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I have a small (1 car garage) shed: zoomed out

There is dirt along the side of it, and it seems to have rotted some of the boards in the bottom left corner of the above picture.

Front view: (the dirt had run-off onto the sidewalk, hence the front board is rotted as well. I recently uncovered the sidewalk and that is when I noticed the rotted part.) front

Corner view: enter image description here

So questions:

1) Do I need to do anything about this? Presumably rot is bad... but what actually happens if I just leave it alone?

2) How would I go about replacing the impacted boards? Do I have to replace the whole thing? Or try to cut it and only replace the bottom piece?

3) Do I/how do I prevent the dirt from sitting right against the wood so that this doesn't happen again?

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An alternative to the answer given by jack is to cut away and replace the wood that is rotten and apply a weatherproof paint. This is only suitable though, if the shed has a slightly raised concrete base.

The soil to the left will definitely need to be dug away and removed so the soil level is below the bottom of the shed.if the neighbouring ground is higher you will need to shore up the soil their side to prevent further soil falling down onto the lower ground level. You can use concrete gravel boards for that so they don't rot and need replacement themselves.

Make sure the groundwork around the shed is also slightly sloped away from the shed so rain will run down away from it.

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You want to fix this, it will only get worse. You only have to replace the wood that's rotten but make sure you get it all. Cut out the rotten wood and square off the remaining strips. Frame some concrete backer board, wonder board, where the rotten wood was. Finish off the job with some stucco over the backer board and texture it similar to the wood grain. Paint it and you're good to go. That's one repair you won't have to do again. Good luck.

  • so it’s ok that the dirt sits right up against the repair? Like I don’t have to fix it AND keep the dirt off the boards somehow? – David Doria Aug 7 at 0:35
  • That's right. It's concrete board and stucco. It won't rot. Did mine 15 years ago and looks like I did it yesterday. – JACK Aug 7 at 0:58
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    Any wooden structure touching the ground will start rotting due to ground water. I am surprised whoever built the garage didn't use a concrete boarding at the bottom as you suggested here first. – Chris Rogers Aug 7 at 8:48

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