Garage Care and Maintenance Guide
In order for your Garage to have a prolonged life it is vitally important that you take the correct measures to maintain it properly.
So what preparations do you need to focus on, to execute adequate Garage maintenance?
How to maintain a wooden garage:
Key areas checklist:
For more detail on how and why you need to undertake regular garage maintenance in the above areas, read on.
Dunster House’s garages are supplied untreated for you to decorate and finish in accordance with your taste and style. We strongly advise that you treat your garage as soon as you construct it and continue to treat it regularly to strengthen it against varying weather conditions. If left untreated, your garage will deteriorate.
Before you start, use masking tape to protect windows and hinges and protect the base around your garage with ground sheets. Remove the door.
When applying the treatment, start at the top of each panel and do one panel at a time. Wait for each panel to dry before coating them a second time. When the panels are dry, remove the masking tape and sheets.
If you’re treating your garage during winter, make sure that the building is completely dry before you begin. Check the weather forecast and time your maintenance so that it is undertaken with dry weather.
Choosing the correct treatment
There are a number of different types of stain-based treatments that you can choose for your garage. Below is a list detailing the properties of each, to help you make your choice.
Water-based treatments: Water-based treatments are water resistant and can be applied directly onto wood, no need for a primer. All timber to be treated must be sound, free from dirt, dust, wax, grease, organic growths and surface moisture. Areas to be treated should be dry and previous coatings or repellents should be removed or weathered sufficiently to allow treatment to penetrate/bond to the surface. For best results, sand lightly in the direction of the grain and dust off. Allow to dry between coatings.
Solvent- and spirit-based treatments: Solvent- and spirit-based treatments are a step up from water-based ones; they provide more protection than water-based solutions and are also easy to apply. They are long lasting and are deep penetrating preservers which protect against wet and dry rot. Prior to application the wood stain should be stirred gently, with a wooden stick. Apply by brush ensuring a good even coating of the timber surface. Ensure any end grains are liberally coated to create a good seal. When using this solution, your garage should be re-treated every three or four years subsequently, depending on weather conditions.
Oil-based treatments: Oil-based treatments are even better, soaking into the timber to provide thorough protection, yet leaving a certain amount of ‘give’ so your garage can still expand, contract, and settle naturally. With long lasting UV protection, strong water repellent and powerful fungicides these wood preservatives will keep your garden building looking good for longer. Oil-based stains are also more durable and only need to be touched up every 4-5 years. However, any sides of the garage that are particularly vulnerable to weather should be re-treated more frequently.
Pressure-treating is a process which forces wood preservatives deep into the pre-cut timber giving it a more thorough application than through painting or spraying. Pressure-treating also allows for protection against fungal and insect attacks. However, to get the best protection possible, pressure treated wood still requires an additional water repellent solution to protect it against rotting.
Making sure that you re-apply treatment when required
If you need to check whether it’s time to re-apply a treatment, spray a bit of water onto your garage exterior and see what happens. If the water beads up and rolls down the surface without seeping into the wood, you’re all right for another year; if the water soaks into the wood, you’ll need to apply a fresh coat. Be sure to check the corners and ends of the logs as well; even if most of the surface is still resistant, the sides might be absorbing more moisture.
In the vast majority of cases you will need to clean your garage before re-applying treatment. If the mud build-up isn’t too severe, you can clean it by hand. If you deem the garage to be very dirty then you may need to lightly clean it with a hose and cloths before applying a fresh coat of stain.
Looking out for rain damage and leaks
During the cleaning process it is useful to note where the dirt splatters and rain spots have built up on the walls and may be causing damage. Here you should be taking extra measures to protect your garage against these elements in those areas.
This can be vital for locating certain areas of your garage that you may need to waterproof with a silicone sealant (available from DIY stores), although you should only use this after re-applying treatment to your garage. Common problem areas include the joints around the windows and doors, the interlocking corners from under the roof to the foundations, and any visible gaps on the log ends.
Your garage is going to get wet when it rains, but positioning it so that wet trees will not drip onto the roof can make all the difference. Regardless of the position, it is vital that the roof of your garage has wide eaves to prevent rain or snow from coming into unrestricted contact with the exterior garage walls. If you choose to add shingles, available in red, black or green, to the roof of your garage. They normally include a waterproof durable thick plastic membrane which provides extra protection. During periods of heavy snowfall, you should brush off any snow that accumulates on the roof, as well as making sure to clear any snow from the surrounding area.
To ensure no gaps form between logs, our garages feature adjustable storm braces. Timber is a naturally resourced product that is likely to expand or contract in adverse weather conditions, especially when it is very cold or extremely hot. The storm braces attached to the log can be tightened to ensure any gaps are closed; the option is there to loosen the bolts if you wish too. We allow you to position the storm braces either outside or inside the garage, the decision is entirely up to you.
Once the garage is constructed, there will be a period of ‘settling’ as the wood reacts and adjusts to the surrounding climate. The wood will shrink and settle which can lead to splits and cracks forming in the wood over time. This shouldn’t, however, compromise the structure of your building. You can fill in such splits with a matching flexible sealant.
Good quality garages come with double-glazed windows made from toughened glass, and doors equipped with secure locks.
Of course at Dunster House, we’re committed to making sure you get the best so if you have any questions, we’re happy to help! Contact us if you need any help or further information, or why not visit our Learn More section to find out all you should about a Dunster House Garage.