Garden Summer House Maintenance Guide
Although we have a long experience producing quality garden summer houses, garden sheds, garden storage and related wooden garden buildings, and we also follow the performance of our products by our usual five-year warranty so that we know that the products have a good durability and a long life span, regular maintenance will still help to get the most out of your investment and prevent damages before they can happen. So, here is a guide for you to follow.
Key areas of interest:
- Keeping the wood dry – checking for wet spots and moisture
- Cleaning and tidying up for inspection
- Summer house roof
- Summer house floor
- Checking for insects or wood worms
- Re-treatment of the garden summer house
Please read our comprehensive guide below for more information on these areas.
Keeping the wood dry – checking the garden summer house for wet spots and moisture
Wood is an organic material. Like herbs or fruits, it can be conserved by drying. Dry wood will last for centuries while wood out in the open especially close to the ground will re-enter the circle of life quickly depending on the species. Thus the main focus must always be on water. So keep an eye out for wet spots, mould, blue stain, or fungi. No fungus will grow and also no pests can survive without water to live.
Cleaning and tidying up for inspection
Cleaning your garden summer house regularly will help you detect problems quicker. The right time for inspection could be a sunny summer day when the garden furniture and some other summer stuff are already out in the open so that you can easily clear the rest out and store it outside while you do the cleaning and following inspection. Apart from moist spots, fungi, and insects, splits are of interest.
Splits are normal in most types of wood, but when you can see the light shine through it from the inside, then it might be good to see to it that no water can get in it from the outside. You could treat it with wood protection and fill the gap by gluing in fitting woodchips from the same species of wood. Sand it down to become even afterwards. Another option for big cracks would be to fit a slab over the gap preventing water to reach it from the outside.
Maintenance on your summer house roof
- In order to find out if, and how well the roof protects your garden summer house even in extreme weather, you might wait for a heavy rain shower and take a walk with an umbrella to the summer house in order to inspect the roof-perfomance from the inside. Any moisture or water is a signal that you need to repair the roof. Sometimes roofs are damaged through heavy storms, sometimes things fall on them, sometimes seams are not perfect. Also, use the opportunity to inspect the roof overhangs.
- Any damage to the roof should be fixed immediately.
Maintaining the summer house floor
The performance of the floor will largely depend on the ground the garden summer house is built on. The spot should be well drained, and we recommend setting it on a good, even concrete foundation. See also our blog article about Garden Summer house Base Types
Even with a good base and a well-drained area the underfloor should be well ventilated. If your summer house is not lifted very high of the ground, plants around the summer house easily can block the ventilation and this can lead to moisture in the floor.
Another source of moisture in the floor boards can be things like rubber mats, saucers or other things, – even dirt – permanently blocking ventilation from above. Though usually, the garden summer house will be a dry place, moisture can persist under such things if it gets there just once for example when you push a wet bike in or enter the summer house during a rain shower with wet clothing so that water drops fall on the floor and can creep under these things. That’s one reason why regular tidying up and cleaning is so important.
Also, animals like insects living under things can create moisture by their normal physiology even though the source of their water may be somewhere else.
In case you find that the floor gives in at certain spots, you might have to remove a floor board in order to check the underfloor. If you find any rotten beams, you should grasp the nettle and take out the whole floor to replace the rotten beam. Luckily this does not happen very often.
At Summerhouse24 we deliver all the foundation beams and underfloor beams pretreated to prevent these damages from happening.
Checking for insects or wood worms
Insects as wood worms can not live in a completely dry environment. That said, if you find any of these it means that there is water somewhere. For insects like ants, bugs, or cockroaches it could also mean that they just like the space because it is protected somehow while they get their water from somewhere else. Unfortunately, they will be a source of moisture in this case. There is no problem with single insects crawling or flying around. Some spiders might even be useful to keep the mosquitoes in check, but when it comes to nesting in the garden summer house, you should show them the way out. Try to find out, why the insects are there. Are there any food sources for them? They usually don’t settle in very clean conditions because they can find more food outside.
Re-treating your wooden garden summer house
Any repairs involving woodworking should be finished, glues should be dry, the water from the cleaning should have damped out completely. For Re-treatment of the summer house you might choose another sunny day to treat the wood when it is nicely dried out.
Choosing the treatment, you might want to stay with the initial appliance that you had figured out for your wood species. So spruce for example would profit from a blue stain protection and if you don’t like the effect of greying that UV light has on fresh wood then you might choose a treatment with a UV protection.
Organic treatment like wood oils or varnish are also OK. They soak into the wood and preserve it from the inside.
Also, re-treatment is easier with wood treatment products that soak in than with lacquers forming a film on the outside because there is no need to sand off the rests before re-treating.
After maintenance is finished, just make sure that you keep your garden summer house clean and tidy and don’t forget to air from time to time especially when the weather is fine.
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