Water is the leading cause of damage to wood and wood structures. For outdoor wood products to last they need to be protected from the elements. This holds true for everything from a garden chair to a large barn and that is what we are looking at today wood barns and storage sheds.
Start with a good cleaning. If the building is either old or has not been stained in a long time the surface will need a good cleaning. The best way to accomplish this is with a pressure washer. In many places these can be rented locally and they would be able to recommend the best cleaning chemicals for your situation. Be sure whatever you use it is environmentally safe for us and your animals.
This is a good time talk about what equipment you will need. Start with a ladder. If your building is tall or multi story you will need an extension ladder. Even if you just have a garden shed at the very least you may need a step ladder. The recommended method of application is with a sprayer, you can rent one of these at the same place you got the pressure washer. If you go the manual way you will need brushes, rollers and pans. I can tell you from experience that if you have any roughness to the exterior siding at all you will want to use a sprayer.
The stain. What you will use will depend on what is already on your building. If this is a first time then you will have a choice of oil base, latex base or water base stains. For health and environmental reasons most are moving toward the newer water based stains. This should be a consideration if you have a horse barn or animals. You can get all of these products in clear or a wide range of colors.
If your barn or storage building has been stained in the past you will need to determine if it was an oil or latex base, as a general rule you can put water base over oil base but you can't put oil over water base. Latex will go over water based but not over oil. For best results no matter which you choose it is a good idea to use that sprayer and to do two coats. The first will be absorbed by the siding and the second coat will seal the wood. If you use a good quality product you can get away with re-staining every 3 years or so depending on climate.
Depending on the size of your storage building or barn this task can be over whelming. A small shed may take a day and larger barns can be a multi-day project. You will need to be comfortable with working with and around ladders. Remember to exercise all the proper safety procedures when working with the power equipment and water and wear a respirator when spraying.
For some of us this may be a little daunting so there is always Google and you can search for a qualified contractor in your area that can help you. Checking with your local modular barn dealer would be a good idea they could recommend qualified people in your area. Either way if you want your wood barn or storage building to last you need to protect the exterior.
Carolina Storage Solutions was founded in 2008 and has sold and delivered HUNDREDS of modular Horse barns and storage buildings to satisfied customers in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee http://www.deliveredbarnsandsheds.com/index.php,