Should You Repair Your Garden Shed or Replace It?
Sheds are like any other building: they need regular maintenance, upkeep, and repairs in order to stay functional and strong over time. If you have an old outdoor shed in your backyard, you might be wondering whether it’s more cost effective to repair it or replace it with a new shed.
Of course, the answer to this question is more complicated than it first looks. If you’re debating whether to repair or replace an old shed, you’ll first need to know exactly what’s wrong with it so you can estimate how much it would take to fix it.
Common Shed Problems
Many things can go wrong with an outdoor shed. Depending on the material and the quality of construction, you might see rot, rust, pest infestations, warping due to heat or cold, wind damage, leaks, structural instability, and even more. Any one of these problems on its own is easy to fix, but often one problem can cause another and make the whole project more difficult.
Here are a few tips to help you find potential problems with your shed:
- Check the foundation for rot and moisture. Depending on the type of shed you have, you may need to pull away skirting from the base to look beneath it or even lift it up off the ground using a jack.
- Examine the roof for missing shingles or panels.
- Check the interior walls and ceiling for signs of water, including moisture, swelling, or warping.
- If your shed is metal, look for rust in the corners and at the seams between panels.
- Wooden sheds are often targeted by ants and termites – look closely for signs of insects.
- Sheds are also common homes for rodents like mice and rats – check in and behind old boxes or unused items for signs of infestation.
- Push or lean against the shed from different angles to see if it moves, shakes, or leans.
Repairing a Damaged Shed
The types of repairs you do will depend on the exact problems you find with your shed. Keep in mind that one type of problem can cause another, and that often fixing one problem can make another one more obvious.
The most common problem with wooden sheds is rot and water damage. Unfortunately the only real way to fix these issues is to replace the damaged wood with new, treated wood. If you only have a slight amount of damage, such as rotten floorboards or ceiling panels, consider yourself lucky. However, if your frame or foundation is rotten, or if the structure has extensive water damage, you’ll almost certainly be better off replacing it.
If you have a steel shed, you may occasionally encounter some rust. The best solution for small rust patches is to file or sand the rust away and then seal the area with a rust sealant such as outdoor-quality metal paint or clear silicone or resin. For larger or more extensive rust, you can often get replacement panels or frame members to replace the damaged ones. A full shed replacement is very rare for steel sheds – most of the time, steel buildings are simple and cost-effective to repair.
Pest problems commonly afflict wooden sheds, though mice and other rodents can move into plastic or steel sheds as well. Depending on the pest, they may have damaged the structure of your shed or left behind potentially toxic waste. Termites and ants can cause extensive damage to wooden sheds, almost always necessitating a replacement. Mice and rats carry dangerous viruses in their droppings, meaning you must take special precautions when cleaning up after them and repairing your shed to keep them out.
If the damage to your shed is extensive, the bill for all these repairs could easily come to thousands of dollars. In that case, you would be smarter to simply tear down the shed entirely and rebuild. Many brand-new buildings can be had for a lower cost than a major repair, and they’ll last longer than a rebuilt shed in most cases as well.
Steel buildings and sheds offer some of the best value for cost of any outdoor storage building you can buy. Whether you’re looking for a small garden shed or a full-sized garage, there’s a steel building that can fit your needs. Contact us today at Bargain Barns USA for more information. Call 405-872-0338 to learn about our available steel buildings and find the perfect storage solution for your home. You can also visit our Facebook or Google+ pages to get more helpful tips and advice!
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