Does my shed need gutters?
Gutters aren’t too common in garden sheds. You won’t find any on our Wooden Sheds, for example, but they are present on all our Steel Sheds. Not every company offer steel sheds with gutters though, so it bears asking: What’s the story – does my shed actually need gutters or not?
It would be strongly recommended that a steel shed has a guttering system, or at the very least, an overhang. Ideally, it should have both. All our Steel Sheds all have gutters and overhangs. However a lot of other companies sell sheds that have overhangs, but not gutters. They feel that galvanised steel doesn’t need protection from rainwater. Which in some respects is true, but that’s not the main issue with rainwater.
It’s not the water at the top that’s the problem, however.
Rain on the panels isn’t the issue however in and of itself. However, when that rainwater runs down the sidewalls, it may pool along the side of (or under) your shed. If it does, this will cause condensation inside the shed as the temperature increases. Sure, you could use something like Tec-7 on the inside of your shed to prevent rainwater getting in initially, but if a gutter system is built into the shed already, it’ll negate the need for any additional effort. By adding rubber tubing to the outlet spouts on the gutters, you can redirect this water where you’d like.
In fact, this can post an additional benefit; by running the water from the gutters to a Water Butt system, you can have a ready supply of rainwater for your plants. This is particularly handy when hosepipe bans are implemented.
If you remember anything from Junior Cert Geography, you may remember that weak spots are often eaten away by the elements. Hey, that’s how Plunge Pools are formed (and Mrs. Geraghty said I’d never amount to anything). Obviously, where the shed sidewalls and roof connect are more structurally weak than the full sidewall itself. As such, these areas may not be as easily galvanised and they are more susceptible to the effects of constant wear. If a sheds roof connects the the sidewalls without an overhang or a gutter system at least, you’re looking at a potential future problem – even if it’s galvanised. So gutters (and overhangs) can act as a shield to a more structurally exposed part of your shed.
But what if it’s very windy when it rains?
Well then you’ll get wet. Having gutters isn’t a guarantee that the rainwater will flow down them. Much like Forrest Gump learned, rain can come in from above, at angles, sideways and even sometimes – from below. However, rain coming sideways tends not to pool at the top and generally poses little long term problems. Gutters will offer consistent protection from the vast majority of rainfalls however and maintain your steel shed in better nick for longer.
And remember, a Steel Shed needs a solid, level base like concrete, paving slabs etc, so the water running down the side of a shed won’t be drained away naturally.
Wooden Sheds don’t need gutters. Wooden Sheds are raised on blocks, so they’re at least 4″ off the ground; as such the pooling of water underneath them isn’t an issue. Even if the water falling off the overhang is blown into the shed, it will drip downwards into the soil underneath without issue.
It’s for this reason that we don’t recommend building a wooden shed flush to a concrete slab. The water would pool at the bottom, in these instance and through capillary action (another one for ya, Mrs. Geraghty! Boom!) the water would soak up through the shed, keeping it in a permanent moisture-rich state which in turn would lead to premature rot. With that said, you may want to add gutters to a wooden shed to make use of rainwater, as mentioned in the Steel Shed section above.
Adding gutters to garden sheds after purchase isn’t an easy thing to do for the layperson. Again, all our steel ones have them as standard, but if you got a shed from elsewhere, or have a wooden shed, you may be looking to get a gutter installed. We don’t offer this service ourselves, but this video from Allotment Book is probably the cleanest and easiest to follow if you want to give it a lash yourself:
Gutters are pretty important to steel sheds and for all type of sheds they offer a way to make use of rainwater for gardeners. We strongly recommend that you get a steel shed with a guttering system, but unless you want to gather rainwater for later use, you can get away without them on a wooden shed. If you have any questions, you can call us at 01 864 4247 or see other ways to contact us here.