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Keeping your storage items protected from the elements is probably a priority for you. One way to keep them protected is with a vinyl storage shed. However, the hassle of the purchase and the continual maintenance that comes with a shed can be overwhelming.
What if there were a maintenance-free storage solution so that you wouldn’t spend more time than necessary keeping your storage shed in good shape and hence, the stuff inside safe.
I’d like to give you five Tips for making your vinyl storage shed maintenance-free…and we’re talking actually maintenance-free! You see, many people sell “maintenance-free” storage sheds with materials that require maintenance…
How does that work? You’re surely wondering! Maintenance-free sheds that require maintenance?
Here’s the deal, there are a few things you can watch for (or add) to make sure your vinyl storage shed is maintenance-free! So here we go with five tips to make your vinyl shed really maintenance-free!
First, let’s give some background information:
Table of Contents
What Is The Most Low-Maintenance Shed Type?
According to AmishMike, plastic sheds are very low-maintenance. Of course, this could vary, depending on where you live and what the climate is like. However, vinyl sheds, which are a type of plastic shed, are durable and low-maintenance and are typically a great purchase.
What Is The Difference Between Resin, Plastic, And Vinyl?
In case you were confused by all the different names for sheds, according to Classic Buildings, resin, plastic, and vinyl sheds simply have different names and are the same product.
1. Wrap all the vinyl shed fascia with Metal
That’s right… The first tip is…wrapping the fascia with metal. What in the world is fascia? You might be asking!
The fascia on your vinyl storage shed is the part right around the edge of the roof on the sides and the end. The white trim, shown in the photo on the left, is the fascia.
There are several ways to finish out the fascia on the vinyl storage shed. Some are…you got it, maintenance-free and others are not. Look at the difference here… (hint, the one on the left is the real maintenance free fascia).
Awe…you might be saying. I like the wood grain look!
Nevertheless, if you choose this “semi-maintenance” free shed, you will have to make sure that the fascia (now you know what it is!), stays covered with a good coat of paint. Not doing so could invalidate your warranty.
Oh, one more thing! You can get woodgrain trim that is a solid resin material. It looks just like the wood trim but should last 500 years! The only caveat…it costs a lot!
This is another way to create a vinyl, maintenance-free storage shed that should not be passed over. Think about it, the floor is the closest to the ground which is where the rainwater splashes as it runs off the roof of your backyard vinyl shed.
So, What Is A Treated Floor?
Was this one of your questions? To start, all of our skids under a vinyl shed (the part which sits on the ground) are pressure treated. That means they are especially engineered so that they won’t rot when in contact with the ground.
You can see the different parts of a shed floor in the photo featured above. As mentioned, it is a very important part of your vinyl storage shed.
Since the floor sits so close to the ground, it can be the part that rots out the quickest.
Say, for example, you have a vinyl garage shed where you park your ATV, car, or outdoor machinery. If you drive your car in from the rain, the rain will run off the car onto the garage floor and make it damp, which could potentially rot out the floor of your shed. Or, say you add mulch around your shed, and it sits against the nontreated floor joist for a long time. This could easily rot out the bottom of your shed. A rotting floor is very difficult to fix unless you’re a professional shed repairman. Even then, it will cost a bunch of money!
So, Do I Need Treated Wood For My Shed?
A treated floor is a very low-cost investment that will keep your vinyl storage shed maintenance-free for years to come (see prices here). You don’t want to end up having a vinyl-sided shed that lasts for 50 years with a floor that lasts 20!
3. Build a Pad for your Vinyl Shed
This could have been the first point in the post since you have to have a shed pad ready before your backyard vinyl shed arrives. On second thought, it might be good to get the vinyl shed ordered and then build a shed pad since it is often 6-8 weeks until a shed can be delivered after it is ordered.
Choose a Gravel or Concrete Shed Pad
There are several different types of vinyl shed pads. Concrete and gravel shed pads are two common shed pad options. Both will protect your vinyl shed very well and help substantially lower maintenance efforts. But, a concrete pad will cost a lot more; plus, it’s not as easy to shim a vinyl shed on a concrete pad.
