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5 Things to Know about Adding Insulation to a Metal Building

Insulation is key to keeping your metal building’s interior comfortable, making your building more energy efficient, controlling moisture intake and muting noises.

Before you begin adding insulation to your metal building, here are five things to keep in mind.

1. Install a radiant barrier.

A radiant barrier is placed between your building’s metal exterior and the insulation, helping mitigate heat transfer. Installing one will help reduce the heat transfer in both directions, also helping decrease condensation that can lead to rust and corrosion of your metal building. There are two kinds of radiant barriers: perforated and nonperforated. The kind you use depends on what the temperature and humidity levels are where your building is located.

2. Determine your location’s R-Value.

The R-Value of insulation signifies its ability to resist heat transfer. The higher the R-Value, the higher the resistance level to letting hot air escape your building and cold air enter it during the cold months and the opposite effect during the warmer months. Each type of insulation will have its own R-Value, so determining what you need based on the goals of your insulation and your building’s location is necessary before purchasing the insulation.

3. Address appropriate ventilation.

Addressing appropriate ventilation is a necessary step to achieving good indoor air quality and protecting whatever is inside your metal building. The building itself needs to breathe, so the insulation you select, how it’s applied and how you plan on using your building will impact the airflow and the need for less or more ventilation.

4. Choose fire-rated insulation.

Most likely your metal building is going to be used for some type of work-related activity. And in these cases, you want insulation that’s fire resistant. No one wants to ever think about something of theirs catching on fire, but it is a possibility, so you can have some peace in knowing that your insulation won’t aid in a fire spreading if one occurs. There are several fire-rated insulation types on the market, so just review the advantages and disadvantage of each before choosing one.

5. Select the right type of insulation.

Once you’ve done each of the abovementioned things, you can select the right type of insulation for your building. The following types of insulation are the ones most commonly used, either alone or some type of combination, for metal buildings.

Batt and blanket insulation

This is typically installed in roofs and walls. It’s made up of mineral wool or fiberglass, and because it has a tendency to gap, bunch or shift during strong winds, which then makes it useless, it’s best to let a professional install batt and blanket insulation.

Loose-fill insulation

Appreciated by “green” enthusiasts because some kinds are made from recycled materials, loose-fill insulation provides a good amount of coverage for floors, walls and attics because it’s capable of filling odd shapes. It’s blown into crevices and tightly fills each space to prevent air leaks. Besides recycled materials, this insulation type is also comprised of pellets made from rock wool and fiberglass.

Spray foam insulation

Spray foam is one of the most expensive insulation options, but it’s also a very effective one. It’s sprayed directly into the area you need insulated, providing a strong barrier and a high R-Value. Spray foam consists of a liquid that encompasses a foaming agent, and once it’s sprayed it expands and turns into a solid, airtight plastic.

Rigid board insulation

Rigid board insulation comes in a stiff board and can be cut to your desired thickness. It’s made from fiberglass, polystyrene or polyurethane and most used on roofs and concrete slab edges or if your building is more at risk of fire. It’s a fairly easy route to go if you plan to install it yourself.

CMI has a myriad of systems for adding insulation to your metal building, give us a call and we’ll recommend the best system for your application.