has collected moisture and started to sag, it could come down on top of an unsuspecting victim. If you keep the wood dry, you can prevent your shed from doing this and make it last a lot longer.

Mold

Mold from damp is never pleasant. It smells and looks awful, and it can be pretty dangerous to people with asthma eczema. It can cause an allergic reaction that leaves you tired and sore and sick. In worst case scenarios, it can even cause fever, fainting and vomiting which, if you have small children, can be incredibly difficult to manage. There’s not much point in owning a shed if anyone that enters is doomed to fall ill. Damp can hurt you as well as your shed, so you should regularly check for mold.

Damage your stored items

What do you normally keep in your shed? Your tools? Your children’s toys? Holiday decorations? Damp in your shed, if you’re not completely careful, could completely destroy these things. If the objects in your shed are made from any kind of absorbent material – wood, paper or fabric – they will absorb the lingering moisture pretty quickly. The wooden handles of your screwdrivers, your daughter’s old ragdoll, the cardboard boxes full of the scraps of your unfinished novel will all be covered in mould and ruined before you even realize it, which is why caring for the things you store in your shed requires caring for your shed first.

The important thing to realise when you build your shed is that it isn’t a structure you can leave alone. Structures like sheds that have direct contact with the ground often need more maintenance than others, or at least a decent amount of preplanning. Basements and cellars that also have direct contact with the ground often need additional precautions to prevent damp. Cellar tanking involves applying a waterproof membrane to the underground structure, and if your shed’s base has direct contact with the earth, it would be a good idea to look into giving it a similar treatment. Make sure that during the winter months your shed is well ventilated and has good drainage.