No, we do not recommend that you put vinyl storage sheds on concrete blocks.
As shown in the above photos, years of use, weather changes, and other factors can cause the blocks to shift or settle. If your vinyl shed will be sitting there for decades, a good shed pad can go a long way in keeping a much more maintenance-free storage shed.
There are some other important things to keep in mind when building a maintenance-free, vinyl storage shed pad. Here are a few more pointers:
Buy pressure-treated 6x6s to go around the perimeter of your pad. They should be 2’ longer than the maintenance-free storage shed you plan to buy. This allows you to keep the stone around your shed contained and also creates a much cleaner-looking backyard when all is done.
Build a pad 1’6” wider and longer than the vinyl building you plan to have placed on the pad. This is an important aspect to keeping your vinyl shed looking good and lasting longer. If you don’t do this, you will have mud splashing up against the shed, making it dirty. As mentioned earlier, a rotted-out floor could also be a potential consequence.
Make sure the pad is square. A simple way to do this is to find a helper and stretch a tape measure from one corner of your shed pad to the opposite corner. Write down the measurement on a notepad. Then crisscross to the other corners and do the same. The two measurements should be equal. If they are not, take a sledgehammer and move one corner until both measurements match.
Make sure the pad is level. This is as simple as getting a 2’ or 4’ level at your local hardware store and setting it on the 6×6 perimeter.
Again, a pad for your vinyl backyard shed makes a big difference in creating a maintenance-free storage shed. Of course, plan to install a shed pad now so that you won’t regret not having one later.
4. Add A Critter Guard
I’ll never forget when two of my neighbors’ dogs were running around in my backyard. They ended up under my prefab one-car garage and could not back their way out! We were forced to dig the one out and lift the corner of the garage up with a tractor to get the other one out!
Worse yet, I’ve even had groundhogs digging holes under my backyard office shed! All of this can be avoided with a critter guard. Critter guards stave off well…critters, keeping a much more maintenance-free storage shed.
How To Install A Critter Guard For Your Vinyl Shed
Honestly, it is not as complicated as it sounds. All you need to do to install a critter guard is this:
As shown on the left, measure the distance between two skids at the end of a shed.
Cut a pressure-treated 2×4 to fit in between that.
Use a power screw gun and fasten the critter guard with two screws on each side.
Do the same between each skid. Now you have a critter safe shed.
There may be some outdoor sheds that have an area at the end of a shed between the outside joist and the skid. If that is the case, you may have to jack up one side of your shed and install pressure-treated plywood. Or box it in with pressure-treated 2×4’s to the edge.
You can avoid having all of this by ordering a critter guard when you purchase a vinyl storage shed and it will be installed on delivery!
5. Add Felt Paper or An Ice and Snow Shield
One last thing you could do to extend the longevity of your vinyl storage shed would be to add an ice and snow shield or add felt paper.
An Ice And Snow Shield Vs. Felt Paper
According to Ask the Builder, “Ice and water shield is a far superior product compared to basic roofing felt paper.” It is very thick and creates a very heavy seal on your roof in addition to the shingles. If your shingles start to leak for any reason, the ice and snow shield will protect them. No doubt, the ice and snow shield (also known as an ice and water shield) is a great product for keeping your roof safe for years to come.
If you want more than just a thin layer of protection and want something that could extend the life of your roof by a long time, add an ice and snow shield to your vinyl storage shed.
Felt paper, on the other hand, is good protection for a roof until the shingles are in place, but has little long-term protection compared to an ice and snow shield.
Most Amish-built vinyl sheds don’t come with felt paper as a standard feature. So if you want to add felt paper or an ice and snow shield, make sure you do this when you order the outdoor storage shed; otherwise, it will be too late. The cost of the felt paper should not be very high.
There we have it! Five ways to make your portable vinyl storage building a real maintenance-free storage shed. Maintenance-free storage sheds will help keep you from getting overwhelmed about well…general upkeep for your shed. Want to find a vinyl storage shed for yourself? Click below to get started!