How to check the garden shed for leaks

How to check the garden shed for leaks

Garden sheds provide a convenient storage space for gardening tools, lawnmowers and landscaping items while reducing the clutter in your garage. Sheds eventually age and can obtain a musty smell inside from water leaks. It is best to check the entire building for the areas that need repair as soon as you notice a musty smell. This will keep your repair areas smaller. A large rotted area, by contrast, means an expensive repair project.

Open the door to your garden shed and place a brick next to it to hold it open. Remove all of the contents of the shed so you can see all of the interior walls and the ceiling without items blocking your view.

Observe each item you remove from the shed for dampness or rust on the surface of metal objects. Take note of the area where these items reside in the shed for leak detection purposes.

Examine all of the exterior seams where two pieces of wood or metal are joined. Look at each screw or nail in the seams for discoloration of the building materials, which indicate a loose fastener. When nails or screws are loose, water will run down them on the outside of a shed and darken wood or leave rust marks on metal. Replace any loose fasteners with new ones.

Turn on a flashlight and observe the interior of your garden shed for discoloration from leaks. Trace the stains back to the point of origin. Water leaks are darker at the area it enters into a structure and lighten in color as the water runs into another area. Check the seams and fasteners at the darkest areas of discoloration. Coat the areas inside with a thick bead of clear silicone caulk to seal them.

Shine a flashlight on the exterior of the shed while asking a helper to go inside the shed. Repair any areas that allow light to shine into the shed. If light can shine through a crack, rain can enter through the crack.

Check around each window and door frame for leaks or loose wood. Seal the window and door frames with clear silicone caulk.

Go inside the shed and close the door. Light a butane grill lighter inside the shed and walk very slowly through the shed while observing the flame. Hold the flame near all joints and seams of the shed, including the roof. If the flame flickers or blows out, there is an air leak in that area. Repair or seal up any areas indicated by the flame test.

I’m erecting a small used shed on a concrete slab 2m x 2m which requires waterproofing around the bottom edges before I use dynabolts to secure it to the concrete. What would you recommend I use as a water resistant barrier? I have been told that mastic is good, so what do you say about that?

Answer to: Sealing a Shed Base
by: John – Admin

The advice you received about using the mastic sealant is correct. Make sure that you use a silicone sealant for external use with concrete and metal. A typical silicon mastic will state that it will ‘cure to give a permanently elastic weatherproof seal with excellent durability and resistance to U.V light.’

Although it says this most mastic sealants do lose their grip and also become less flexible over the years. The way to avoid this becoming a problem with your shed is to make sure that the concrete base does not protrude too far beyond the wall of the shed. The typical advice here I think is that the size of the base should go an inch or two beyond the wall on each side. This gives a very small area for any water to collect.

Let me know how you get on.

by: Barry

Thank you for your advice, I’ll give it a go and let you know how successful I was.

Many thanks, Cobber,

Water leaking under shed

by Ed
(Long Island)

How to check the garden shed for leaks

Where water leaks in under the shed

I have an older aluminum shed with one side of the shed sitting on a concrete slab.

Water seems to be leaking under the shed when it rains.

How can I waterproof that side of the shed where the aluminum meets the concrete?

What will adhere to aluminum and concrete and form a seal that will last?

Shedman says

Thanks for your question, as I have a bit of relevant experience here with sealing around the base of a neighbours’ shed.

Looking at the picture above, water drains down the walls of the shed and gets caught up in a small channel that runs around the base of the shed. The water then flows out of this channel either through small holes that are pre-drilled in the side of the channel or at the end.

As the water flows out of this channel and on to a flat surface or one sloping back into the shed then you will get water leaking in under the shed wall.

The solution if you are building a shed like this from new is to identify these holes and make sure that where they are located the ground/concrete slopes away from the shed in this area.

To solve this problem with an existing shed you may be able to chisel some small channels in the concrete to direct the water away from the shed. Alternatively you can use a mastic sealant as described in the question at the top of this page.

If you go down the sealant route and can’t correct this micro drainage problem the water will still collect around the edge of the shed but once it reaches a certain amount it drain over the side. If you get the seal good enough it will stop most of the water entering the shed.

The best solution is only achieved when the shed is first built. Sealing around the base afterward is a less than optimal solution.

