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Moving to Scotland

Venting a moldy shed

After battling with moldy shed for a few months this winter I decided installing some ventilation was an absolute must.

Welcome to some adventures in DIY land! Since moving to Scotland, my DIY skills are steadily improving (out of necessity mainly). Although I’m always going to be much more comfortable with the software side of things, there is plenty of space in my life for building and working with my hands (even if it is IKEA-based building).

This past week’s project was installing some shed ventilation. Late last year, we had a large shed built for us (16′ long x 10′ wide) and had it raised on a base made of 2′ x 2′ concrete slabs (that my father-in-law, brother-in-law, and I built together, my major DIY-win of 2020 😃). The shed is well-built considering the price, and I was really happy with it overall…until the mold came.

Notebook sketch of the dimensions and size for a shed.
Like all good DIY projects, it starts with a sketch.

Before we get into the details of the ventillation though, enjoy this scintillating slideshow gallery showing some of the construction work of the concrete base! 🔥🔥🧰🔨🔥🔥

Now for a look at the finished shed, pre-vents. We also covered the felted roof cover with coraline sheets just before winter hit, which you will notice in the pictures (another DIY-win for 2020)!

The fact that mold showed up is not that surprising considering that Scotland is a marine environment and it can feel like you are living underwater more often than not. Also, you might say that the shed should have had vents included by design due to its size (c’mon builder 😠). But anyway, there was a lot of mold. Mold on the shelves that I painted (specifically to avoid mold). Mold on the underside of the ceiling. Mold on the straps of my bike helmet. Anything that was cardboard or paper-based was getting really soft. In other words, we got problems.

So after seeking advice from DIYers far more skilled than I, I decided that installing some ventilation in the shed was an absolute must. The plan was made to add vents on each end of the shed, placing a few vents down-low to help with vertical air movement as well as vents near the roofline apex. Along with researching the design, I combed through pages of vents of all shapes and sizes, got thoroughly annoyed at all the various options out there featuring no bug screen, and ultimately purchased some circular louvre vents (with bug screen!), as well as a hole saw for my drill and some adhesive sealant. Finally, it was time to get to work!

It was a pretty simple effort as far as DIY tasks go. Here are some pics of the work.

Hole saw with a drill bit.
The right tool for the right job = 100mm hole saw.
Hole saw attached to a electric drill.
I’ve bought into the Bosch ecosystem.
Hole in the shed made using a hole saw.
A hole. I made eight of these.
Tube of adhesive and filler in a standard cartridge gun.
The glue holding everything together.
Adhesive sealant applied around a vent prior to installing in shed.
I put the sealant around each vent and then slid it in to fit. Seems to work. 🤷🏼‍
Kids watching me work through the bedroom window.
Of course, there is always an audience watching.
Circular vent installed on exterior of shed.
Holding the vents in temporarily with some tape.
Three circular vents installed on exterior of shed.
Looks pretty good right? I did measure a little as well to make things even. 🎯
Two circular vents installed in a shed, viewed from the inside of the shed.
How they look on the inside.
Four circular vents on the rear of the shed.
The finished vents on the back.
A single vent on the side of the shed.
The single vent on the side.
The finished vents on the front.

It’s too early to declare victory on the mold, but early signs promise that the ventilation is helping things quite a bit. There is no longer condensation building up on the inside windows, cardboard is feeling more like cardboard, and things feel fresher when you step into the shed after a day away. 🤞🏼

Another project done and more in the backlog. It feels good to get this one off the list. Now on to the next.

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