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How to Insulate a Shed with Foam

insulation foam stacked on top of each other

Most people are familiar with insulation for their homes, but they do not always consider insulating their sheds. Insulating your shed with insulation foam is a smart way to keep your shed’s contents safe from extreme temperatures and weather. Here are our tips for using outdoor insulation foam to insulate your shed:

Why Use Foam for Insulation?

  • Very Effective Insulator
    Closed-cell foams, such as polystyrene (EPS) and polyethylene, are fantastic insulators with high thermal resistance. The thermal resistance of a material is represented by its R-value. A higher R-value means the material is better at resisting the flow of heat between two areas. R-values are defined based on the thickness of the tested sample; layering two identical sheets of foam will provide double the thermal resistance.
  • Durable and Long-Lasting
    Thanks to the structure of foam, it is one of the most durable and long-lasting materials on the market. In addition to the thermal qualities, closed-cell foams are resistant to moisture and water vapor, rot, mold, and mildew.
  • Easy to Apply in Any Condition
    Compared to spray foam insulation, using sheets of foam requires fewer tools and less cleanup. Additionally, spray foams usually require certain air and surface conditions to be applied appropriately. Sheets of foam, on the other hand, do not have those restrictions and can be safely installed year-round.

Prep Before Using Insulation Foam

Before you dive into your insulation project, you should inspect the shed for leaks and cracks. The best insulation in the world will not do much if there are holes in your shed! It is also a good idea to fix and seal windows, repair siding, and patch rooftop leaks. Keep in mind that a wood or vinyl shed exterior has a lower R-value than closed-cell foam insulation, but it still contributes to the overall thermal resistance of the enclosed area.

If you plan on converting your shed into a small home or barn, you’re going to want to do more than add insulation and call it a day. Depending on the climate, you may want to add heating and air conditioning to ensure the comfort of your shed’s inhabitants throughout the year. This is also a good time to take care of any other electrical upgrades. Extra lighting and electrical outlets can go a long way toward transforming a shed from a simple storage area to a cozy home or productive workspace. Unless you have experience, it is best to hire an electrician to take care of any electrical renovations.

Insulating Your Shed With Outdoor Insulation Foam

  • Use Rigid Polystyrene for Flat Walls and Ceilings
    Much like insulating your home, the primary way to insulate your shed is to apply sheets of foam to the walls and ceiling. Using an electric knife, sheets of polystyrene foam can be easily cut to specific sizes to cover your shed fully. The recommended method for affixing the insulation to the walls and ceiling is a non-solvent spray adhesive, such as Camie 373.
  • Use Pliable Polyethylene for Everything Else
    If your shed has a curved roof, the rigidity of polystyrene may not be ideal for the job. Similar to polystyrene, polyethylene can be cut using an electric knife. It can also be adhered to the wall or ceiling using spray adhesive. If your shed contains pipes, they can also be insulated to prevent energy loss. This can be accomplished by wrapping the pipe in a polyethylene roll and using residential spray adhesive, adhesive tape, or rope/twine to hold the foam in place.

Shop for All Your Insulation Foam Needs

We hope this post has helped you find a helpful place to start with your shed-insulating project. We highly recommend checking out our selection of closed-cell foams, where you’ll find options for a variety of foam types, including polyethylene foam and our polystyrene foam 24” x 48” sheet. These work great as insulation foam for a variety of projects, especially shed insulating.

Read more on our blog for helpful tips and tricks on using foam as insulation for various projects. To learn more on how foam insulation can help you gain control over your heating in the winter months, check out how to Keep Temperatures Up and Bills Low with Foam Insulation.


6 thoughts on “How to Insulate a Shed with Foam”

  1. Hi – you have some good info on this blog – thanks. Four questions about flexible insulation please (I need to patch up some gaps/holes in both my attic and my crawl space, and the manways are only about 2′ x 2′ – so I can’t use rigid polystyrene – it wouldn’t fit).
    1) In terms of R-values (per inch), is there much difference between cross-linked polyethylene (2# density) and polyethylene (2.2# density)? I think they’re similar, but it’s not clear from your data sheets.
    2) What about using neoprene as a flexible insulator, versus polyethylene? I think it’s more dense, so would weigh more – but how’s the R value compare to the materials in question 1)?
    3) Regarding the lowest fire risk, which of the products from 1) or 2) would be best for attic/crawl space insulation?
    4) Any thoughts about using high density (1.8#) polyurethane (upholstery foam) for insulation? It’s open cell, so I’m assuming not as good as the above options – but I’m curious about comparative R-values, flammability, etc.
    Ok thanks again for your blog and regards.

  2. 1- Yes the foams are similar in terms of R-values. 2- Yes Neoprene-HQ can be used for insulation. However we do not have test data. 3- Neoprene-HQ is fire retardant. We do have Minicel LF200 that has a high fire retardant rating that could be used for that application. 4-Polyurethane foam is not suggested for this application.

  3. I have left over styrofoam from delivered packages. Will the leftover styrofoam provide insulation if I apply it to the interior walls of my outdoor shed?
    Thank you

  4. The metal roof of my shed is attached to 1×4 planks. The metal gets very hot in the Florida sun. Can I apply sheets of styrofoam to the 1×4 to block the heat or will it melt?

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