Comedian Bob Marley, a native of Maine, has a bit (an oldie but a goodie) about all the nonsense his dad let him get away with as a kid. For example, he could take the entire roof off the house and his dad would just laugh and say, “Ha! It’s gonna suck if it snows.”
His father – who named his son not knowing there was a musician already named Bob Marley – wasn’t wrong. You don’t need to lose a whole roof to know that winter can wreak havoc on your outbuildings, though. Take the time now to avoid not-good times in the future.
The first thing to do is just a simple visual inspection. Walk all the way around your sheds, garages and barns and pay close attention to areas that could be troublesome. On the outside, that’s the lowest spots, at the bottom of boards and siding, near the corners and the highest spots, under eaves and where walls connect to roofs. Sometimes a simple patch is all that’s needed to keep extra moisture, wind and wildlife out.
Do a good, thorough inspection on the inside walls as well. This may involve moving some things, but the hassle may be worth it. Inspect the bracing. While inside, look at the roof from that vantage point and try to spy any leak stains or places where outside light is peeking in. A small roof repair now is worth avoiding a larger one come next spring – or a collapse under the heavy snows that come in February.
Northland Sheds also advises keeping an eye out for any rodent activity or damage. “The last thing you want is to have your shed be a home for squirrels or a rat family. While you inspect the interior make sure there isn’t any chewed up wood, insulation, etc., from rodents,” they said.
If there are windows or other openings, make sure they are sealed tightly and securely. Replaced any cracked or missing window panes now. A screen may keep pests out, but broken glass will always let other issue flourish, like moisture, mildew and more. This goes for all the doors as well.
If there is a noticeable lean or unevenness to a building, it may be worth it to call a carpenter or a contractor to your property to check things out. Some issues may be okay to stay as-is through the next few months; some may need professional work now. Even if you don’t have the required work done now, it’ll be good to have the knowledge of what needs to be fixed (and have a rough estimate of what it will cost).
Winter can be a rough season on both bodies and buildings. Take care of both, and both will enjoy the sunshine next spring.