Garden Advice

How to waterproof a shed the right way

Most people have a shed in their garden to store tools and other items outside of the house. Garden sheds can also be made into a cozy little tea room or a place where you practice your hobbies. They are usually made of wood which, sadly, makes them susceptible to weather-related problems.

So, it’s rather important to know how to waterproof a shed if you want it to last for years to come. After all, you’d want the stuff you keep in there to be weather-protected, nice and dry, right?

So, if you:

  • Are looking to waterproof your old shed;
  • Are planning on building a new one and are looking to waterproof it on the go;
  • Have just built one and it started to leak;

Then, please, read on.

Table of Contents:

Why waterproofing your shed is necessary?

Water is one of the biggest threats and it can do a lot of damage to your shed in the long run – the wood can rot, the tools inside may become rusty over time, and much, much worse. Waterproofing your shed is very important for preserving its structural integrity and the contents, stored inside. Not to mention that poorly maintained outbuildings are a safety risk, so taking proper care of the wood is an important part of shed security.

Have a look at some of the things to keep in mind while waterproofing your existing garden storage space, or when you’re building a new prefab shed or one from scratch. 

Find the right spot for your shed

Choosing the right location is crucial when building a new shed in your garden. For example, a wrong choice will be a lower spot, where water pools up when it’s raining. Water pooling up around the lower part of the walls will seep into the wooden planks, and they will rot over time. 

A more appropriate spot for a new shed is a level area, which gets a lot of sun.  Direct sunlight will help dry out the planks quickly and remove excess moisture. 

How to waterproof a shed base

Let’s take a look at what your shed is standing on. One of the major steps in waterproofing your shed is to raise it from the ground on some kind of base. This way the water won’t seep into the walls and make them damp and mouldy, or worse – make them rot. So, consider the following tips below on how to waterproof a shed base properly: 

  • If you are planning on getting a smaller shed built in your garden, you can construct a wooden base.
  • For larger structures, you can build a shed base with paving slabs and raise the shed.
  • If you already have one built in your garden, you will have to utilise heavy machinery to raise it in the air and add the base structure underneath or use other means (ex: rollers) and move it onto a base, you’ve built beforehand.
  • Note that most shed installation services will include building a raised base to place your new shed on.
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Waterproofing the walls of your shed

After you ensure your shed is placed on a proper base to eliminate contact with the ground, you should take your attention to the walls. Waterproofing the walls will help with reducing moisture inside of the shed by not allowing the sides to go damp. 

There are many methods by which you can waterproof shed walls. It all starts with choosing the right materials. If you’re building a new shed try to go for a more water-resistant wood type like cedar, for example. But even those types of materials aren’t waterproof, so you will have to treat the walls of your shed with a proper coating. 

  1. One type of coating is to apply a special waterproof sealant. This will not only stop moisture from seeping into the timber, but will also add a fresh new look to the outside of the whole structure. 
  1. Another way of stopping water getting through the walls of your shed is to paint it with waterproof paint. This type of paint will do the same job as the sealant.  And with paints, you have a vast choice of a variety of colours. That way you can add uniqueness to the all-round appearance of your outdoor storage unit. 
  1. The third method of waterproofing your shed walls is to add siding. Siding is the outermost layer of your shed walls. While a common siding material is wood, which is treated with the methods we’ve already mentioned above, there are also waterproof options, such as vinyl siding. The benefit of choosing vinyl siding is that it’s very low maintenance and totally waterproof. 

Ventilation is key

Does your shed have ventilation? If not, you should consider installing vents on opposite sides of your shed, to help the air inside circulate. Installing vents in your garden shed is not a complicated process. The options are many and are the same as you’d use in your house. A proper air circulation will keep issues like mould and damp away from the walls and the items you store inside. 

Learn what other gardening solutions we offer by visiting our dedicated webpage.

How to waterproof your shed’s roof

As with every building, the roof is one of the most important parts of your shed. Choosing a proper roofing material will help you a lot with waterproofing, no matter if you’re renovating your existing one or building a new one in your garden. To waterproof your shed roof effectively, you can use felt, shingles or lightweight metal sheets to place on top.

  • Felt is the most commonly used material. It’s easily installed and replaced when needed. It comes with its downsides, though – felt is relatively expensive and doesn’t last as long as other options. It’s also more susceptible to leaks and tears.
  • Another roofing material used for garden sheds is shingles – a covering, made of overlapping, individual elements. Shingles are made from different materials, one of the most common being asphalt. 
  • If you are looking to make your shed roof absolutely watertight, and want it to last a long time, consider covering it with a metal sheet. A light metal sheet stops water completely and can last over 20 years if properly maintained.
  • Another technique is to place a waterproof shed membrane before replacing the old and damaged felt, as well.

Along with the proper roofing materials, you should also consider installing gutters and a proper drainage system around your shed to steer the water away from the sides. 

Always clean your gutters and drains

A correctly installed drainage system takes care of the water running down from the roof. If there are no gutters and effective drainage put in place, water can leak over the walls of your shed and cause mould and damage to the wood. 

Gutter systems consist of gutter trays that collect the water from the roof, and drain pipes that lead the water to the ground in a safe way. If your gutters and drain pipes are full of leaves, debris blown in from the wind or sludge, they can become clogged.

That will lead to leaks, overflowing and can dampen the structure of your shed. You should regularly check and clean your gutters to avoid such problems. Your free time is valuable and doing the task yourself may be tiresome, if that is your case consider getting a professional gutter cleaning service.

Need help?

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Get professional help in installing and repairing your shed

If you are not sure that you can handle installing a new shed in your garden, or maybe, you don’t have enough time to repair the old leaking one, then why don’t you consider getting help from the professionals? 

Fantastic Services provides quality garden shed repair and installation services in the UK. We work with local professionals in your area to deliver a complete service – purchasing, delivery, installation and maintenance of sheds, available on weekends and bank holidays!


  • Choose a right location for your new shed – it’s better to place it on level ground that gets a lot of sun.
  • Raise the shed from the ground – place it on a proper base to eliminate contact with wet ground.
  • Waterproof the walls – treat the wood with a proper, waterproof sealant, or get vinyl siding.
  • Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate – ensure a good airflow inside your shed to prevent damp and mould.
  • Install waterproof roofing – felt roofing is fine, but consider a stronger material, such as lightweight metal sheets or asphalt shingles.
  • Clean your gutters and drain pipes – always make sure there’s no leaves or dirt in your drainage systems to prevent overflow.


Did you find this article helpful? How do you keep your shed waterproof? Let us know in the comments below!

Image source: Shutterstock / D. Pimborough

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