How Do You Treat a Wooden Summerhouse?

When buying a wooden garden room, it is easy to overlook the ongoing maintenance that comes with your new expansion. Over the years, the changing seasons and wear and tear can affect your wooden garden building. Wood can deteriorate over time, especially when it is exposed to the natural elements - rain, wind, snow, and sun. With the correct wood treatment, care, and techniques, your summer house will stay newer for longer, and will be a sanctuary to make memories in for years to come.

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How to maintain a garden room

A garden room which is properly looked after and regularly checked inside and out will be easier to maintain in the long run. It is important to regularly inspect your garden structure to catch any issues early before they lead to more costly repairs down the line. Depending on the intended function, you may find it isn’t something that is used all year round. Garden Bars and Camping Lodges may be used primarily in warmer months, whereas School rooms may lay empty for weeks at a time during school holidays. It is important to still check and maintain your cabin during these unoccupied times, as this is when issues could go unnoticed, and the cabin’s air can become stagnant. A garden building maintenance routine should include regular cleaning of the interior and exterior, timely repairs of any cracks or damages, airing out of the cabin when not in use, and re-application of protective treatments when needed. 

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Do garden rooms get damp?

The small enclosed nature of a garden room, plus the amount of rain and cold temperatures that come with British weather, all help create an ideal setting for dampness to thrive. Humidity and condensation also seep into your garden room if there aren't sufficient steps taken to prevent this. Dampness can be especially problematic between October - April for more reasons than just the cold weather, your garden room might seem more ‘out of sight, out of mind’ during the winter and spring months when it isn’t being used as frequently.

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Factors such as humidity, rainfall, condensation, ventilation, and proximity to water sources all contribute to damp conditions inside your summer house. It is important to take preventative measures all year round to keep your garden room damp and mould-free. Below we will explore the measures you should take, including wood treatment, proper ventilation, and roof maintenance. With proper care, your garden house can stay in good condition for decades to come.

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How to wood treat a garden room

When owning a garden cabin, it is important to treat the wood to protect it from the natural elements and enhance its durability. Cabin Master cedar garden rooms are oil-treated as part of our Cabin Master external services, so there is no need for you to worry about treating your cabin master bespoke garden room for its first year. 

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If your garden home has been built with untreated wood, it is important to prepare and protect it from outdoor conditions. To do so, firstly ensure that the wood is clean and free of debris, dirt, mould, and mildew. A clean surface helps allow the treatment to fully penetrate the wood. You can then use a roller or sprayer to treat the wood using a wood preservative that is suitable for outdoor use. Follow the directions on the packaging of the wood preservative, it may advise you to wait a certain amount of time after applying before moving on to the next step.

After applying the wood preservative, you can move on to the wood sealant. Following up with a sealant adds an extra layer of protection by creating a barrier, repelling water and UV Rays. This should also be applied according to manufacturer instructions, as different brands will advise different application techniques.

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After the first year, It is recommended that you review the wood of your garden house for signs of wear, damage, or deterioration every few months. If you find any areas where the wood treatment has worn, it is time to think about reapplying the treatment in order to keep a well-maintained structure. 

To maintain the wood of your summer house, simply reapply your wood preservative, as well as your wood sealant to any areas in need of a touch-up. 

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How else to extend the lifespan of your garden room

As well as wood treatment, there are many other proactive measures you should take to protect your garden room and keep it looking newer for longer. It is important to inspect all aspects of your garden room inside and out, from the foundation up to the roof, especially during changing seasons or strong weather. 

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Garden Room Foundation 

It is important to regularly inspect your garden room’s foundation, checking for any cracks or erosion that could negatively impact the unit’s structural integrity. Cracks, settling, and water damage can lead to issues such as uneven floors, and in extreme cases, collapsing of the structure. Regular inspections can catch these issues early before they develop into more costly jobs. Simply inspect the foundation for any visible cracks, damp spots, or any significant shift in the soil around the foundation. You should also check if the cabin appears to be leaning or if there are any uneven floors inside, as this can also be a sign of a foundation issue. If you do find any issues, it is important to consult a professional, such as a building inspector, as soon as possible.


Garden Room Roof Maintenance

Your roof should be checked for loose or damaged shingles, especially after extreme weather such as high winds and strong rain. Loose shingles could lead to leaks, which can then damage the interior of your garden room. You should also clean your roof regularly for any debris such as leaves and branches, to prevent roof damage or water buildup. If you are experiencing leaks or draughts inside your garden room, the roof is a good place to start when investigating the source. 

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Garden room ventilation

Ensuring your garden room has proper ventilation is important in preventing dampness, whilst also ensuring it is a comfortable temperature and improving air quality. If your garden room goes days without being in use, simply opening the doors and windows for a few hours on dry days will improve airflow, helping with mould and damp prevention. Fans and air conditioning can also help circulate the air when opening windows and doors isn’t doable. 

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If your cabin is used for entertaining guests and frequently holds large groups of people, or if it is the home of computers, studio lights, and other large electric equipment (such as school rooms, Photography Studios, and Garden Offices) these can be particularly susceptible to warm and humid conditions. Installing an exhaust fan can help with taking warm air out and bringing fresh air in, whilst also helping with odour control. 

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Keeping your garden room clean

When a wooden cabin is cleaned regularly, moisture that may have accumulated on its surface is removed. Removing any dirt and grime buildup from the exterior and interior of your garden room will help in maintaining the wood’s protective finish. Mild soap and water with a soft-bristled brush and a cloth should be enough to remove dirt and grime without stripping away your protective finish. For tougher stains, a specialised wood cleaner will be able to tackle these without harming the wood. How regularly you should do this depends on the function of your cabin. 

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Regular tidiness helps prevent pest infestations. If your cabin stores food, such as a camping cabin or garden bar, it is important that the food is properly stored away when not in use. Crumbs, spills, and clutter can attract pests, insects, and rodents, which can cause damage to the wood and other materials in your cabin. A cluttered and messy cabin can also obscure potential issues that may need addressing in your garden room. It is important to keep the cabin tidy so that any cracks, leaks, or mould spots can be easily identified and dealt with.

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How long will a timber frame garden room last?

High-quality timber, treated for outdoor use and properly maintained, can be a great addition to your home for years to come. Regular maintenance such as resealing and repainting when needed, will help extend the lifespan of your garden room. At Cabin Master, we are so confident in the quality of our materials, that all of our garden rooms come with a 10 year guarantee.

A garden room that is made from high-quality materials, and manufactured and built by trusted professionals, will also expand the lifespan of your timber frame garden room. Strong, premium materials will make your garden room more durable to wind, rain, snow, and heat, as well as general wear and tear.

Looking to enhance your garden with a new Garden Room or Office? Explore our pricing page for detailed information, or contact our team today to discuss a bespoke installation created to meet your needs!

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