How to Maintain Your Plastic Storage Shed
A plastic storage shed is a low-maintenance choice for your property but it's not a no-maintenance choice, if you get our drift. You still need to know how to maintain your plastic storage shed and what you need to do when so that the shed can remain in good condition for as long as possible.
Why Choose a Plastic Storage Shed?
Sheds are most commonly made with plastic, metal, and wood. So why choose plastic for your shed?
- Portable plastic storage sheds are made from vinyl, resin, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). All these types of plastic sheds are weather-resistant and durable.
- Plastic sheds are lightweight, so they’re easy to transport and move.
- The everyday homeowner can fairly easily install a plastic shed on their property.
- When maintained well, plastic sheds can last for 10 years or longer.
- You won't have to worry about rot or pest infestation, which can happen with wooden sheds.
- You don't have to worry about rust, a problem that happens with metal sheds. You don't need to stain or paint a plastic shed, either.
Plastic storage sheds are very low-maintenance and that's a big part of their appeal. However, that doesn't mean you can plop one in the yard and never do anything to take care of it.
Maintaining a Plastic Storage Shed
While you don't have to do as much to maintain a plastic shed as a wood or metal shed, you do have to perform some regular tasks on a plastic shed. Do this simple regular maintenance and your shed will stay in good condition for many years.
With regular maintenance, you might even be able to extend the life of your shed by a few years or perhaps several years. This means you will get even more out of your investment.
Once a year, do a pretty good visual inspection of the shed to search for any potential problems or maintenance concerns you might have. Take a look at the walls both inside and out, the door and doorway, the roof, the ceiling, and the base of the shed.
You should spend several minutes examining closely and looking for any problems. If you see something that looks off, don't panic right away because it could be dirt that can be cleaned away and not a massive crack in the plastic.
If you do see that you have cracks or any visible signs of wear, note where they are. Pay attention also to the doorframe and window frames, if any, as wear and tear can occur in these areas.
A neat, clean exterior area all around the shed will help to prevent pests from getting into and hanging around it. Snakes, rodents, insects, and spiders might all find little homes in and around the shed if you aren't performing proper maintenance.
Remove anything that might be stacked against or close to the shed. Firewood, bicycles, garbage cans, bags of stuff, none of this should be stacked up near the shed because all of this provides hiding areas for pests.
Pull up all weeds and bushes and other vegetation growing next to the shed, until only neatly-trimmed grass remains. Keep the grass trimmed regularly and don't let it grow long, as this will provide a place for pests and snakes to rest.
If you do find any cracks in your storage shed, inside or outside, big or small, fix them right away. A crack will only let in moisture and cause bigger problems in the future, damaging your shed over time.
It's better to fix it right away and get your shed back to a waterproof, weather-tight condition. Cracks that aren’t fixed will only grow bigger and bigger and it’s easier to fix them when they’re small.
This is actually a fairly straightforward DIY repair and you don't need a whole lot of special materials to do it. What you will need is gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself while you work, so slip into those before you start this project.
Clean the crack using a wire brush, cleaning away any dirt and plastic particles from the crack. Soak a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and use it to clean the crack inside and out.
Wait five minutes for the alcohol to dry.
Cracks in portable plastic storage sheds can be sealed with epoxy. Spread quick-setting epoxy quickly and thoroughly directly on the crack.
Quick-setting epoxy will start to cure, or harden, in about five minutes. You may need to apply multiple coats of epoxy before the crack is completely sealed.
Inevitably, the shed needs to be cleaned. Luckily, when it comes to how to clean a plastic shed, this is actually a fairly easy task.
Start with a standard broom that can be used for outdoor tasks and use this to sweep off the ceiling, walls, and floor. You'll need to wipe it clean of dust and other debris, such as leaves and mud.
Add some drops of liquid soap into a spray bottle of plain water and mix well.
This spray bottle will make it easier to clean the walls and ceiling of the shed. First, of course, you want to remove everything from inside the shed.
Get as much stuff out of the shed as you can and cover up what you can't move using plastic sheets. Once the shed is as empty as possible, start spraying it down with the soapy water.
Apply a large sponge or scrub brush to the areas of the shed you can reach. If you're going to use a ladder to reach hard-to-reach places, do not do it alone.
Always make sure you have a second person right there if you're using a ladder.
