It’s high time to get your stuff inside for the coming season. You know you can’t leave in the weather any longer and it must be done soon!
But you also want a maintenance free storage solution so you won’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 for real maintenance free! You see, many people sell “maintenance free” storage sheds with materials which require maintenance…
How does that work? You’re surely wondering!
Maintenance free sheds that require maintenance?
This is the deal, there are a few things you can watch for (or add) to make sure your vinyl storage shed is care-free! So here we go with Five Tips to make your Vinyl Shed Really Maintenance Free!
1. Wrap all the vinyl shed fascia with Metal
The first tip is…wraping 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 a vinyl storage shed. Some are…you got it, maintenance free and the 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 on the right!
Don’t feel bad! So do we!
It just adds a special touch to a building. And honestly, the wood-grain trim material used on Sheds Unlimited vinyl storage sheds is a VERY high-quality product with 5/50 year limited warranty. It should last until your grandchildren are finished using it!
Nevertheless, if you choose this “semi-maintenance” free shed, you will have to be sure 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 wood grain 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!
2. Add a Fully Pressure Treated Floor
This is another one that should NOT be passed over if you want a REAL maintenance free vinyl storage shed! Think of it, the floor is the closest to the ground where the rainwater splashes as it runs off the roof of the backyard vinyl shed.
So, what is a treated floor?
Was that your question?
To start, all of our skids under a vinyl shed (the part which sets on the ground) are pressure treated. That means they are especially engineered so they won’t rot when in contact with the ground.
You can see the different parts of a shed floor in the photo on the left. 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. Plus, the floor will have the most dampness from going in and out.
Say you have a vinyl garage shed where you are parking your ATV, car or other outdoor tools. If you drive in from the rain, the rain will run off onto the floor and make it damp. Or, while this should never happen, say you add mulch around the shed and it sits against the nontreated floor joist for a long time. It 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!
A treated floor is a very low-cost investment that will keep your vinyl storage shed in tip-top shape 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 in 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 many ways to build your vinyl shed pad.
The one is a gravel pad and the other a concrete pad. Both will protect your vinyl shed very well and help reduce the maintenance substantially. But, a concrete pad will cost a lot more and not be as easy for shimming the vinyl shed after it arrives.
Could I set my shed on Concrete Blocks?
Thanks for asking!
NO, we do not recommend you put a vinyl storage shed on concrete blocks. As shown in the photos to the left, years of use, weather change etc 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.
There are some important things to keep in mind when building a vinyl shed pad to keep your storage shed maintenance free. 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 shed you plan to buy. This allows you to keep the stone contained and 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 important for 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. Not to mention, rotting out the floor as we mentioned above.
- Make sure the pad is square. To do this you find a helper. 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. Your goal must be to get them 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 6x6 perimeter.
Again, a pad for your vinyl backyard shed makes a big difference and you won’t want to do it after the shed is in place! Or wish you had!
4. Add 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 our 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 critter guard.
How To Install Critter Gaurd on your Vinyl Shed
Honestly, it is not as complicated as it sounds. All you need to do to install critter guard is this:
- Measure the distance between two skids at the end of a shed as shown on the left.
- Then cut a pressure treated 2x4 to fit in between that.
- Use power screw gun and fasten the critter guard with two screws on each side.
- Do the same between each skid and 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 the one side of your shed and install pressure treated plywood. Or box it in with pressure treated 2x4’s to the edge.
You can avoid having all of this by ordering critter guard when you purchase a vinyl storage shed and it will be installed on delivery!
5. Add Felt Paper or Ice and Snow Shield
One last thing you could do to extend the longevity of your vinyl storage shed would be to add Ice and Snow Shield or Felt Paper.
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 you shingles start to leak for any reason, the ice and snow shield will protect it. No doubt, Ice and snow shield (also known as 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 ice and snow shield to your vinyl storage shed.
Felt paper, on the other hand, is a good protection for a roof until the shingles are in place, but little long-term protection compared to 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 ice and snow shield, make sure you do this when you order the outdoor storage shed or it will be too late. The cost of felt paper should not be very high.
Ice and water shield is a far superior product compared to basic roofing felt paper.