Maintenance Advice for Modular Buildings


How do I maintain my modular building?

Further to the recent completion of your new Green Modular building, this page is intended to provide our recommended maintenance advice for modular buildings, which will ensure the longevity of your building. Whilst all our products are designed to require minimal maintenance, if you follow these simple guidelines, you can be confident that your Green Modular building will stand the test of time and have a useful life well in excess of 20 years. Our recommended maintenance includes:

Exterior cladding

Western Red Cedar is a superbly durable and elegant form of sustainable timber cladding and as such can be left un-treated with no additional maintenance for over 20 years.

However, it will begin to fade in colour within a few months, gradually taking on a lighter appearance until it eventually turns to a silvery-grey finish. For most of us, this is an attractive ageing process of oxidisation, a natural occurrence as the external face of the Cedar fades under the impact of UV light.

To ensure that the Cedar maintains it’s durability and longevity, our maintenance advice for modular buildings is to follow these simple steps:

  • Every 3-4 months, brush the Cedar with a soft sweeping brush to remove any debris, notably dirt particles which can splash onto the surface.
  • To minimise such splash-back, we recommend that you install a 30cm wide margin of gravel around the full perimeter of the building. (A small size gravel, such as pea shingle, or other small stone is ideal). Without this, each time it rains onto bare ground or lawn, small dirt particles will splash onto the Cedar.
  • Never bank up soil against the side of your building. Always maintain a gap of at least 5cm (2 inches) around the structure to ensure that adequate air-flow can be maintained. Your timber structure needs to breathe in order to stay dry and prevent the ingress of any moisture.
  • Similarly, keep all neighbouring shrubs well trimmed and away from the structure so that there is no opportunity for water ingress.

If you want to preserve the Cedar and prevent the oxidisation process (turning silvery-grey), you have two options:

  • In the short term, you can only prevent oxidisation by adding a colour-finish to the Cedar, which will prevent UV-penetration. This involves applying a wood-stain, which will change the appearance of the Cedar. We recommend the Sadolin range of woodstains (very high quality, commonly available from high street stores like Homebase or online from www.decoratingdirect.co.uk), in particular Sadolin Extra (yellow tin) in Natural finish.
  • Alternatively, if you wait 12 months until the Cedar is properly seasoned, you can apply a professional penetrating oil finish like Textrol (Clear) made by Owatrol (visit a professional decorating merchants to order) which will maintain a clear finish and not change the colour of the Cedar. Whilst the Cedar will have faded a little in 12 months, this product allows for the most natural finish. If you would like to undertake such a process, you can prepare the Cedar using another Owatrol product, Seasonite straight away, which will help the Cedar to season properly in the initial 12 months.

Exterior paintwork

Our maintenance advice for modular buildings is that the following work is undertaken every 2 to 3 years in order to ensure that your modular building remains in sound order:

  • Re-apply 2 coats of Dulux Aquatech (water based) wood-stain in RAL 7016 (Anthracite Grey) colour, to all exterior woodwork (with the exception of the Cedar cladding), following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Every Winter, after all the leaves have fallen from nearby deciduous trees, use a stiff brush to sweep the decking and remove any debris. Then, using a pressure-washer, clean the deck boards thoroughly. This will remove excess lichens and fungal growth, which can make decking particularly slippery and hazardous. Furthermore, every 2-3 years, re-apply 2 coats of Sadolin Extra woodstain (yellow tin) in Natural finish (very high quality, commonly available from high street stores like Homebase or online from www.decoratingdirect.co.uk), following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Roof and guttering

We recommend that every Winter, after all the leaves have fallen from nearby deciduous trees, that you sweep the roof membrane with a soft brush to remove all debris and that you remove any leaves and other debris from the guttering. (Please ensure that you take appropriate safety precautions and that your shoes and the sweeping brush are free from any grit, which may damage the roof membrane).

Interior paintwork

The interior of your building has been lined with Fermacell boards, a sustainable alternative to plasterboard, prior to decorating with matt white paint on the walls and white gloss paint on the skirting boards.

Please note: as the interior has been finished with a skim finish, it is inevitable that minor cracking will occur in the wall finish during the first 12 months. This is a result of normal plaster shrinkage, as the building itself settles causing minor expansion. Any such cracking can be easily remedied using fillers and paints available from normal decorating merchants and is excluded from our warranty.

Installing shelving or hanging pictures

The Fermacell boards used to line the interior of your modular building are capable of supporting up to 40kg weight from a single fixing, hence they make the installation of shelving straight forward. The table below shows the hanging strength of different types of fixings. if you intend hanging shelves, we recommend the toggle fixings.

All electrical cabling is routed within ‘permitted zones’ in compliance with current Building Regulations as such, as long as you avoid placing fixings (picture hooks or screws) in line between power sockets, light switches and the consumer unit, you will avoid damaging any cables. As a simple rule of thumb, do keep your fixings above the power sockets and to either side of the light switch and consumer unit.

Electrical Fixtures & Fittings

If you require any additional or replacement units, please contact us. We will replace any faulty items within the first 12 months of your warranty period.

Consumer unit and power supply

PLEASE NOTE: whilst your consumer unit affords you capacity for future expansion, the extent to which you can do so is always limited by the size of the incoming power supply. Before any new circuits are added, please ensure that a competent person (a qualified, time-served electrician, Part P certified) has made an assessment of the power supply and current load. By supplying a large capacity consumer unit, we have simply aimed to make future expansion as easy as possible, though we accept no liability for any future additions to this consumer unit.

Heating and ventilating your Green Modular Building

We do not supply a heater with your Green Modular Building, in order to fully comply with current Building Regulations (if we did, the Studio would no longer be classed as a garden room/outbuilding and would instead be deemed a dwelling and as such, would not comply with regulations). However, your building is designed with the highest levels of thermal insulation to ensure year-round comfort and minimal heating bills.

The simplest option is to purchase a free-standing or wall-mounted electric convector heater (2kW should suffice) and plug it in. We recommend a model with a built-in timer to allow you to pre-heat the room for comfort before use. These are commonly available from most high-street hardware stores. However, they are not the most cost-effective form of heating, though they are convenient as they allow the room to be heated up quickly.

Alternative heat sources are available which consumer less power, such as electric oil-filled radiators and slim-line electric panel radiators- these can take longer to heat the room up, though they can be equally convenient if used with a timer function.

We recommend that you leave any heater on a frost setting throughout the winter months. This setting typically ensures that the room does not fall below 5oC, particularly useful if you leave the building unoccupied for any period longer than a couple of days. This will prevent the interior build up of condensation and subsequent issues with damp. Furthermore, the windows and doors are all fitted with trickle vents. We recommend that you leave these open all year round to maintain a low level of air-flow through the room.

Other Fixtures & Fittings

Engineered wood flooring

As your warranty does not include cover for accidental damage, you may wish to repair or replace the flooring in your building. Replacement engineered wood flooring to match that installed in your building is available, contact us for details.

Window Blinds

We purchase our blinds from a superb, online mail-order supplier –www.247blinds.co.uk. Contact us if you require any assistance measuring your windows.

If you require any further maintenance advice for your modular building, do not hesitate to contact us.

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