Are garden timber cabins waterproof is a question we got asked all the time here at Timberdise.
The brief simple answer to your query is a definite yes!
Why would they not be?
Well, let’s take a look at some of the plausible problems with a timber cabin which would make the timber cabin not waterproof and fairly honestly not fit for purpose. The main thing to appear at quickly is the roof, that’s where you would envision the main issue would start (this is not always the case but that’s where we will start today). The main issue with the roof would be to have the felt or shingling to not be mounted properly. This is fairly easily done if this is something you have never done before and why it should always be undertaken by a specialist particularly if you are spending a lot of your hard earned cash on a timber cabin.
• Make sure that the overlaps are overlapping in the ideal way. You should always start felting at the bottom of the structure and felt upwards. By doing this you guarantee that the felt overlaps on top of the piece of felt that is further down the roof. This will guarantee there is a natural run off of the water, if you start felting at the top of the roof and you put the overlie from the bottom pieces over the top of the felt higher up when the rain operates off it will run underneath the felt and consequently cause a leak. This is precisely the same when doing shingles, make sure you set up from bottom upwards.
• Make sure the overlaps of the felt/shingles are fairly generous. You don’t want them to be just barely overlapping because this could cause rain to get between the felt sheets and this will cause a leak
• Make sure you use enough felt nails. Ideally you want to be spacing the felt nails around 6 inches apart from each other. Always do this on both sides of the felt and dependent on the quality of the felt you are using possibly put another row of pin in the middle, possibly two rows but again this depends on the quality of the felt. Failure to put enough felt pin in there could result in the felt blowing off during a bad storm which would then leave your structure subjected to leakages.
• It is in addition crucial that when you reach the overhang of the structure with the felt you attach the felt to side of the roof but DO NOT tuck the felt underneath the overhang of the roof as this limits the natural run off of the water. This can cause premature rotting of the structure and in some cases cause the roof to water leak around the top corners of the structure as water could build up.
• Make sure you use the right size fixings. If the roofing boards on your structure are let’s say 10mm,you don’t want felt nails of 16mm. Doing this would cause the felt nails to come completely through the roof. This would not appear cosmetically pleasing and would in addition be a real possibility of a leak in the structure. They way felt is now designed, there should be a watertight seal around the nail but throughout the seasons with wear and tear this may fail resulting in a leak.
• The most commonly forgotten area on a timber cabin structure is the felt or shingles on the roof. This is primarily because we can’t see it most of the time and it’s a lot more difficult to get up there and have a look, but this is precisely what you should do and I would encourage at least once a year or if you notice a leak. Because timber cabins are not built as high as the typical house and the felt and shingles aren’t fairly as tough and durable as a typical house tile they require a little more focus. They are subjected to more elements on a daily basis because they are lower, this can result in a number of things from falling debris from plants, or another example would be a kids’s toys getting thrown up there which would all cause damage to the felt/shingles. Not to mention lots of bird excrement can rot the felt if it is in an area where natural rain can not pass through it to create a natural run off and cleaning system (for example if your timber cabin sits under a tree).
We at Timberdise Garden set up all of our timber cabins, we do this because we know you are investing a lot of cash into a timber cabin and you want it to be around for a long period of time. So the best way we can guarantee this happens is to take care of the installation and make sure it is mounted properly. We’ve been out to repair timber cabins in the past built by non-skilled people and if the structure is not put together properly then number one it won’t be safe but in addition it could cause a failure in the structure to be waterproof.
A prime example of this would be that the timbers haven’t been assembled properly on the walls. This would then cause the timber cabin to differ from the design as it was intended to be. At this point when the roof was mounted there might be voids between the roof and the wall. Openings could in addition appear on the walls of the timber cabins themselves and in some situations if the initial build of the timber cabin was so bad you would have no choice but to take down the timber cabin and reconstruct it.
This is why Timberdise Garden Buildings set up all of our timber cabins so you don’t have this to worry about. As you can envision if there is a space in the wall or a space between the roof and the wall this would leave the cabin open and it would most definitely water leak which is what we want to avoid at all costs.
I in addition want to bring focus to the floor a second. Having your timber cabin mounted on a proper ground base is a must. That could be a Timberdise ground base, cement base or a paved area. As long as they’re flat, level and solid you should be ok. Be mindful of where you put the cabin, don’t put it anywhere that is at risk of flooding as just like the house that you live in. If the water level rises and there is no getaway for it then the timber cabin will flood, that is regardless of how thick and tight your timbers are.
Lastly let’s talk about sealants around the windows and doors. Make sure after you have treated your cabin you fit the relevant sealants around the doors and the windows. The log cabins don’t come with these fitted as standard, this is so you can treat the cabin first and then apply the sealants afterwards. By not fitting the doors and windows with sealants then there’s a chance rain could pass through the inside of the cabin, which again is easily fixed by applying sealants.
Additionally, in some cases particularly during the winter months, condensation can materialize inside a cabin. This is typical due to the log cabins not having any insulation fitted, it is not a leak and can be fairly typical. We suggest at Timberdise to get a dehumidifier if you have electrical access in there and leave it operating during the cooler months. This will help take wetness out of the air and further increase the life-span of your cabin.
If you stick to all the above ideas you should have a leak free cabin for the duration of its life-span which can provide limitless fulfilment and relaxation.
Bear in mind prevention is better than the treatment.