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  • Jeremy Horning

How to Winterize a Shed: A Step-by-Step Guide

Updated: Jan 24

It is highly essential to properly prepare your storage shed for the winter season as the snow flies and other debris piles up. Winterizing your garden shed will keep your equipment and tools in good condition and you will have a neat and clean shed all year round.


Storage sheds are not usually built to handle the harsh conditions of the winters, but with the right preparation, you can make it happen. In this guide, we will be showing you how to turn your shed into a winter home by winterizing.


Why Is It Important To Winterize Your Shed?

At this point, it should not come as a surprise that there are benefits to having a winterized shed. Both the shed's interior and exterior walls and doors need to be well-protected before the winter season kicks in. Winterizing is a great way to keep your structure in perfect condition, protect the items in the building, and also keep the walls of the garden shed in good shape.


These are some of the issues that your shed might be faced with when the winter weather hits;

  • Moisture from the air can rot your shed roof.

  • Leaks and cracks in your shed can grant access to rodents and other pests, especially if things like potting soil, seeds, and fertilizer are not stored well.

  • The harsh elements could cause damage to your tools and equipment like garden hoses, gloves, and other work tools.

  • Your metal, paint, or vinyl siding could be damaged.

  • Dust and dirt could cover the floors and the whole interior of the garden shed.

How To Winterize Your Shed?


If you wish to winterize your structure and maintain the value of the shed and the materials stored inside, then these are some of the best tips to follow.


Winterize Your Shed On The Interior


Follow these steps to properly winterize the inside of your shed:


Clean Your Shed


Take your time to clean your shed, making sure you don't leave out the floor, doors, and windows. Be sure to leave your shed sparkling clean before the winter snow comes.


Look out for Any Structural Weakness or Damage


One of the top tips to follow before leaving your shed for the winter is to check if any damage has been done to the structure as a whole. Make sure your shed is in tip-top shape as winters can come heavy and hard.


Inspect for Cracks, Moisture, or Joints that Need to be Sealed


Once you are done with cleaning and checking for structural damage, it is now time to inspect for cracks and leaks. Make sure there is no space between the windows or doors for moisture to enter. Some of the places you should pay more attention to when you are checking for cracks and leaks include;

  • Interior door seals

  • Roof trusses and sheeting

  • Floor, wall corners, and joints

  • Window seals

If there are signs of where moisture can sneak in, be sure to seal it up completely.


Check for Mold or Mildew

While you are inspecting your shed, make sure you are on the lookout for mildew or mold and this is more important if you have just come out of a wet and humid season. If you end up discovering mildew or mold, use a mold remover spray to treat it.


Protect Your Shed from Rodents and Pests


Nobody likes rodents or any other pests. The truth is they can come in through broken doors or cracked windows. One of the best tips to follow is to do pest control before leaving your shed for the winter.


Properly arrange your interior, and ensure easier access to items that are important to you during the winter months.


As you are arranging your stuff back into your shed, make sure you keep the items that you would need during the winter in a spot that can be easily accessed. You shouldn't have to scatter the whole place to find the boxes where you kept some decorations.


Ensure all the electrical cords are firmly attached to the respective electrical tool


Make sure that you attach every electrical cord to the corresponding tool as you wouldn't want those cords to make your shed look messy.


Winterize Your Shed On The Exterior

These are the procedures to take to winterize the exterior of your shed:


Clean the Shed’s Foundation and Have it Reinforced if Necessary


You do not want to leave any kind of debris around your storage shed before the winter comes. So, be sure to clear out the grass clippings, leaves, and other organic waste that might have piled up over time.


Clean off the siding


Clean the outside of your shed properly, making sure to get the mold, mildew, and any other debris that might be on there. This will leave your shed full of life before winter comes.


Patch up any Paint Spots and Also Inspect the Siding for Possible Damage.



Once you are done with the cleaning, check to see if there is any damage to the siding of your shed. The winter can be quite harsh and snow and moisture could seep through cracks and leaks in the walls. Apply paint where necessary too.


Inspect the Window and Door Seals on the Outside.


Thoroughly check your windows and sure to be sure that there is no issue with them. This is to prevent things like moisture from passing through them. You can also utilize caulk to prevent future problems.


Check out the Roof

Now, you should inspect your roof and make sure it is fine in all areas. Check for signs of possible damage and make repairs where it's needed. If you have a metal roof, then you should be looking for loose or weak screws. If you are using a shingle roof, then check for damaged and loose shingles.


Clean and Organize Your Gardening Tools and Equipment.

Take out some time to clean your gardening tools including the spades, shovels, hoses, and other items. Organize them well and make sure they are ready for use in the springtime. Before you store your equipment, be sure that they are no longer wet. You can also use a tarp to cover them so dirt doesn't accumulate.


Take Out Old and Irrelevant Items


If you have some unwanted and old items in your shed such as out-of-use seed packets, empty containers, rusted or broken tools, or old cans of paint, you should bring them out. And don't forget to dispose of them to create a useful room in your shed. You can use the free space to work on a productive project.


Store Organic Items


If you possess seeds, mulch, soil, or other organic items in your storage shed, you should store and seal them in waterproof containers. If you do this, you wouldn't need to worry about mildew or mold that could damage them.


Ensure It Is Tidy And Neat


Sweep the inside of your shed and make sure that it is well and neat. You should also keep items where they are supposed to be, which would help maintain the beautiful nature of your shed. Finally, clear and remove any form of debris from your shed's surroundings.


Drain The Water From Tanks And Hoses


It is not a great idea to leave water inside your tanks and hoses as when this water freezes, it could lead to damage and cracks. You can also add a non-toxic antifreeze to provide added protection.


Winterize The Stored Engines In The Shed


If you have engines including diesel-powered or gas engines in your shed, you need to winterize them to avoid their fuel systems getting damaged.


How much does it cost to winterize a shed?

If you are looking to winterize your shed by yourself, it should not cost you more than $20. But, if you want to utilize professional help, then you should expect to spend anything from $200 and above. No matter which option you choose, one thing is to make sure that your space is well-prepped for you to enjoy in the winter.


Conclusion


Typically, your shed can withstand spring, summer, and fall, but you might need to pay extra attention if it is to survive the winter months. There are a lot of options for you to use when it comes to winterizing your home.

So before the snow and cold come, make sure you put everything in place to protect your building.

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Jeremy Horning has a passion for efficient and smooth running systems. He values beauty and  craftsmanship. When he’s not too busy building business, you’ll find him on the job constructing sheds or resurfacing hardwood decks.

After moving to Medford Ma. in 2014 he was a co-founder of  Alpha Omega Property Services, a handyman business, out of which he started Boston Hardwood Decks and Urban Sheds.

Jeremy started Urban Sheds in 2017 with the vision of connecting local craftsmen and homeowners around great shed designs, sustainable production and straightforward purchasing.​

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