metal building insulation

What is a Retro Fit Insulation System and When Would You Need to Consider It?

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Adding insulation to your steel building can seem daunting at first. The costs are overshadowed by worry over the process and benefits.

If the labor behind installation is a concern, CMI’s Retro-Fit insulation system can put your mind at rest. This system is one of the simplest on the market. Unlike many other installation systems, a crew of workers is not required. Only one person is required to do the installation. The creation and process of the CMI Retro-Fit system is fairly straightforward. Our formaldehyde free fiberglass is laminated with a heavy-duty, smooth facing. It is then rolled up. When the insulation is rolled out between the purlins, one person has to simply use CMI’s purlin clips to securely fasten the insulation into place. Thus, a team of workers (and the payment for their labor) is not required, simplifying the process.

But the type of insulation to use is not the only decision to make. Choosing the correct R-Value for your insulation is important as well. The R-Value is a measurement of a material’s ability to resist heat. Therefore, the higher the R-Value, the greater the efficiency of the insulation. A high R-Value is especially important in places with extreme weather changes, in locations with incredibly cold winters to supremely hot summers. Insulation with a higher R-Value will be more effective.

But thermal efficiency isn’t the only advantage to insulating your metal building. Your building’s appearance can be made over as well. The insulation used at CMI, when installed, makes any building more aesthetically pleasing. CMI laminates all of its insulation with heavy duty, pristine white laminate. Pure white laminate lining your ceiling and walls provides a clean, new, bright finish, lightening up your entire building and completely making over its appearance.

Lastly, insulation improves acoustics. When a sound hits solid surface, it can cause vibrations on the surface, transmitting that sound to the other side. As a result, outside noise can be easily transmitted through the ceilings and walls of your building. This, of course, does not include noise than can be transmitted internally, from one room to another. If insulation is installed, however, the sounds can no longer cause the surface to vibrate as easily, as the insulation acts like a sponge, absorbing the sound waves.

If you’re hesitating about getting your building insulated, don’t be. Retro-Fit insulation from CMI is simple, cost effective, and provides more than one improvement to any building

What is the Best Way to Insulate a Steel Building and Why It May Not Be Your Best Option?

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Steel buildings can be frustrating structures to maintain. While the skeleton of the building is made of incredibly durable material, the rest of the building is nothing more than metal on top of metal. Which means any type of temperature regulation within the building will almost seem like a wasted effort. The heat can run constantly in the winter, with air conditioning in the summer, and yet hardly a difference can be felt on the inside. In order to keep energy costs down, insulation is needed. The question is often asked, what is the best way to insulate a steel building?

The best answer to this question is one specific method. Spray foam. Spray foam is the best because it can fill and cover cracks, corners, and other strangely shaped places through which air can pass in a building. By covering all of these locations, not allowing air to constantly sneak through cracks and nooks in the insulation, the effect of the insulation is significantly higher.

But how reasonable is this option? Installing spray foam into your steel building can be extremely expensive. The cost estimates are shockingly steep, especially for those with smaller businesses purchasing pre-engineered steel buildings. Oftentimes, spray foam is too far out of the price range for many businesses. Many companies at this point give up, assuming there is no cost effective solution.

CMI provides its customers with another option. CMI specializes in insulating new and existing pre-engineered steel buildings using fiberglass blanket. Through a variety of insulation options, CMI has created a wide range of methods that have been proven to be effective by its vast array of customers.

Insulating your building will save you significantly on your energy bill, paying itself off in only a few short years as your building stays warmer in the winter months and remains cooler in the summer months. CMI knows that all companies have different budgets. While you may not be able to afford a spray foam insulation, you can afford the quality of CMI insulation. With low cost, high efficiency, and customer satisfaction on its side, using CMI is a decision you would not regret.

How To Conduct An Energy Audit On Your Metal Building

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If you’ve stumbled across this post, you are most likely looking for ways to conduct an energy audit on your metal or commercial building. Although hiring a professional to perform your energy audit is the best way to determine where your building is losing energy, you can conduct your own energy test that will help you start conserving energy right away.

As you begin your audit, please remember to keep a list of areas you check as well as issues that need to be resolved. Once you have completed your audit you can prioritize areas that need to be addressed first. Even if your building is new there may still be areas that energy can be saved. Let’s get started!

Locate & Seal Air Leaks

When doing the walk through of your building, make note of any air leaks (drafts). The potential energy saved just from reducing drafts can range from 5%-30% per year.

Check for air leaks along baseboards; edge of flooring and at junctures of the walls and ceiling. Check areas inside and outside of your building, especially where two different materials meet. Although related to detecting air leaks in homes, the tips in this article also apply to commercial and metal buildings.

Once you identify any air leaks, you will want to seal each and every one of them with the appropriate material. Plug and caulk around windows, doors, pipes, electric outlets and wiring.

