How to Insulate Your Work Shed


Sheds have multiple purposes. It might be a storage space that you rarely go into, or it might be a space where you spend hours tinkering on DIY projects and casual hobbies. Many sheds have corrugated roofing, so they can get quite cold on chilly nights or freezing winter months. If you intend to get regular use out of your shed, you need to ensure that it is well insulated.

There are three main things you need to achieve when you’re insulating a shed. One, you need to fill all gaps that can let cold air into the room. This also prevents the room from leaching precious heat during the cold season.

Two, you need to put insulation sheets into the walls which will help these walls to retain internal heat while keeping out the chill from outside. A third optional step is to add a layer of drywall over the insulation sheets, to provide additional heat retention and perform an aesthetic function.

Some of the gaps in the shed were placed there deliberately. These include windows, doors, or ventilation shafts. Inspect these fixtures thoroughly to see if there are any cracks, breakages, or unwanted spaces. If there is any damage to these doors or windows, repair this before you do any other work.

While you’re focused on your windows, consider the kind of glass that you’ve used. You might want to replace it with thicker glass. Double-glazed windows can be a useful investment. They will keep more heat in and more cold out, and can even be tinted for additional layers of privacy.

How to Insulate Your Work Shed

For your doors, look at the gaps beneath the door. If they are too wide, you might want to add some layers of wood to fill the gaps, or maybe use a door rug to plug the gap. Now look for other gaps, holes, or leaks.  Check the roof as well. A systematic inspection on a well-lit day will show you anything that needs plugging. You can fill out these unwanted spaces with caulk or foam spray, depending on their size.

If you happen to be in the shed on a rainy day, keep an eye out for leaks. Check your gutter system and replace it if you need to. Tiny leaks may not seem that significant, but they can make the room damp over time, and that slight moisture can make the space unpleasantly chilly in the long run. If you can’t see any visible leaks in the wood, check for areas where the wall has dark patches and stains. These are a clear sign of water damage.

If the wall has too many holes, or if the timber feels too thin, you can add a layer of insulation through wall siding. You can use other forms of insulation to plump the wall. There are many different options. Siding can be done in a very basic manner by layering textured planks of wood on the outside of the shed. This type of layering offers additional aesthetic appeal.

Before you add the siding, make sure all the wood is completely dry, both inside and outside the shed. This is important because trapping moisture inside the layers of wood during installation can cause your shed to rot or develop mould from the inside out.

You can insulate walls using batt or blanket insulation. This works well if your wall studs are spaced 18 to 24 inches apart. Alternatively, you can insulate your walls using spray foam, sheets made from polystyrene, or even rolls of wool.

Think very carefully before you choose wool as an insulation option though. It’s good for high temperatures, so it works well in both summer and winter. However, it is a material that absorbs a lot of dirt and oil, so it needs to be cleaned regularly or it will risk rotting. Fibreglass has the same feel as wool, but is far less environmentally friendly, and it can be unsafe if you breathe it in.

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