How to check the garden shed for leaks

Now the weather is colder and wetter your wooden garden shed will be more susceptible to leaks. Therefore, it's vital that you take good care of your shed to try and prevent one from occurring. Keep reading for tips and advice on how to maintain your shed to prevent leaks from happening so that you can continue to enjoy your shed throughout winter.

Make a habit to check the roof for damages.

Anything from bad weather to tree branches falling could tear the felt or damage the roof tiles. Therefore, you should check the roof of your shed on a regular basis to ensure they're no rips in the felt or loose tiles. If you do notice some damage then make sure to repair this as soon as possible; replace loose tiles and patch up the tears. If you fail to repair the damages on your shed then this could result in your shed not being as watertight as it should be which causes leaks. If you need to make repairs to your roof then we sell spare felt over on our Spares and Repairs section.

Inspect the timber for holes or cracks.

Inspect the interior and exterior of your shed very carefully, you should try to make this a regular occurrence. Some cracks or holes may be very small, so it can be easier to look for discolouration in the wood from the water, which could then lead you to the hole. If you’ve found a hole then make sure to patch it up as soon as possible using wood filler.

Replace your wooden shed after you've had it for too long.

Naturally, as a shed is made from wood, it will have a life span of around five to ten years, depending on how well you maintain it. If you've had your shed for a very long time and you've started to notice some cracks, holes or that the timber is not in a great condition anymore then this could cause leaks. We would advice to replace your shed to prevent the contents of the shed from being ruined. View our range of wooden garden sheds.

Apply preserver on a regular basis.

It's vital that you apply a thick coat of treatment to your shed when you first get it and then at least once a year thereafter. This treatment protects your shed from the weather and the elements, so it’s very important that you apply it regularly.

Sweep the underneath of your shed.

Make sure to sweep and check underneath your shed on a regular basis to prevent leaves from building up which could then potentially cause dampness and lead to a leak.

Seal the windows and ensure that they remain fully sealed.

During the assembly of your garden shed we always advise to seal your windows to make them watertight. You can do this using various different sealants, depending on which you prefer, and many people also install beading for further reinforcement. We strongly advise that everyone seals their shed windows and then carries out regular checks to ensure that the sealant remains watertight.


If you take care of your wooden shed and maintain it then generally it will last you a long time without any leaks. The main things to do to prevent a leak from occurring:

  • Treat your shed with preserver on a regular basis.
  • Check the felt or shingles for damages and make any repairs if necessary.
  • Ensure they're no holes or damages to the timber.
  • Sweep leaves from underneath the shed.
  • Ensure that the windows are fully sealed and remain fully sealed.

Head over to our Help Centre for further tips and advice relating to your garden building.

Posted February 3, 2015 by Rosina Ayling and filed under Sheddies

It isn?t as simple as you would think to see if your shed has a leak, it is often not that easy to spot. If you don?t use your shed often, it could easily be overlooked. It is a good idea to check periodically to see if water is getting in anywhere. Over time, water inside a shed will damage whatever is inside it and can cause damage to the shed itself.

Look out for discolouration: to check for leaks you?ll need to look for discolouration on the inside roof and walls of the shed. Check for any discolouration to the structure, especially stains and darker patches. Also, check for discolouration on fabric as this could mean there is mould growing. But, do keep in mind that mould can also be caused by condensation.

Examine all the items in your shed to determine what the water is dripping onto: look for patches of rust, on your tools and any other metal items. The items affected may not be directly under the leak ? as water may be running down walls and collecting.

Wait until it rains and then examine your shed: if you are having trouble spotting any discolouration, examine the shed after a rainfall. If there are any puddles in the shed, it means you have a leak. The puddles will most likely form under or near a crack in the shed.

Distinguish condensation from a leak: condensation occurs when the moisture in the air forms water droplets on a cold surface. Don?t confuse condensation with a leak. Avoid this problem by keeping your shed well-ventilated and ensuring the contents aren?t too close together as this prevents air circulation. Try not to stack things against the external walls.

Avoid guttering problems: guttering is a means of moving water away from the shed by directing it to drains in the ground. Check any guttering you have on your shed is clear.

Cut away vegetation growing on the sides of the shed: you should also take the opportunity to clear vegetation or any dirt growing against the external walls of the shed.