You can also attach an extender to a scrub brush or sponge and use this to reach hard-to-reach places.
Clean the top and bottom of all shelves, if present, and open up and cabinets and clean all of these top to bottom, door and all.
Spray the shed down with plain water when this is done. Open it up as much as you can, opening all doors and windows, to let it air dry.
To wash the outside of the shed, spray it down with a garden hose. You can also spray some of your soap solution on the walls of the shed and use your brush or sponge to remove stubborn dirt.
Spray the shed well with plain water and hand-scrub any places that have caked-on dirt using a scrub brush.
Now is the perfect time to organize your shed. Go through all your items and get rid of what you don’t need.
Put everything in clearly labeled storage boxes and containers and put the items you use most frequently toward the front of shelves and stacks of items.
When everything is well-organized, your shed will feel much roomier and look nicer. When you’re all done with your maintenance, you will have pretty much performed an entire plastic shed makeover.
Keeping Your Shed Ship Shape
Performing regular maintenance on your shed will keep it not just looking nicer but actually lasting longer. A little bit of simple maintenance can keep your shed standing tall for years and years to come, so it's well worth the little bit of effort it takes to maintain a plastic shed.
Good maintenance on plastic storage sheds will help counter the natural wear and tear that occurs to buildings over time and will help you prevent pests that can do damage to the shed and everything you have stored inside of it.
Plastic Storage Shed FAQs
How do you maintain a plastic shed?
To maintain your plastic shed, clean it thoroughly inside and out with soap and water and seal up all the cracks with epoxy. Clean out all weeds and plant growth around the base of the shed and keep the grass neat and trimmed.
Do this regularly, and your shed will stay in good condition and is more likely to remain pest-free for years to come.
What are the disadvantages of plastic sheds?
Plastic sheds are a great low-maintenance option but they do have some drawbacks. For one, plastic sheds are not the most secure option you can choose.
A standard vinyl shed doesn't take a lot of force to break into. It's possible to break right through the wall, if a person is determined enough.
Heavy-duty padlocks and steel-reinforced plastic make these sheds more secure. Most standard plastic sheds do not come with this protection, so you will need to specifically seek this out if security is a concern.
Plastic sheds can potentially also take heavy damage in severe weather conditions. If you live in an area that may be susceptible to a hurricane, a tornado, or an earthquake, these sheds might not stand up to the weather and may not provide enough protection for your items.
Sheds made from plastic must also have a secure foundation. You will need to pour a concrete base for the shed to sit on before you put it into place on your property, which is an additional expense and takes a little extra work.
How long will a plastic shed last?
Most plastic sheds will last for about 10 years. With good maintenance, however, they can last for a few years longer.
How do you keep mold out of a plastic shed?
Regular shed maintenance and fixing cracks as soon as you find them are good ways to prevent mold growth because this helps keep moisture out of the shed.
The best way to prevent mold is to keep the storage shed ventilated. You can also use a dehumidifier.
Mold needs moist air to thrive. Keeping the shed dry is the best way to keep it from growing, which is why ventilation and dehumidifiers are such effective prevention tools.
Ridge vents and soffit vents can keep the area ventilated to prevent mold growth as well. Have these installed, if possible, or search for a shed that had these installed when you’re shopping for your storage building.
Can you repair a plastic shed?
Cracks in plastic sheds can be repaired with epoxy. If cracks appear around windows or doors, caulk can be applied.
Is it worth repairing a shed?
You should always repair cracks in a shed to prevent moisture and to keep the shed strong and secure. Cracks will only get bigger in time, so they should be fixed right away.
If cracks compromise the weather-proof protection of the shed, all the items you have stored inside could potentially be damaged by moisture and other weather conditions. Cracks may cause mold to grow, which can cause further damage to the shed and everything inside of it.
Seal cracks whether they appear inside or outside the shed as soon as you can after you’ve spotted them, and you will keep your shed secure against the weather and protect all the stuff you have inside.
Where can you find cheap plastic storage sheds?
Another big benefit to choosing a plastic outdoor storage shed is the price. Often, a plastic storage building is the least expensive option, as compared to metal and wood storage sheds.
With good maintenance, you can get a lot of use out of an outdoor plastic storage shed. You can find a large, medium, or small plastic storage shed online or at a home improvement or home furniture store.
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