How to Protect Your Shed — Use This Yearly Maintenance Checklist
by Dakota Storage Buildings, on June 15, 2018
This post was updated on May 28, 2020.
Just like your house is an investment, so are high-quality storage buildings.
Backyard sheds are a valuable and worthwhile investment—so be sure to upkeep them with proper shed maintenance.
In addition to regular home maintenance and yearly home spring cleaning, there’s also an equal need for routine yard care and shed repair and preservation.
While you may be aware of ways to winterize your shed for cold weather, there are basic tasks you can do throughout the rest of the year to ensure that your shed is in tip-top shape. Staying on top of regular shed maintenance tasks will help you to avoid larger, costly repairs, and save time.
To guarantee that your shed lasts a long time and continues to function at full capability, take a moment to review our shed maintenance checklist.
Shed Maintenance Checklist
The main purpose of regular maintenance is to ensure that all equipment required for production is operating at 100% efficiency at all times, right? Here are some things to keep an eye on throughout the year.
Check for leaks, cracks, breaks, and holes.
Whether it’s a missing shingle or a cracked window, it’s important to fix problems as soon as they happen. If there aren’t obvious problems, proactively looks for potential issues in order to prevent them from starting or developing into an issue down the road.
Anything from bad weather to fallen tree branches can tear the felt or damage the roof. To prevent issues, check the roof of your shed on a regular basis. Even if your roof seems to be in working order, water can still sneak into your shed. To discover leaks, look out for discoloration on the ceiling and walls, particularly stains and darker patches which may indicate dripping or running water.
When you’re giving your shed a once-over, don’t confuse condensation with a leak. Condensation occurs when the moisture in the air forms water droplets on a cold surface. A properly-ventilated shed is unlikely to have major problems with condensation but you can expect colder parts of the shed to attract condensation.
Bear in mind, water can also penetrate a shed from the ground. If your shed sits directly on the ground, consider building a proper foundation for it using concrete, cinder blocks, or pressure treated timber.
Whatever leaks, cracks, breaks, or holes you spy, make sure to repair all of them as soon as possible.
In short, consider inspecting these specific areas—
- Windowpanes, sills, and seals
Keep your shed pest-free.
Do pesky spiders, ants, pine beetles, wasps, and rodents like hanging around your shed? Perhaps they’ve made your shed their personal home. Not only can this be a nuisance to you, but it can also contribute to the deterioration of your shed and the items stored inside.
Keep your shed pest-free. Here’s how.
- Trim all grass and vegetation around the entire perimeter.
- Don’t stack firewood against the exterior of your shed.
- Don’t store your garbage cans inside your storage shed; it attracts many different insects (bugs love garbage!) and pesky squirrels.
- Keep all containers and bags tightly sealed—especially if they contain seeds, soil, or fertilizer. Once bugs get a scent of something, they will find a way inside.
- Sweep out or vacuum your shed once a quarter. Pests, like termites, prefer to settle in areas that seem untouched, so having a clean shed will help persuade them to stay out.
- Clean up and prevent standing water. Many bugs, especially mosquitoes, are attracted to puddles of water and will even lay eggs in them. Additionally, excess moisture can cause premature rot and decay in wood.
Just because you don’t have pest issues now doesn’t mean you’ll never have them. Think and act proactively.
Examine handles, doors, shelving, and workbenches.
Difficult doors, squeaking hinges, and broken handles are annoying. Take a moment on a regular basis to spray hinges and handles with a lubricant like WD-40 to keep things moving and working smoothly. Replace broken handles with ones that work and won’t cause safety issues.
Take a good look at your shelves. Are they holding up ok? Are they still sufficiently sturdy? If they’re rusting (make sure it’s not because you have a leak in your shed!), consider replacing them with heavy-duty plastic or wood shelves.
How about your workbench—have you used it recently? If not, is there anything you need to do in order for it to be ready for use? If you notice low-grade wear and tear, now is a good time to take action.
Take inventory of tools and equipment.
Check through your tools and equipment. Is everything working? Does anything need refueled, oil changed, batteries replaced, or purchased? This is a great time to take inventory of what you have, what needs to be fixed, and what needs to be replaced.
Curious about what others have in their backyard sheds? Here’s a list of the most popular tools and equipment.