How to check the garden shed for leaks

A garden shed used to be one of the most underrated buildings in Australia. However, recent developments in real estate have elevated the humble garden shed into a potential gold mine that can add significant value to your property.

Fortunately, building a shed today is not as complicated nor as time-consuming as it used to be. Nowadays, the best sheds can be purchased through a hardware store or online. This makes sheds widely available to homeowners. However, even with their proliferation, homeowners face similar construction problems when building a shed.

Even with careful consideration, even the best sheds in the market are prone to these challenges:

Garden shed problem

#1: Water leaks

It is obviously not much of a problem during summer, but you will experience a huge disadvantage come the winter and rainy seasons. With a newly built shed, there is a high likelihood that improper roof installation is the main cause of your leaking woes, although it is also possible that a poor foundation or unpainted walls are the main culprit.

If the leak comes from the roof, it might be a matter of miscalculation in the slope as this could lead to open seams and blow-offs (for apex- or gabled-roof sheds). For flat roofs, the absence of quality membrane will cause it to leak.

Building your shed on bare ground can also lead to serious consequences as the groundwater can potentially seep through and destroy your foundation, regardless of the materials used. Even concrete can degrade if it is left in contact with water for too long. Using a rebated concrete slab can keep groundwater out. You can also apply some specialised floor coating or waterproofing sealants to improve your floor’s water resistance.

Similarly, you will need to apply waterproofing paint on your walls to reduce the risk of leaks. If you think any of these solutions are too much of a hassle, you can always purchase a high-quality garden shed, with which you won’t have to worry about poor construction.

#2: Keeping pests out

It is difficult to keep pests like rodents and insects from gardens and backyards. It won’t be long before they find their way into your precious shed. After all, sheds are the perfect breeding ground for these creatures, as they offer everything that insects need to survive: food, water, and shelter.

Termites are a major problem for sheds made of timber, although some termite species can also infest bricks and stones. Cockroaches, spiders, rats, and mice can also thrive, regardless of the material you use in your shed.

Plastic and steel sheds are good in keeping the little critters away whilst timber needs some special coating to repel the same. Unfortunately, even with plastic and steel sheds, pests can still find their way through cracks and holes. Windows and doors can also serve as a gateway for these creatures, if they are constantly left open.

Of course, the best defence against pest infestation is to keep your shed organised and clean. Remove any item that might serve as a food source (i.e. old boxes, untreated timber, etc.) and regularly check your shed for any crack. You can also call a professional to get rid of these pesky creatures.

#3: Repair and maintenance

Technically speaking, sheds can be categorised by the material used in their construction: plastic/resin, steel, and timber.

Plastic sheds are well-known for their affordability and their uncomplicated maintenance. The downside of purchasing them is that they are considerably weaker compared to steel and timber sheds. This means that a plastic shed might not last long if exposed to the harsh Aussie weather. Timber, on the other hand, is the most aesthetically pleasing, yet it requires constant high maintenance to last long.

If you want to get your money’s worth, then buying a steel shed is not a bad idea. It gives you the best of both worlds. It is durable and can withstand excessive cold or heat. It also requires little to no maintenance. Most steel shed manufacturers also offer limited customisations to their customers.

#4: Poor lighting and ventilation

Another common problem with garden sheds is poor lighting and ventilation. Both factors can duly affect the way you work inside your garden shed. For lighting, you can choose either natural or artificial light. The advantage of maximising natural light is that you will spend less on electricity, not to mention the fact that it is eco-friendlier. There are a couple of shed features, like windows and skylights, that you can add to produce the optimum use of natural light. You can even use translucent GI sheets as roof to increase the amount of natural light without adding much to the construction cost.

However, bear in mind that too much natural light can also be a problem during summer. You can opt to use light pastel colours for your garden shed’s interior paint to improve the light’s efficiency.

For ventilation, adding windows would be a great idea to ensure that there is fresh air circulating inside your shed. You can also use extended eaves, ridge vents, or wall shutters to improve air movement.

#5: Guttering

The best way to avoid the most common guttering problem is to build your garden shed away from trees and other potential blockages that can eventually lead to water leakage. However, choosing the wrong material for shed gutters can be equally inefficient. As much as possible, avoid installing steel gutters which are prone to rust and corrosion over time. Plastic gutter is a better option as they are lighter, easier to work with, and are fairly durable. You should also consider fitting some gutter guards to protect it from potential blockage like fallen leaves and other debris.

