Do Plastic Sheds Get Hot?

Plastic sheds have advanced in popularity over the years due to their durability, low maintenance needs, and affordability. However, one common concern among potential buyers is whether plastic sheds tend to get hot.

Yes, plastic sheds can get hot due to the material’s heat absorption. Factors like color, insulation, ventilation, and external conditions contribute to the heat buildup. Proper shading, ventilation, reflective coatings, and insulation can help in keeping plastic sheds cooler.

In this article, we will explore this topic in detail, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of plastic sheds and providing useful tips on how to keep them cool. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding Plastic Sheds

Plastic sheds are outdoor storage structures made primarily from polyethylene resin or PVC (polyvinyl chloride). These sheds are lightweight, resistant to rot and rust, and require low maintenance.

They are available in various sizes and designs, making them a versatile choice for homeowners and garden enthusiasts.

Plastic sheds tend to get hot due to several reasons.

Material Composition: The materials used in plastic sheds, such as polyethylene resin or PVC, have a tendency to absorb and retain heat, leading to increased temperatures inside the shed.

Heat Absorption: Plastic sheds have the ability to absorb and trap heat from the sun. This heat absorption can result in elevated temperatures within the shed, especially when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods.

Limited Insulation: Compared to shed materials like wood or metal, plastic sheds typically have limited insulation properties. This means they have less ability to regulate temperature and prevent heat transfer from the outside environment.

Lack of Ventilation: Insufficient ventilation in plastic sheds can contribute to heat buildup. Without proper airflow, hot air becomes trapped inside, causing the interior temperature to rise.

Sun Exposure: When plastic sheds are placed in direct sunlight, they are exposed to the full intensity of the sun’s rays. This exposure can significantly increase the heat buildup inside the shed.

Overall, the combination of material composition, heat absorption, limited insulation, inadequate ventilation, and sun exposure contributes to plastic sheds getting hot.

Can I Paint My Plastic Shed A Dark Color To Absorb Less Heat?

Painting a plastic shed a dark color may seem like a logical approach to absorb less heat, but it can have unintended consequences. Dark colors tend to absorb more heat from the sun’s rays, which can lead to increased temperatures inside the shed.

Plastic sheds are already prone to heat retention due to the nature of their material. Applying dark-colored paint can exacerbate this issue and make the shed even hotter.

To minimize heat buildup, we recommend it to choose light or reflective colors for your plastic shed. Light colors reflect more sunlight, reducing the absorption of heat and keeping the interior cooler.

Reflective coatings, such as those with UV-resistant properties, can further enhance this effect. By opting for light or reflective colors, you can help maintain a more comfortable temperature inside your plastic shed, even during hot weather conditions.

Tips to Keep a Plastic Shed Cool

If you own a plastic shed and want to keep it cool, consider implementing the following tips:

Shade the Shed

Providing shade to your plastic shed can significantly reduce heat buildup. You can achieve this by strategically placing the shed under existing trees or installing a shade sail or canopy above it.

Improve Ventilation

Enhancing ventilation inside the shed helps to circulate air and dissipate heat. Consider adding vents or windows to promote airflow. You can also keep the shed doors and windows open when weather permits.

Paint with Reflective Coating

Applying a reflective coating to the exterior walls of your plastic shed can minimize heat absorption. Light-colored or reflective paints can help to bounce off the sun’s rays, reducing the overall temperature inside the shed.

Insulate the Interior

Although plastic sheds have limited insulation properties, you can still improve insulation by adding insulating materials to the interior walls and roof.

Reflective insulation or foam boards can help to reduce heat transfer and maintain a comfortable temperature inside the shed.

Use Natural Ventilation Aids

Installing whirlybird vents or solar-powered fans can aid in natural ventilation and keep the air circulating inside the plastic shed. These ventilation aids help in removing hot air and bringing in fresh air, effectively reducing the heat buildup.

Insulating a Plastic Shed

Insulating a plastic shed can provide additional protection against heat and cold. While plastic sheds have limited insulation options, you can still make some improvements:

Bubble Wrap Insulation

Using bubble wrap insulation on the interior walls and roof of the shed can create an additional barrier against heat transfer.

This low-priced and easy-to-install solution can help to keep the shed cooler during hot days.

Foam Board Insulation

Foam board insulation is another option to consider. It provides better insulation than bubble wrap and can be installed on the walls and roof of the shed.

Make sure to measure and cut the foam boards accurately to fit the shed’s dimensions.


Applying weatherstripping to the shed doors and windows helps to seal any gaps or cracks, preventing hot air from entering the shed.

This simple step can significantly improve insulation and maintain a cooler interior.

The Disadvantages of Plastic Sheds

While plastic sheds have many benefits, they also come with certain disadvantages:

Heat Retention

As mentioned earlier, plastic sheds can retain heat, which can make the interior space uncomfortable, especially during hot summer months. High temperatures inside the shed can affect the stored items and make it challenging to spend time inside.

Limited Insulation

Plastic sheds ‌have limited insulation properties compared to other shed materials like wood or metal. This lack of insulation can contribute to increased heat transfer and condensation buildup.

Vulnerability to UV Damage

Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause plastic sheds to fade, discolor, or become brittle over time. This can compromise their structural integrity and reduce their lifespan.

Restricted Customization

Unlike wooden sheds, plastic sheds offer limited customization options. They often come in pre-determined sizes and designs, restricting your ability to modify or expand them according to your specific needs.


Plastic sheds have their advantages as low-maintenance, affordable outdoor storage solutions. However, they can get hot due to the material’s heat absorption, limited insulation, and lack of proper ventilation.

One can employ several strategies to lessen heat buildup. Shading the shed, improving ventilation, using reflective coatings, insulating the interior, and considering additional insulation methods are effective in keeping plastic sheds cool.

It is important to choose light or reflective colors when painting the shed to minimize heat absorption.

While plastic sheds may have disadvantages in terms of heat retention and customization, implementing the suggested tips can help create a more comfortable environment inside the shed.

By considering individual needs and following these recommendations, you can enjoy the benefits of a plastic shed while keeping it cool and suitable for your storage needs.

Manny Moore

Getting my hands dirty and building a place that me and my small family love is a driving factor for what I do and how I do it. I want to share what I have learned and practiced so that it is just that much easier for everyone to have another tool in their tool belt. Your home should be a place that you love and feel comfortable in and your backyard should be no different.

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