It’s a fact – some garden sheds are more susceptible to condensation than others.
While a multitude of different materials are liable to trap moisture, vinyl-clad and metal sheds are the most serial offenders.
Shed condensation can be a really pesky problem, especially here, within the damp constraints of the United Kingdom.
But never fear – we’ve put together this handy guide on how to get rid, once and for all.
Garden Shed Condensation
Metal shed condensation is essentially the same problem as condensation in any other enclosed area. First, moisture gets trapped inside the shed. Then, due to the inevitable temperature difference which always exists between the inside and outside of a shed, the moisture will begin a process of evaporation. It rises until it reaches the coolest part of the shed – usually the roof, or the windows – and then condenses into droplets and drips down to the floor again, to complete the cycle, and the process starts again.
The problem with this is, of course, is that the process will, over time, damage the inside of your shed (as well as its contents) and also promote the growth of harmful mould and bacteria which you won’t want to be around for your health’s sake.
As a rule, self-assembly sheds are most vulnerable to the perils of condensation. Consequently, extra care must be taken during the assembly of the shed in order to nip this issue in the bud before it appears in the first place.
What might be the problem?
Fixtures and fittings
Most condensation issues arise due to a problem with the overall construction of the shed. Tiny gaps that act as filters for the damp outside air to creep in are one of the most common causes.
Roof and wall panels must be tightly secured in place, with all screws and bolts tightened as best possible in their place. Windows must be properly secured and insulated.
Alternatively, you may find that base of the shed is the condensation culprit. The first step, and subsequently the most fundamental in the construction of any shed is the laying of the base. Incidentally, ensuring you fit a secure base is imperative to the prevention of moisture leakage.
Here are a few simple tips to help you ensure that the base doesn’t cause you any unnecessary hiccups.
All things being equal, the base of a shed should only be slightly bigger than its base rails. Allow a couple of inches between the edges of the base and the outer joists or walls.
Another way to help keep any damp from setting in is installing a damp proof membrane underneath the base, without any areas exposed to soil or material which might easily become waterlogged. This way you will prevent moisture seeping up into the base and creating problems. This is a step worth considering at the beginning of the construction process, as you won’t be able to casually slip one in later on down the line. Also – keep in mind that if your shed’s base is below ground level, then the damp-proof membrane becomes redundant as moisture can seep in from the sides.
Whenever you lay a fresh concrete base, it needs time to set. Make sure that you give it at least a week in order to harden and dry out sufficiently. If you’re building in an environment that’s moist by nature, opt for a two week dry-off period. A damp base is perfect fuel for condensation to feast on, so make sure you check it’s thoroughly dry before proceeding.
When everything is set up and the shed is firmly attached to the base, apply a good waterproof sealant to the base rails of the shed. Make sure, however, that you apply it to the inside and not the outside of the shed’s base rails. Applying the sealant inside helps with future drainage of moisture; applying it outside can have the opposite effect.
If you find yourself in a situation where condensation already appears to be setting in, and the foundations of your shed are already laid, try displacing the shed momentarily and laying sleepers on top of the base before you restore the building to it’s original position.
This allows extra drainage for any loitering water particles, and also stops surface water seeping any further than the base in it’s quest to reach the floor of the garden shed.
It also enables good airflow between the floor of the shed and the base, which assists in drying out any moisture. If you do need to do this, make sure the wooden platform is sturdy enough to hold the weight of your shed comfortably.
Please note that this guide is intended to present general information regarding the subject. All information indicated is representative and not exhaustive which means that the results may vary depending on your item, its size, complexity, and other circumstances. You may or may not follow the guide. By following the guide, you accept the risks and acknowledge the possible invalidation of your manufacturer’s warranty. When in doubt, please ask your manufacturer before proceeding.