Condensation in Metal and Vinyl Clad Sheds FAQ

Metal or single walled vinyl clad sheds will suffer from condensation when dampness is present, as the air inside the shed is always slightly warmer than the outside of the shed. Nathan James Dodd suggests methods to avoid this situation occurring.

Created by Nathan James Dodd on Wednesday, 26th of August, 2015.


Condensation In Metal And Vinyl Sheds

This is similar to condensation forming in any enclosed, unheated, and insufficiently ventilated space.

Any moisture in the foundation, or seepage from the outside, will rise up until it hits the cold roof and wall panels, when it condenses into water droplets, drips down and becomes part of the cycle As these types of sheds are of the self-assembly type, and normally supplied WITHOUT a floor, it is particularly important to ensure that the product was assembled correctly in the first place. 

Check that each washer under every screw (or plug) in the roof is intact and that there is no water ingress from any other screw/plug or bolt used elsewhere in the shed. Correct overlapping of all roof and wall panels is of particular importance.

Constructing A Base

The condensation cycle is difficult to stop. Therefore, it is important to prevent dampness as far as possible in the first place. The following points about base construction are important – and should be followed accurately:

1) The concrete, or slab base, should only be marginally larger than the base rails of the shed, 
i.e. a shed with base rail measurements of 93” x 70” should ideally have a foundation of 95 x 72”. A level base for any of these sheds is vital.

2) The concrete, or slab base, should contain a damp-proof membrane (sized to the entire surface area the shed will occupy). This should be inserted below the flags, or 2” below the surface of the concrete slab. Make sure that the surface of the slab, or concrete foundation, is some 2” above adjoining soil levels.

3) Purpose laid concrete bases should be allowed to ‘cure’ for at least seven days – longer if the atmosphere is damp. If this is not done, the water drying up from the concrete plinth will provide ample moisture to set up a condensation cycle.

4) After securing the shed to the slab, or concrete base, apply a Silicone sealant to the inside of the shed’s base rails (NOT the outside). This will preserve the drainage capability of the channels within the base rails whilst preventing water seepage under the base rails and into the shed interior.

With A Base Already Fitted

If the base has already been constructed, or is oversized and a problem of condensation is apparent, there are two methods of likely cure:

a) Remove the shed from its base and build (or buy from the retailer) a timber floor/base that is supplied with timber bearers. The timber floor is sized for the entire shed to sit ON the timber floor. Fix the shed to the surface of the timber floor with wood screws and washers through the shed’s base rails – then apply the Silicone sealant as in 4) above. The timber floor, with its bearers below, will allow air flow under the entire shed. Ensure that water from adjacent soil levels does not pool under the timber floor.

b) Obtain the cheapest polystyrene tiles available from say B & Q, Homebase, Wickes with the view to applying them to the entire roof area. Then obtain 3M Scotch-Weld Super 77 

c) Thoroughly clean off the underside of the roof panels with methylated spirits and ensure that the panels are dry. Apply the polystyrene roof tiles following the 3M instructions supplied with this specific 3M product – this work is best carried out on a warm, dry day. This insulation will obviously NOT remove the moisture from the atmosphere inside the shed, but will prevent it condensating due to its obvious insulation properties.

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