So, after months of waiting for new fence panels, we finally have a date for their arrival. I have to say I’m sorry, as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed living with my Utopian dream of fencelessness.
It means another job to add to the list, too. As one fencer pointed out, when he came to give an estimate on the work, painting them with wood preservative is a Good Idea. I foresee that “washed curtains” situation – you know how it is – where you look round and realise that everything else needs cleaning too. My eyes are drawn guiltily to other neglected garden corners.
Which brings me to the shed.
I don’t remember ever having painted it with anything.
(Hangs head in shame.)
As it happens, now is the ideal moment to turn over a new leaf (and, indeed, open a new tin). As there’s very little point in splashing on a garden shed preservative in the cold and wet, summer is the time to do it, which may go some way to explaining why this is National Shed Week.
Preserving Your Shed
As preservatives work best when applied during dry weather, check the forecast for the promise of a run of fine days. This is because dry weather gives the preservative the chance to form a good seal on the wood, which is what you need to protect it from moisture and UV rays.
Clean any moss or surface growth from the shed. This should be done as a matter of course, whenever it catches your eye at other times of the year too. Roots penetrating the wood open up pathways for moisture penetration and moss just sits there like a sponge, keeping the wood wetter for longer when it rains.
Now is also a good time to check for damaged slats and replace them. Like the moss-clearing, this is something to do throughout the year. Obviously it stops things inside the shed getting wet, but it also reduces the chance of the water soaking into the slats via their ends and increasing the rate of rotting. (Don’t forget to check the roof too and replace felt (or, in my case, corrugated plastic) if necessary.Using sandpaper, clean as much as you can of the previous layers of preservative off the shed, especially if they’re flaky, before applying the fresh coat. This allows the new
Once the fence is up, I think I’ll do the lot in one go. Wielding a paintbrush is one of those soothing pastimes - makes me imagine I’m Tom Sawyer, waiting to trade the pleasure for a kite and twelve marbles.
The whole point, though, is not to leave it till you risk falling prey to the British autumn and winter, when the shed might get soaked after you’ve stripped off any old layers, and the new preservative won’t dry sufficiently to form a decent protective barrier.
It would be a shame to do all that work and not get the best effect from it.
In association with Cocklestorm, fencing and garden suppliers.