If you feel that dealing with these problems is a hassle, just purchase your garden shed from EasyShed. We offer affordable, quality sheds that can last long. With EasyShed, you don’t need to worry about anything else. Just place your order and we will do the rest.

How to check the garden shed for leaksIf you have a garden shed where you keep your gardening tools and equipment, bikes, camping kit, garden furniture, etc., then you need to know that it’s a safe, dry place in which to store your stuff. This means doing a leak test once or twice a year, preferably at the end of winter and at the end of summer, the two seasons which bring the most extreme weather conditions. We’ve already told you how to check the structural integrity of your shed with the Shed Shake Test, so today we’re going to take a look at how to check for leaks that allow water into your shed which risks damaging some of your valuable stuff.

  • Check the inside walls and roof of your shed, in particular looking for signs of discolouration, stains, streaks or darker patches which could signify dripping or pooling water. Check any fabrics kept in the shed for discolouration that could mean mould is beginning to grow on them. However, it’s vital to remember that the growth of mould can also be caused by condensation.
  • Condensation occurs when moisture in the air collects onto a cold surface so make sure your shed is adequately ventilated to avoid condensation problems.
  • Check all the stuff in your shed, looking for signs of water dripping onto them or rust on tools.
  • Check the gutters (if your shed has them) and make sure they’re clear of debris.
  • Cut back any vegetation growing against the outside walls of the shed as this could cause damp to take a hold.
  • Wait for the rain (that shouldn’t be too long) and check the shed for any signs of water ingress – puddles, drips, etc.

If you do find any signs of a leak, then fixing it immediately is essential in order to protect the equipment stored in your shed. However, repairing leaks in an old shed may not be the most cost-efficient approach, especially when you consider that a wooden shed will need to be treated annually to prolong its life. Perhaps the most effective solution would be a new shed that features PVC cladding over a steel frame – a shed that is not so susceptible to leaks and damp.

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silicone in a tube works well ..make sure surfaces are dry ..or it want stick ..btw ..use on the outside ..not the inside

all the best.markj

Use something like this on the roof, it is far better than silicone and will last for ages, can be applied to wet/damp surfaces.

Hopefully, it is only damp. I was going to replace the felt on my roof, but after removal there was quite a bit of decayed timber, including the roof timber facings for outside decoration and timber studs on either side and at rear. None of this was evident from inside shed.

I ended up buying new timber for the roof and will start the renovation soon.

Hopefully, it is only damp. I was going to replace the felt on my roof, but after removal there was quite a bit of decayed timber, including the roof timber facings for outside decoration and timber studs on either side and at rear. None of this was evident from inside shed.

I ended up buying new timber for the roof and will start the renovation soon.

I bought some felt to redo my roof then noticed dry rot and damp root in the timbers, in the end I had a new roof installed by a mate of mine.

Do it cheap do it twice.

I noticed my shed roof was leaking a while ago but I hadn’t got the time to fix it so I covered it with a tarpaulin. When I got around to stripping the felt off, the plywood underneath was sodden and a small section was rotten. I replaced the rotten bit and, rather than seal the damp in under more felt, I covered the roof with corrugated plastic. Because air can circulate over the wood it has dried out very quickly.

The plastic sheets have a ten year guarantee and they were clean and easy to fit. However, the job worked out at nearly three times the cost of using the cheapest shed felt I could find. Still, £40 isn’t bad.

Similar / same stuff to that in my post above, Toolstation is cheaper and delivery is free.

9 by 9 what. feet? . inches. metres ?

9 miles by 9 miles ;o)))

Similar / same stuff to that in my post above, Toolstation is cheaper and delivery is free.

9 by 9 what. feet? . inches. metres ?

Whatever you do the wood needs time to dry otherwise it will rot. If the outside can get some air for a few days and usually with shed the inside is bare so leave door open when you can to allow it to dry quickly

I would use felt myself and galvanised nails

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How to check the garden shed for leaks

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How to check the garden shed for leaks

How to check the garden shed for leaks

How to check the garden shed for leaks

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