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Insulating Your Shed - What You Need To Know - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When it comes to shed insulation it is important to understand that not all sheds are ideally suited for insulation.  Metal sheds and small plastic sheds tend to not have a construction that lends well to shed insulation; at least not the process that will be discussed below.  It may be advisable to change the shed to a more robust type that can accept shed insulation.  Generally, any type of standard timber shed can accept shed insulation to help it retain heat better in the months of colder weather.  Many people in the UK spend a lot of time in their garden and using their sheds so considering the addition of some insulation to a wooden garden shed will help keep the warmth in and extend the time the shed can be utilised.  The shed insulation can help reduce damage to the stored equipment, tools, and boxes as well as allow for plant storage and even use of the shed as a workshop or other type of recreational room.  The proper insulation of a shed requires the sealing of gaps, installation of sheets of insulation, and even the possibility of drywall installation.  Before deciding the type of shed insulation to utilise, consideration should be given to the different areas of the shed that will need insulated; they are the walls, the floor, and doors or windows.  Each of these components requires specific demands.  The following information will help sort out these requirements:

Sealing the Structure

  1. Shed insulation on the walls will do little good if there are breaks or gaps in the windows.  The first step is to replace broken windows.  When thinking about the windows it may be better to install double glazed windows if the garden shed will be utilised as additional living space.  Single glazed windows allow a lot more heat loss than double glazed windows do

  2. The siding and roof will need patching of any gaps, as will any gaps around the foundation.  Sealant can be used to patch thin gaps, while larger holes can be sealed with expandable spray foam

  3. Check to see if there are any leaks in the shed by examining it during rainfall.  The roof should have a good drainage system installed, using metal roofing, shingles, or fiberglass.  In lieu of rain, use a garden hose and spray it over the shed roof and then examine for signs of leakage.  Look for dark stains to identify potential water leaks

  4. If there are a large number of gaps, consider adding siding to the shed.  When a barrier is established between the outside and holes are filled, the temperature inside the shed will remain more constant

  5. Most shed kits do not come with a weatherproof door.  Purchase and install a weatherproof door.
    6. If a heating system and/or lights will be installed, get the shed fitted with electrical wiring by hiring a licensed electrician

Choosing the type of insulation that will work best

  1. The first step is to measure the space between the studs to determine the width of batting or sheets that will be needed for the shed insulation

  2. If the studs are 45.7 to 61.0 cm (18 to 24 inches) apart blanket or batting insulation will work well.  Since these are standard wall sizes the shed insulation can simply be rolled out and secured between the studs, beams, and joists

  3. If the distance between the studs is not a standard wall width, but the width does occur in regular intervals, then choose foam board or polystyrene sheets.  This type of shed insulation works well despite it being fairly thin.  However, if the shed has a large number of electrical outlets, this type of shed insulation is not recommended

  4. If the insulation needs to withstand high temperatures, choose wool shed insulation.  A similar option to this is fiberglass insulation, but it must be covered because it is harmful to humans

  5. The previous options for walls that may be unfinished.  For walls that are already finished choose foam, loose fill or spray insulation.  Holes can be cut into the walls for the shed insulation to be blown into the frame

  6. A DIY option is reflective foil-faced insulation, which is flexible and can be bent around obstructions or corners.

Installing the shed insulation

  1. The foam or blown-in shed insulation is chosen it is best to hire a professional contractor because some of these installation methods require special equipment

  2. Shed measurements can be taken into the local home improvement store for advice from the professionals; they will be able to give advice on the amount of shed insulation to purchase to cover the shed.  The stud spacing measurements should be a part of the overall measurements needed

  3. Foil or batting sheets should be rolled out horizontally and the polystyrene should be set against the frame

  4. Use a staple gun to attach the batting or foil sheets.  They should be stapled to the studs.  Polystyrene sheets should be glued onto the studs and walls with a special adhesive

  5. Where the sheets of shed insulation meet they should overlap, continually moving up the wall in horizontal sheets.  Cut small sections of insulation sheets with scissors

  6. Both the walls and the ceiling should be insulated, but the insulation on the ceiling should have a two-inch gap between it and the top of the ceiling to let moisture escape

  7. Finally, the sheets of shed insulation can be covered with drywall to give the interior of the shed an attractive and finished appearance.  Drywall should be hung on the ceiling first and then followed by the walls.


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