- Toolbox items: hammer, nails, screwdriver, screws, tape measure, level, socket wrench and fittings, pliers, utility knife, cordless drill, safety glasses
- Power tools: saws, drills and bits, sander
- Lawn care tools: lawn mower, trimmer, edger, snowblower, shovels, ladders, lawn decorations, brooms
- Seasonal items: patio furniture, backyard grill, portable fire pit, and outdoor sports equipment (think bats, balls, and bikes), holiday decor
- Sheds: have a tendency to get cluttered, nothing appears to have a proper place, and things are always hard to find. Instead of organizing your storage shed for the hundredth time, try one of our tips or plan out your own unique strategy for tackling the ever-cluttered, ever-overrun backyard shed.
- Pegboard Wall: Setting up a pegboard wall gives you unlimited organization ability. You can hang shelves, tools, chairs, even hang a paper towel holder to help you clean up messes quickly. Incorporate some color and patterns into the space to make it your own. There is no reason that functional can’t be beautiful.
- Hooks: Hanging hooks are a simple solution for keeping items easily accessible without creating clutter. There are types of hooks that allow you to hang anything with a handle—brooms, shovels, rakes, etc. And there are longer types that allow you to easily store cables, extensions cords, and hoses without getting them tangled. You can even arrange hooks to allow you to hang ladders horizontally across a wall. Think outside the box and arrange items in a way that works for you.
- Magnet Strips: Magnet strips can make life a lot easier when working on projects. Nails, screws, bolts, drill bits, and other odds and ends always seem to go missing. You can install a magnet strip along a tool bench, incorporate it into your pegboard wall, or add one to any shelf to make it easy to stay organized.
Need more ideas? Check out a few more of our shed organization ideas.
While you’re at it, give the floor a good once over with a broom. The extra ten minutes will be a good exercise and it will help your shed remain tidy and debris-free.
Wash the exterior.
Regardless of your siding type—metal, wood, or vinyl—it's important to keep it clean. By cleaning your siding on a regular basis, you can remove stains before they become a permanent and prevent the growth of mildew.
You can use soap and water along with elbow grease to clean your siding . . . or you can use a power washer (Don’t have one? Rent one!); however, make sure to use a low pressure setting to prevent damage.
In addition to soap and water, other liquid concoctions that are great for cleaning shed exteriors include white vinegar (30% white vinegar/70% water) and laundry detergent (1/3 cup of laundry detergent/six gallons of water).
If you have vinyl or metal siding, simply keeping it clean will suffice. For those who have wood siding, you’ll need to repaint every few years depending on the paint type/brand used. When it’s time to paint, choose a good exterior paint that promises to be mildew resistant, fade resistant, durable, and covers easily.
Here are some things to consider before you start.
- You may want to start with an oil-based primer which will seal any holes and prevent pests from feeding on the wood.
- Choose your method of painting: some prefer to use a paint gun rather than a brush in order to apply paint more evenly.
- Try to apply the paint in thinner coats rather than in one heavy coat to avoid runs and drips.
- And for some, it’s easier to start the paint job off by tackling the trim then working to the walls. But that’s your call entirely.
OK, shed owners! It’s your turn. You have the shed maintenance checklist, now it’s time to implement it. Keep this checklist nearby and conquer these items throughout the year. If you do, your shed will remain in great shape—and everyone will be happy.
Need a new backyard shed?
Maybe your current shed is in such disrepair that it would be better to buy a new one instead of reviving the old one. Or perhaps you need a second shed (they make great backyard home offices and game rooms, you know!). Regardless of your reason for needing a new shed, we recommend our high-quality storage buildings. Because our structures are made with the best materials, they require minimal maintenance. Doesn’t that sound great?
Explore our shed packages–we’re sure that you’ll find one that you love!
Maybe you don’t want a predetermined shed package; perhaps you want to design your own shed or from top to bottom. We get that. With our online configurator, you can create your own from roof to floor. You can choose the roofline, siding material, and add-ons that are right for your unique needs. Try it out our shed configurator tool for yourself.
It’s our mission at Dakota Storage Buildings to make affordable, high-quality buildings that exceed expectations. Explore our storage buildings in person at any of our South Dakota or Minnesota display lot locations. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.