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GARDEN SHED CARE: PREVENTING DAMP AND REMOVING MOULD

maintenanceNeil WilsonComment

A timber shed is a charming addition to an outdoor space, and a common feature of gardens up and down the country. However, damp and mould can be the downfall of these attractive outhouses, which can leave homeowners searching for answers to combat this problem. To help you rid yourself of these issues, we’ve put together this quick guide to how to remove mould and prevent damp in your garden shed.

WHAT CAUSES DAMP?

As the name suggests, damp is caused by damp conditions and is most prevalent during seasons where moisture is more common in the air – such as in winter and spring. Wood is the most susceptible material to damage by moist conditions, and damp can cause premature rot, mould and cause the timber structure to become misshapen or sag. These problems can also be exacerbated by wet weather and lack of airflow through a shed.

HOW CAN I PREVENT DAMP IN MY GARDEN SHED?

Sheds can sometimes be abandoned for months on end, especially in the colder seasons, meaning that no fresh air flow is entering the building. This stagnant air can hold a lot of moisture which then condenses and causes mildew and mould. To prevent this, try and get some air circulating by leaving windows open, blowing a fan in the shed, or even drilling some holes in the upper walls (covering them with mesh to keep pests out).

A common problem in timber sheds is rising damp, when water from the ground is absorbed through the floor bearers and up into the floor. To deter this, there are some things you can do during shed construction. Try and get some kind of barrier built between the shed floor and the ground, or try and get a gravel base installed to allow water to permeate freely through it to prevent pooling. Ensure any paving or concrete slabs are set as levelly as possible to allow rainwater to flow away easily.

There are also some simple tool-care tasks that can help; keep them dry and disinfected to avoid mould formation.

HOW DO I REMOVE MOULD FROM MY GARDEN SHED?

It is imperative that mould is removed from wooden structures as soon as it’s detected; if left for too long, then it may become more entrenched and permanently damage the timber.

  • First, you need to make sure you are protected from inhaling the mould spores, so try and wear a surgical or ski mask during the operation. Also wear gloves if possible.

  • Secondly, try and protect your plants. If you are removing mould from the outside of your shed, then the cleaning solution you decide to use may settle on surrounding vegetation and damage it. Before you begin, hose down your plants to discourage the chemicals from sticking to them and causing problems.

  • Opinions vary on the makeup of the cleaning solution, but a rough guide is 1 cup of bleach to every gallon of water – that, or you can use a mould cleaner. Use either a handheld spray bottle or a garden sprayer to apply this. Scrub with a sponge, and then hose or scrub down afterwards with clean water….READ MORE

How to treat roof timber mould

Generally, water leaks and poor ventilation, leading to Condensation, are the main roof defects which give rise to a variety of fungi, moulds and insect attacks. Re-roofing with lining (lining papers, 'sarking', roofing felt) can cause severe mold growth and rot due to reduced ventilation.

Excessive ceiling insulation, pushed down into the roof edges, can also cause Condensation and Mold Growth, because it frequently blocks off the eaves or soffit ventilation.

Heavy Insulation on the ceiling also reduces the amount of warmth reaching the roof space, so that the point at which Condensation forms is reached earlier in cold weather, particularly at night.

Most buildings were designed for minimal or no ceiling Insulation, so do not have sufficient ventilation to cope with additional Insulation, as recommended by Government experts. Additional vents can be fitted, but care is needed to find a working balance, or the Mould may become worse.

Treatment


Mould  - white, blue or black spots on timber, lining felt, masonry: indicates condensation - increase ventilation, (add soffit or ridge vents), apply Mould Cleaner, treat with  Boracol  10RH .

Mould - white, blue or black spots on timber, lining felt, masonry: indicates condensation - increase ventilation, (add soffit or ridge vents), apply Mould Cleaner, treat with Boracol 10RH.

Typical Roof Mould - damp cold timber, Condensation = Mold Growth

Typical Roof Mould - damp cold timber, Condensation = Mold Growth

Note the roofing felt - many old roofs are upgraded by installing roof lining felt - this

causes a huge reduction in ventilation - Condensation - then mold growth….READ MORE