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Insulating Outbuildings Like Sheds and Pool Houses

May 03, 2016

While not every outbuilding is going to be suitable for insulating, there are certainly benefits to a well-insulated shed, pool house, or garage. The truth is, for most outbuildings the main priority is to keep heat from escaping during winter. This could involve one or more of the following: roof insulation; wall insulation; floor insulation; air sealing; upgrade of doors and windows. Clearly, the extent of the insulation work will depend on the building use - storing pool equipment and supplies doesn't demand the same level of indoor comfort as an a home-office set up.

Roof Insulation

When insulating the roof of an outbuilding, the installation must be complimented with proper ventilation. This will control moisture and condensation, and prevent any associated damages.

Wall Insulation

This isn't the inside of a home, but the basics of insulating are very similar. A number of product options are possible here, depending on the R-Value that's required and the ease of installation.

Floor Insulation

Insulating the floor of an outbuilding doesn't seem to be the highest priority. And while the walls and roof will definitely prevent heat loss, insulating right below the floor will be contributory.

Air Tightness

Insulating is more than just adding insulation product. Creating an airtight space will ensure that heat is not lost through panel joints, roof/wall junctions, or openings in the building "envelope".


In most cases, the windows and/or doors of an outbuilding will not prevent heat from escaping. Short of replacement, frame sealing would be the answer (and perhaps window insulating film). Depending on the project budget, insulating an outbuilding can take several forms. For the best overall results, polyurethane spray foam would be a good option. With one application, a building can be very effectively sealed and insulated. As well, the finished "blanket" of insulation provides an excellent vapor barrier, which controls moisture and condensation, preventing any associated damage. Spray foam insulation will reduce heating costs (if any) and will protect the contents of the building from temperature extremes throughout the year (both winter and summer). For those who are building a new storage shed, pool house, or freestanding garage, insulating the structure while building is a combined time-saver and money-saver. Here again, polyurethane spray foam can provide the perfect combination of air-seal, vapor-seal, and high R-Value - this is the highest performing product on the market today. However, if there are budget limitations, some professionals are recommending the "hybrid" installation, which combines spray foam with a complimentary insulation product. It's a dual application with excellent results. Like any home improvement project, insulating an outbuilding should be done right. After all, the outcomes should be long lasting, and the project should be cost-effective. Professionally installed, a "hybrid" application can deliver great benefits to a building of any size. Substantial R-Values are ensured - air leakage is averted - and structural integrity is enhanced. Whether it's an equipment shed or a home office, indoor comfort will be enhanced throughout the year.

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