On the most practical level, galvanized and painted steel is a better material for most building applications than wood, but there are times when wood is the material of choice.
- When a homeowners association requires it.
- When it is needed to fit in aesthetically
- When it is a personal preference.
- When it is the only material available.
- When initial cost is the major consideration.
In such cases, wood will do very well. Keep in mind that it must be maintained well if it is to last. More on that subject at the end of this page.
Wood is good
Wood is a wonderful building material. Wood is a renewable building material. Wood is a strong building material. Wood can be worked into almost any shape or size by experts who work with it.
Problems with wood as a shed material
The only problems with wood are fire and water, and of the two, water is likely responsible for more wood structure damage than fire. Wood will not rot except in the presence of moisture, and keeping the moisture out is a perpetual problem that has plagued builders since the first planks were split out of a log. Granted, some woods handle moisture better, with less rot than others. Among them, cedar, redwood, and cypress. Unfortunately, these are also among the least renewable sources for wood building materials. It is not that they can’t be regrown, but that they take a considerable amount of time to do so, and despite the fact that they are rot resistant, they still suffer the ravages of the wetting and drying cycle.
Keeping proper moisture balanced
Keeping the proper balance of moisture on a consistent basis is the goal for builders and owners, and this involves sealing the buildings against high humidity, and excess drying cycles. The standard method for doing this is to apply paint or sealer to the wood to prevent the introduction of moisture. When properly applied, and properly maintained these work very well. The problem is usually in the “properly maintained” part of that equation.
Wooden shed maintenance
Proper maintenance of a wooden structure involves cleaning, and resealing or painting the structure at least every 18 months, and preferably every year.
This is the procedure you should follow:
- Loose paint should be scraped off
- The building should be well cleaned, and allowed to dry if a pressure washer or other cleaning method involving water is used.
- All joints should be caulked.
- The proper paint or sealer should be applied according to the manufacturers specifications.
- The roof should be inspected for damage, and any needed repairs performed.
- All openings should be inspected, and weatherstripping or caulking used to seal any potential leaks.
Do these things on a regular schedule and your wooden or composite building can last as long as a steel sided building.