Are garden timber cabins waterproof is a query we got asked all the time here at Timberdise.
The short simple answer to your query is an unqualified yes!
Why would they not be?
Well, let’s take a look at some of the potential troubles with a timber cabin which would make the timber cabin not waterproof and quite frankly not fit for purpose.The main thing to seem at as soon as possible is the roof, that’s where you would imagine the main problem would commence (this is not always the case but that’s where we will commence today). The main problem with the roof would be to have the felt or roof shingles to not be set up successfully. This is quite easily done if this is something you have never done before and why it should always be carried out by a qualified professional most especially if you are putting in a lot of your hard earned cash on a timber cabin.
• Make certain that the overlies are overliing in the proper way. You should always commence felting at the bottom of the structure and felt upwards. By doing this you guarantee that the felt overlies 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 commence felting at the top of the roof and you put the overlap from the bottom pieces over the top of the felt higher up when the rain runs off it will work beneath the felt and consequently bring about a water leak. This is precisely the same when doing shingles, make certain you set up from bottom upwards.
• Make certain the overlies of the felt/shingles are quite generous. You don’t want them to be just barely overliing because this could bring about rainwater to get between the felt sheets and this will bring about a water leak
• Make certain you use plenty of 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 tack in the middle,possibly two rows but again this depends on the quality of the felt. Failure to put enough felt tack in there could result in the felt blowing off during a bad storm which would then leave your structure subjected to leakages.
• It is also important 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 beneath the overhang of the roof as this limits the natural run off of the water. This can bring about premature rotting of the structure and in some cases bring about the roof to water leak around the top corners of the structure as water could build up.
• Make certain you use the correct size fixings. If the roof boards on your structure are let’s say 10mm, you don’t want felt nails of 16mm. Doing this would bring about the felt nails to come completely through the roof. This would not seem cosmetically pleasing and would also be a real possibility of a water 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 water leak.
• The most generally overlooked area on a timber cabin structure is the felt or shingles on the roof. This is typically 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 highly recommend at least once a year or if you notice a water leak. Because timber cabins are not built as high as the typical house and the felt and shingles aren’t quite as tough and resilient as a normal house tile they require a little more attention. 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 instance would be a kids’s toys getting thrown up there which would all bring about damage to the felt/shingles. Not to mention lots of bird droppings can rot the felt if it is in an area where natural rainwater can not penetrate it to create a natural run off and cleaning system (for instance if your timber cabin sits under a tree).
premium log cabins 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 occurs is to take care of the installation and make certain it is set up successfully. We’ve been out to repair timber cabins in the past built by non-skilled people and if the structure is not put together successfully then number one it won’t be safe but also it could bring about a failure in the structure to be waterproof.
A prime instance of this would be that the timbers haven’t been built successfully on the walls. This would then bring about the timber cabin to differ from the design as it was intended to be. At this point when the roof was set up there might be gaps between the roof and the wall. Spaces could also 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 imagine if there is a gap in the wall or a gap 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 also want to bring attention to the floor surface a second. Having your timber cabin set up on a proper ground base is a must. That could be a Timberdise ground base,concrete 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 any place that is at risk of flooding as just like the house that you live in. If the water level rises and there is no escape 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 certain 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 rainwater could penetrate the inside of the cabin, which again is easily fixed by applying sealants.
Also, in some cases most especially during the winter months, condensation can develop inside a cabin. This is typical due to the log cabins not having any insulation fitted, it is not a water leak and can be quite typical. We encourage at Timberdise to get a dehumidifier if you have electric access in there and leave it operating during the colder months. This will help take humidity out of the air and further increase the lifespan of your cabin.
If you adhere to all the above ideas you should have a water leak free cabin for the duration of its lifespan which can offer indefinite pleasure and relaxation. Remember prevention is far better than the treatment.