How to Extend Shed Roof Life Easy DIY
Back Yard Shed
The Shed in the Back Yard
If you own a shed outbuilding in your yard, you really depend on it to store seasonal equipment (lawn mower, bicycles, snow blower, gardening tools) that otherwise would not have a “home.” Since the shed, whether ready-made or built from scratch, would cost several hundred dollars to replace, it would be foolhardy to allow it to deteriorate. Replacing the shed might be very low on your list of spending priorities. Life will be better if you can make the shed last as long as possible.
Shed Roofs Take a Beating
A shed's roof takes the worst beating. Sun, rain, wind, snow and hail pelt it throughout the year, slowly eroding the shingles. Eventually moisture seeps down tiny crevices into the plywood underlayment. If that happens, the trouble magnifies exponentially with permanent moisture, mildew, and breaking down of the roof.
Disgusting Water Damage to Roof Plywood Underlay
Protect the Shed Roof without Spending Big Bucks
However, what can the frugal shed owner do if there is no money for reroofing?
Following are 2 strategies. The first is tried and true, conventionally sound advice. The second is off the wall, but buys a little time for you. They can be used together
Trim back any branches of trees or shrubbery that lean on the roof.
Also, identify the branches that may clear the shingles in dry conditions, but lean wetly upon them when weighted down with rain, snow or ice. ATTACK those babies! Cut them far back. Remember that they are alive and will start growing back.
Also, remove any vines or climbing plants that are heading towards clinging to roof shingles or shading them. Cut them far back.
Hacks Around No Tools for Tree Trimming
What can you do if you don’t own pruners, trimmers, chainsaws or other implements of plant shaping? Running out to buy tools is not part of the frugal fixer plan.
Craigslist has a Barter section in its For Sale lists. (There is also a Free section: maybe you will be really lucky!) You can creatively offer services of yours in exchange for pruners.
If Craigslist does not yield the right tools, perhaps you can do old-fashioned borrowing. Does a neighbor have hedge clippers or such devices? Trade a batch of freshly baked bread for the use of the tools for a weekend. Please clean them before returning. That is just good borrowing etiquette.
If you really come to wit’s end, use the “wrong” kind of saw or a steak knife.
Make the whole shed last longer by keeping the roof in good shape.
Paint the roof.
Spend a mere $30 or so per gallon and coat your shed roof. This is not with special roof tar, roof patch, or roof caulking, although you can go that route for more money. No, this is with exterior paint.
Buy the store brand of latex paint. Latex cleans up with water and soap. Oil paint is harder to clean from brushes and your skin.
(If money is really a problem and exterior paint does not fit your budget, go for interior paint. Illogical, yes; but what we are going for is the quick fix of water repellant. Some protection is better than none. The temporary fix takes care of today and tomorrow.)
Brick Red "New" Roof
Water Resistance Prolongs Roof Life
Below are photos of untreated shingles and then brick red painted shingles with water poured upon them. Observe the difference.
Unpainted Shingles Versus Painted Roof Shingles
Make Your Life Easier with Inexpensive Shed Roof Trick
Here you have two ideas which you can use spending only a little time and very little money.
Ben Franklin’s truism about a stitch now saving the need for nine stitches later applies to saving the shed roof.
Replacing an entire shed is a much bigger, more expensive deal than a quick fix now. Save the shed and have money for other fun purchases.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Maren Elizabeth Morgan