Gravel beneath my shed

by Luis
(OK, USA)

Do I really need stones or gravel under my shed, if I do why is that?

Also how can I keep spiders and bugs from sticking under my shed?


Shedman says:

Hi Luis,

It is a good idea to have stones/gravel under your shed for several reasons.

Rats – Having a layer of stone beneath the shed discourages rats as it makes it difficult to build a nest/burrow (see more below).

Weeds – Installing a layer of weed suppressant fabric with a 4-6 inch layer of stone on top will discourage vegetation growth. Having the area beneath and around your shed free from vegetation will prevent the base of your shed becoming damp and prone to decay.

Drainage – Having the stone beneath the shed will make it easy for any rain or ground water to quickly disperse. It also pays to make sure that there is a slight fall on the base of the excavation and that there is somewhere for the water to escape at the lowest corner. This will mean that water the water can escape and does not ‘pond’ beneath the shed.

Damp – Having a layer of stone beneath the shed will enable water to quickly soakaway into the ground.

Just to summarise, it is not mission critical if you don’t put that layer of stone beneath your shed but you may experience problems with the above if you don’t. It depends a bit on the type of shed that you have in mind.

Finally, I can’t really help you much with the bugs and spiders. ;-)

Just joking, you could fit a layer of plywood beneath the shed to minimise spaces where insects could enter and the underside of the shed would be flush too. However, spiders and sheds go together like peaches and cream. You don’t often get one without the other.

All the best

John

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Rats beneath my shed

by J Alvarez

If I have gravel all around the shed foundation do rats still get underneath?


Shedman says:

Good question!

The reason rats might make their nest under a shed would be for two reasons:

Firstly is there a food source nearby? On a farm this might be animal feed or around domestic dwellings it could be pet food or refuse/garbage. So a good first step it to secure any food source and make it rat proof. This will cut off the rats food supply and make living under the shed a much less attractive place to be.

Secondly, if you have a blanket of 4-6 inches of a good rough stone then it will make it difficult for the any rats to make their home. Normally rats might be able to excavate a burrow in soft ground, however given the option of digging through 4-6 inches of loose stone and finding somewhere else to live then this helps to push the balance in favour of them looking elsewhere.

Enclosing any gaps around the base of the shed wont keep out rats. However it will keep out larger critters such as squirrels, foxes and domestic pets. Keeping pets out is a good idea as another rat prevention measure would be to have some traps/poison for any itinerant rats. And keeping out your domestic pets will ensure that they do not inadvertently get caught.

Hope that this helps.

Cheers

John

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