Check Wall & Ceiling Insulation

Large amounts of heat can be lost through ceilings and walls if insulation levels are less than the recommended minimum, this is especially true in metal buildings. If your company resides in an older building, the insulation standards may have been different at the time of construction then they are now, and may require added insulation to be up to the current standard.

If your building has an attic check that it has been heavily insulated and properly weather-stripped. Seal any gaps that may be leading outside. When sealing areas near heat producing devices make sure to use non-combustible sealant. Check that there is a vapor barrier under the attic insulation; this will reduce the amounts of moisture that can pass through the ceiling. If a vapor barrier is missing, considering putting one in. This will prevent moisture from entering in which reduces the effectiveness of the insulation that could lead to structural damage.

Next, check wall insulation, this may be a little more difficult. Select an exterior wall and make sure to shut off the circuit breaker or unscrew the fuse for any outlets in the wall. Test outlets to be sure electricity is not still running.  Remove the cover plate from one of the outlets and gently probe into the wall with a small crochet hook. With the hood retrieve a small bit of insulation for easy identification. This method won’t tell you if the entire wall is insulated but will give you a good idea.

The R-value of insulation varies based on what type of insulation you use and on the type of space that is being insulated. So make sure to consult with a metal building insulation expert!

Inspecting Heating & Cooling Equipment

Heating and cooling equipment should be inspected annually. Filters should be checked and replaced when needed, generally every month or two, especially when being used regularly. A professional should be brought in once a year to do a thorough inspection.

Every 15 years a unit should be replaced with a more energy efficient unit. Check ductwork for dirt streaks, which indicate air leaks. These types of leaks should be replaced with duct mastic. Any ducts or pipes that travel through unheated spaces need to be insulated with an R-Value of 6 as the recommended minimum.


Approximately 10% of an electric bill is from energy used for lighting; this cost can be reduced by examining current light bulbs and replacing inefficient bulbs with higher efficiency bulbs. Some options for more efficient bulbs are: incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps or light emitting diodes.  When shopping for bulbs, consider the brightness of the bulbs you want and look for lumens and the Lighting Facts label. Your electric utility may offer rebates or other incentives for purchasing energy-efficient lamps.

After you wrap up your metal building energy audit, you’ll need to prioritize based on needs and budgets and start knocking out each area that needs improvement. If you happen to need additional insulation for your metal building, please contact one of our consultants by filling out the form located here.

Seven Ways To Make Your Metal Building More Energy Efficient

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metal building

With ever growing expenses and energy use of companies, there a several ways to cut costs and save energy. Here is a list of seven things that will help your company with energy efficiency and saving money.

1. Taking your business outside: Plant trees around the outside of your building. In colder climates trees can act as a windbreak and in hot climates they provide natural cooling. Trees can reduce temperatures by 3-6 degrees. San Diego’s Office of Sustainability found that three well-placed trees can save up to 30 percent of a building’s cooling costs.

2. Power Down at Night: It may seem like a no brainer to power down computers at night but many people simply put their computer in sleep mode. Computers aren’t the only machines that can be powered down at night, copiers and printers can as well. This can save between $50 and $150 each year per device just by turning them off.

3. Circulate the air:  Since most metal buildings have high ceilings, the bulk of the heat loss during the winter months occurs through the roof.  Since there is typically a 2 degree increase in temperature per 1 foot increase in height, the temperature at the ground can be a cool 60 degrees with a ceiling temperature of 90 degrees!   Even the best insulated roofs will lose significant amounts of heat if the warm air is not forced back down to the floor level.  Paddle fans installed in the roof or other air exchange equipment can save many thousands of dollars per year in heating expenses.

4. Invest a little to save a lot: A simple change that may cost a little bit up front but pays off when your electricity bill comes. Replace incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs are 75% more efficient, which means you could save up to $200 for every 5 light bulbs changed.. Other areas where you can spend  a little to get a big return; replace old windows with energy efficient windows, making sure your building is properly insulated, and add motion sensor lights in areas with low traffic, lights will come on only when needed.

5. Temperature Control: Install locking systems on thermostats allowing only certain individuals to set heating and cooling temperatures. During the summer setting thermostat up one degree will save 2-3% on cooling costs. Adjust thermostats during off hours, higher during cooling months and lower during heated months.

6. Add Insulation:  There are some very cost effective ways to add insulation to a metal building.  Our insulation retro-fit systems can drastically affect the comfort levels within the building year round, and significantly cut energy costs as well.   Adding insulation to an existing metal building is much easier than you may think!

7. Energy Assessment: An energy auditor can be called to inspect your business and see where money and energy are being lost. They will check for leaks, insulation, furnace, and ductwork and see where little fixes could be made to save money.

So there you have it! Doesn’t sound like too much work to save a lot, does it? If you’re interested in looking at what it will take to add some insulation to your metal building, contact us by clicking here.

Image Source: Allied Metal Buildings