How to Properly Ventilate Your Shed: 6 Tips You Need to Know

Shed ventilation is so important all year long, but especially so during the winter months since you’re not opening windows. To properly ventilate your shed, here are a few tips for the entire year.

Why Shed Ventilation is Important

Ventilating your shed provides proper airflow and is important in your shed to prevent mildew and fume buildup from chemicals that you may store in your shed. Mildew can build up if airflow is too passive, making your sheds walls rot slowly so that you don’t notice it until it’s too late.

hazardous vapors

Photo Credit:

If you store chemicals, like gasoline, paint and paint thinner, or other items that you use only occasionally, you can make yourself sick when working on other projects.

Good shed ventilation is key to preventing these issues.

Make Sure You Have the Correct Accessories Installed

Good vents in your shed are an absolute must, even if you are only using it for storage. Without a good venting system, your shed can experience mildew rot on the building itself.

There are two types of vents that will fit the bill: wall vents and ridge vents.

1. Wall Vent

A wall vent lets fresh air in and dirty air out. In discussing the creation of air flow, it doesn’t mean forced air. Multiple wall vents will allow regular air circulation in and out of your shed, giving your walls and stored items the necessary air circulation they need to stay fresh.

wall vents on the side of shed

Like humans, sheds need to vent their emotions to help battle stress. Without vents, sheds would lose their cool!

ridge vents on top of a shed



2. Ridge Vents

Depending on your style of shed, you may need a ridge vent. Ridge vents are typically installed at the peak of a sloped roof. This style of vent allows air to escape through the ceiling, making it good for high ceilings, peaked roofs and attic areas. Use multiple ridge vents for larger sized sheds.

person hammering ridge vents on top of a shed

Ridge vents are often found on shingled buildings. Photo Credit:

3. Venting Skylight

Let’s say you’re looking for extra light and air. A venting skylight can be just the right addition. Adding this accessory will allow extra light for you to work with, as well as good circulation for your shed.

venting skylight on the roof of a shed

Venting skylights can assist with good circulation as well as give you a little extra sunlight.

4. Window

Naturally, a window or two never hurts when you’re looking for extra circulation. Windows are great for extra airflow during seasonal weather. They are also great for a multitude of other reasons. They create airflow, sunlight, and make your shed look more attractive.

blue window on the side of a shed

Windows create airflow, sunlight, and an overall attractive view of your shed.

In the event that your shed needs additional airflow, besides simple passive airflow, you can install something like a whirlybird roof vent, or a turbine air vent. The turbine is activated by a slight breeze inside the turbine, which vacuums out the hot air. The hot air is then replaced by cooler air coming in through the lower areas of the shed.

5. Turbines

Turbines are useful if your shed experiences high condensation, causing mildew buildup, or if you regularly work with a lot of chemicals. A simple ceiling fan can also create this effect as well. If you need air circulation only occasionally, a small fan can also do the trick.

whirlybird roof ventilation on top of a shed

A whirlybird roof vent or a turbine can reduce hot air in your shed. Photo Credit:

6. Power Gable Vent

Another option for additional airflow is a power gable vent. This type of vent allows more control for times when you may want less airflow, such as the wintertime when it gets much colder.

power gable ventilate fan

Power gable vent can help create additional airflow in your shed. Photo Credit:

Ventilate your shed to Let your shed breathe…

As you can see, air circulation is important and also fairly simple to do in your shed. Be sure to find one or two ways to keep the air circulating in your shed so you can breathe easily!

I'm a single, work at home mom, blogger, and writer.
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22 Responses to How to Properly Ventilate Your Shed: 6 Tips You Need to Know

  1. Ethel says:

    The shed in my backyard often smells like mowed grass because that is where the lawn mower resides but after a while it just smells like dirt! I never thought about adding more ventilation to the sides and the roof. Looking into these ventilation systems will help remove the grass smell!

  2. Lil'Runs says:

    Can I have wall vents and also install an electric fan also? I have a 15×20 metal building I’m turning into a workshop. But I’m in south Louisiana, HOT and humid!!! Also is there a certain place to install wall vents? I’ve heard one high and one low for a draft. Thanks

    • JO says:

      Yes. Look for solar, non-electric options available on line and at your hardware/home stores. I got a 12×20′ shed to convert to my art studio.

  3. lisa says:

    Do I need flashing around the vent openings like I do for the windows? It is a barn shed and the vents will go on the gambrel sides.

  4. Mike says:

    Great tips! I’m converting my metal storage building into an insulated woodworking shop. Being from southeast Louisiana it can get really hot and humid. So it will be important for me to ventilate it well. Thanks for the advise.

  5. Razz says:

    I opted to not have a window installed in my shed because I used to sell travel trailers and the techs there said anytime an opening is created it gives water another way in. In addition, I’d rather not give anyone the opportunity to look into my shed then possibly break into it. There was no window in my metal shed that was up for nearly 30 years, never had an issue.


  6. Lisa says:

    Thank you for this information. There is mold, and a lot of black widows, living in my shed. I can’t use it! Ventilation will absolutely help.

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  8. Phil says:

    I like the idea of the wall vents (because they are slim and cheap) but does this style not let rain in? (Rain blowing sideways). And what about bugs/bees? I think it needs screening behind it.

  9. Robert burgess says:

    Just had a breze blok shed built 5.2 by 3 meter but now getting condensation dripping from roof how do i stop this

  10. Tony says:

    I use my shed as a study with a desk and heater. Do I need ventilation if I’m working in there for 2-3 hours in the winter with the heater on?

  11. Charlie says:

    Hi I’m insulating my shed to help control the temperature and will be needing to add some vents but I’m presuming the vents need to come through the insulation into the actual shed space? But will that not reduce the efficacy of the insulation? I’m so confused but really need to get rid of the mould and damp in there!!

  12. annie says:

    I have just had a shed installed with quite a hand size gap between back wall and roof. The installers are trying to tell me this is for ventilation, but it is an open invitation for rats to get in very easily. I do not accept what they are telling me because I think it had not been installed properly. Any thoughts on this please.


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