16th Jun 2023 -

While aesthetics and functionality are important factors when buying a garden shed, it is the durability and weather resistance that distinguishes a garden shed as a safe and durable environment for gardening tools, equipment, and other valuable belongings. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about shed waterproofing and uncover the key benefits of different weather-resistant garden sheds. 

How to make the right shed choice for your garden

Finding a weather-resistant garden shed requires you to think about various factors to make sure your investment stands strong year after year. Below is a general overview of the durability and waterproof properties of each type of garden shed.

Type of shedWeatherproof benefits
Plastic garden sheds1. Plastic sheds are highly resistant to water and do not rot or rust.
2. They can withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight without fading.
3. Plastic sheds are easy to clean and generally require minimal maintenance.
4. Plastic does not promote the growth of mould or mildew.
Metal garden sheds1. Metal sheds are known for their strength and durability.
2. They are resistant to various weather conditions, including wind, rain, and snow.
3. Metal sheds are less prone to fire hazards compared to other materials.
4. Metal sheds offer better protection against pests like insects and rodents.
Wooden garden sheds1. Wood provides better insulation, helping to regulate temperature and prevent condensation. Because of this, wooden sheds are known to be the best-insulated garden sheds. 
2. Wooden sheds are often considered more visually appealing and can complement the surrounding environment.
3. High-quality wooden sheds can withstand strong winds and moderate weather conditions.
Potting sheds1. Potting sheds, regardless of their material, should be built to withstand the elements.
2. Transparent or translucent panels in potting sheds allow sunlight to reach plants for photosynthesis.
3. Potting sheds often include features like shelves, workbenches, and water outlets to enhance gardening activities.
Storage sheds1. A garden storage shed can be equipped with locks to safeguard valuable belongings.
2. Storage sheds typically have customisable storage options like shelves, hooks, and racks for better organisation.
3. Storage sheds are highly durable and resistant to tough weather conditions.

Top tips on how to weatherproof your garden shed

A dark brown weather-resistant garden shed with a gutter pipe along the roof and down the middle with two doors.

Weatherproofing an existing garden shed can help protect it from the elements and extend its lifespan. Here are 5 top tips on how to waterproof your shed and help it withstand harsh weather conditions. 

1. Repair and inspect

Thoroughly inspect your shed for any existing damage, such as cracks, holes, or gaps. Repair these issues before proceeding with other weatherproofing steps. Use a high-quality waterproof sealant to cover any gaps or seams in the shed floor, roof and walls. This will help prevent water from seeping into the shed and causing damage.

2. Ventilation and weather-stripping

Apply weather stripping around the windows and doors to prevent tools and create a tight seal. Be sure to choose weather-stripping materials that are durable and can withstand outdoor conditions.

Also, adequate ventilation is important to prevent moisture build-up inside the shed, which can lead to mould and decay. Ensure your shed has proper ventilation through vents or windows, and consider installing vent covers to protect against rain and pests.

3. Elevate your shed

If your shed is prone to flooding, you should think about raising it slightly above ground level. This helps prevent water from pooling around the base of the shed and seeping inside. Plus, if your shed has an old or damaged roof, you should think about upgrading to a waterproof shed roof covering.

Options like metal, felt or asphalt shingles can provide excellent protection against wind, rain and snow.

4. Maintain downspouts and gutters

For your gutters and downspouts, make sure they are clear of debris and properly channel water away from the shed. You should regularly clean and maintain shed guttering to prevent leaks and clogs.

If gutters are not properly maintained, it can cause mould, rot and structural deterioration, eventually leading to erosion around the shed base.

5. Regular maintenance checks

Perform regular maintenance tasks such as cleaning the shed, inspecting for any new damage, and reapplying sealant or protective coating treatment as needed. Frequent upkeep will help maintain the shed's weatherproofing over time.

Ensure that doors and windows are properly sealed and closed tightly. Add latches, bolts, or locks to secure them against strong winds.

How to install a weatherproof garden shed base

Installing a weatherproof garden shed base requires careful planning and attention to detail. You should remember to consider local building regulations when installing a garden shed, as they may differ in various locations as well as vary due to the size of your shed.

Below is a step-by-step guide to help you with the process. Once the base is ready, you can continue with assembling and installing your waterproof shed. 

Step 1 - Gather your tools and materials

The first step is to gather the materials and tools you will need for each step. This will help you to feel organised and prepared for every stage of the project. 

