Playhouses often become a tad neglected during the colder months; with the excitement of Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night and, of course, Christmas coupled with unpredictable weather conditions it’s easy to see why the children don’t spend as much time playing in the garden as in the Summer.
Some very simple steps can be taken to help prepare a playhouse for the prolonged dormant period of winter, when the Great British weather and variable outdoor conditions can take their toll on the condition of garden buildings.
Start with a thorough inspection, look for any signs of wear and tear and decide what repair work might need doing and get it done before it’s far too nasty to get out and do it.
1. Check the roof from both the outside and in. Make sure there are no chipped or slipped tiles, and that the lining doesn’t have and holes that may let water in.
2. Be vigilant for any signs of damp or mould. This will only get worse with the cold weather so gently remove any patches with a diluted bleach solution as soon as they’re spotted.
3. Make sure the drainage, if you have it, is all connected properly, and that any rain water runoff will be directed away from the playhouse.
4. Inspect the doors and windows; making sure the wood is in good condition, isn’t damaged, and that the seals are all intact with no gaps. Be sure to give any hinges and latches a good oiling too so you won’t be struggling with rusty locks when spring comes around.
5. It’s vital to clear any debris, not just from the roof but from all around the playhouse, and to do this on a regular basis. Excess weight on the roof can cause damage, and a build-up of leaves around the base can cause unwelcome damp and rot, which isn’t nice. If you notice the snow piling up on the roof, take a few minutes to clear it off with a broom or rake. Snow and ice can weigh down the roof of a playhouse, causing problems over time.
6. Take the time to visit your playhouse – open the door on fair days to encourage fresh air to flow through. This will reduce the possibility of mould and ensure your playhouse doesn’t get too lonely through the winter.