ShovelRake
Spirit levelTamper
HammerWaterproof sealant
Rubber malletMOT Type 1 and gravel
Paving slabsWeed barrier fabric
Stakes and stringDamp Proof Membrane

Step 2 - Select and measure the area

Next, you will need to choose a suitable spot in your garden for the shed base. Ensure it is level and offers good drainage. Consider factors like proximity to trees, neighbouring structures, and sunlight exposure. After you have chosen the area, measure the dimensions of your shed and mark the area on the ground. Use stakes and string to outline the perimeter of the base.

Step 3 - Level the ground

Remove any rocks, vegetation, or debris from the marked area. It is essential to have a clean and level surface for the base. Use a shovel or rake to level the ground within the marked area. Be sure to remove any high spots and fill in any low areas - this step is crucial to make sure you create a stable and even base.

Step 4 - Lay a weed barrier and gravel

Place a weed barrier fabric over the levelled ground to prevent weed growth and help maintain a clean base. Pour a layer of crushed gravel over the weed barrier. This will aid in drainage and provide a stable foundation. Make sure to use a rake to spread and level the gravel evenly across the whole area.

Step 5 - Compact gravel and install slabs

After levelling the ground, use a tamper or a plate compactor to compact the gravel layer. This will create a solid and sturdy base. You should continue compacting until the gravel feels firm and does not shift under pressure.

Fix the paving slabs on top of the compacted gravel, starting at one corner of the base, and check for evenness using a spirit level. Leave a small gap of a few millimetres between the slabs for expansion during temperature changes.

Step 6 - Secure slabs and check the levelness

Use a rubber mallet or a hammer and a wooden block to gently tap the slabs into place, ensuring they are firmly set. Check the level of the entire base once all the slabs are installed.

Make adjustments if needed by adding or removing gravel beneath the slabs. You should allow the base to sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours for the slabs and gravel to cure and settle properly.

Can you use paint to weatherproof your shed?

A person painting the outside of a weather-resistant garden shed with brown paint using a paint brush.

Painting the exterior of your shed can provide an additional layer of protection against the elements, including rain, sunlight, and moisture. Waterproof shed paint colours will also greatly enhance its appearance. Here are some points you should follow to weatherproof your garden shed with paint. 

Clean and repair the surface

Before painting, make sure to thoroughly clean the exterior of your shed. Remove any dust, or dirt using a stiff brush or pressure washer. Once this is done, allow the surface to dry completely before moving on. Also, inspect the shed for any holes, cracks, or any other damage.

Ensure you use appropriate materials, such as wood filler or caulk, to cover these areas and create a smooth and solid surface. 

Choose the best paint

Select a high-quality waterproof shed paint specifically designed for outdoor use. Check for paints that offer great durability, weather resistance, and protection against UV rays. Also, look out for acrylic latex and oil-based paints that tend to be more water-resistant than water-based latex paints.

Epoxy and polyurethane paints are also popular choices for their waterproofing properties. 

Prepare the surface

Sand the exterior of your shed lightly to create a slightly roughened surface. Also, you must remove any of the dust which comes from sanding. For better adhesion and enhanced weather resistance, apply a layer of primer before you paint.

Primers are especially useful when painting bare wood or surfaces with existing discolouration or stains.

Seal gaps and joints

Pay careful attention to any joints, gaps, or seams in the structure of your shed. Use caulk or a weatherproof sealant to seal these areas and prevent water infiltration. By sealing the gaps, you can keep the shed interior dry and protect your tools, equipment, and other storage items from water damage. Plus, sealed gaps and joints improve its thermal insulation and prevent pests such as insects and spiders from crawling in and creating nests. 

Paint the shed

Start by applying paint to the outside of your shed using a roller, brush, or sprayer, depending on your preference and the size of the shed. Apply thin and even coats, allowing sufficient drying time between each coat.

When you apply multiple coats, it can further enhance your shed's weatherproofing capabilities. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of coats you need for maximum protection. You should also regularly inspect the shed's paint job and touch up any areas that may have been damaged or show signs of wear. 

Weather-resistant garden shed materials at competitive trade prices

If you are thinking about installing a waterproof shed in your garden or weatherproofing your existing shed, Building Materials Nationwide is your one-stop shop for everything you need from start to finish. Explore our vast selection of weatherproof garden shed materials and shop with complete confidence for your project.

For our builder and construction professional customers, trade accounts help you to secure the tools and materials for every job, no matter what budget you have, with quick UK delivery options. Call the team to get started or sign up online.