Buying a metal building is a big investment. Whether you plan on using your building for storage, a workshop, a barn, or a man cave, you need to make sure your building and what’s inside of it is protected. You may not realize it but insulating your metal building is an essential step to preserving the life of your structure. There are several different types of insulation used for steel buildings, but among the most popular is a vapor barrier.
Why Should I Insulate My Metal Building?
Adding insulation to your metal building may seem unnecessary, especially if your building is being used for storage, but your building could really benefit from it. Metal building insulation is done a little differently than typical construction installation. With a steel building, the insulation is done over the framing to provide continuous coverage. Insulation has two important goals – regulating the temperature inside and preventing moisture from coming in. Since metal is such a good conductor of heat, an uninsulated metal building can get quite hot in the summer, and chilly in the winter. Insulated steel buildings will retain heat in the winter and stay cool in the summer.
Another big reason to insulate is to prevent moisture. Let’s be honest, no one wants to invest in a steel building only to have it rust and corrode. And if you’re using your building for storage, think of the musty smell that comes along with moisture and the smell it could leave on your things. Having a properly insulated metal structure can provide long term protection for your building and the things inside of it.
How Do I Know if my Steel Building Should be Insulated?
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to whether or not your steel building needs insulation. It’s important to match insulation characteristics with each building’s size, shape, location, and its intended use.
- The Climate
Is your building in an area with extreme heat, cold, or humidity? You may want to consider insulation to control the heat transfer through the building to reduce your energy usage.
- The End Use
Are you using your building for livestock? In this case, an open-sided farm building wouldn’t need insulation. But, if you have a commercial building for your business that’s enclosed, it’s important to insulate.
- The Building Interior
Does your building require cooling or heating? If so, insulation will save you on wasted energy dollars.
What Does a Vapor Air Barrier Do?
The main function of a vapor air barrier is to eliminate air and condensation from coming into the building. Think about a cold glass of iced water that is sitting outside on a hot summer day. It sweats, right? That same thing could happen around your air conditioning ducts and inside your walls without a good insulation system in place. A vapor air barrier serves as the insulation between the walls to stop the condensation from happening.
What is the Difference Between a Vapor Retarder and an Air Barrier?
A vapor barrier is also known as a vapor retarder. Its job is different than an air barrier, although they are commonly mistaken for the same thing. However, both are still super important for properly insulated metal structures.
An air barrier eliminates outside air from coming into the building. Although a vapor barrier also eliminates air, its main function is to protect against condensation. A vapor retarder material that breathes allows moisture to evaporate.
Get Serious About Building Condensation
Condensation is annoying, and if left untreated, it could also be destructive to your steel building. Condensation mainly happens at cold surfaces, so that’s why metal buildings are more vulnerable to it. The damage caused by condensation can be a slow process, so damage can be prevented if the issue is fixed early.
Here are some ways condensation can damage a metal building that hasn’t been insulated:
- Corrosion – Metal walls become unstable, which could cause caving. And honestly, corrosion just doesn’t look good. It can cause a steel building to look visually unappealing.
- Failed Insulation – If you have constant issues with condensation, it could be that your insulation isn’t installed properly.
- Persistent Dampness – If you’re constantly around dampness, it isn’t good for your health. Dampness could lead to mold issues and cause even more health issues for those struggling with allergies, asthma, bronchitis, and the flu.
- Pest Infestation – If condensation is coming in through holes and cracks in your building, other things can come in too, like pests or rodents. And many pesky pests love the damp and humid conditions that come with improper insulation. So, you may have a full-scale pest infestation from time to time. These pests can cause damage to your belongings, be hard to get rid of, and just be annoying to deal with.
Getting Insulation Right for Your Metal Building
A vapor retarder that isn’t installed correctly honestly isn’t doing your building any good. Gaps, tears, slits in the material, or seams that are sloppy allow humid air to come through. To make sure your building is protected, make sure you install your vapor barrier as perfectly as possible.
Here are some things to look for when picking out your insulation:
- Material – Make sure the material is strong and durable. The vapor retarder should be a tear, puncture, and fire-resistant material.
- Installation – Vapor barriers should be applied to the warm side of the wall, which is usually on the interior. However, if you’re using your steel building for a food processing plant or for another reason that requires it to be refrigerated, then the vapor barrier will be more effective on the outside of the wall or ceiling.
Benefits of Insulated Metal Buildings
Insulated metal buildings are energy efficient and provide protection against weather elements. While proper insulation can help keep out moisture, keep out pests, and protect against corrosion, there are other bonuses to getting your building insulated:
- Lower Energy Bills – Steel building insulation keeps your structure warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. This will give your heater and air conditioner a break from working so hard and help keep your energy bills down.
- Quieter, More Comfortable Environment to Work – Not only does insulation keep your energy bill down, but it also keeps the noise level down too. Insulation can absorb sound and reduce noises from appliances, power tools, and other sounds that can be transmitted through the walls and floors.
- Easy to Install – The technology used to install this insulation is quick and easy.
Let Metal Garage Central Install the Steel Building of Your Dreams
If you’re looking to add insulation to your metal building, make sure it’s done properly to protect your structure. Or if you’re tired of dealing with condensation and want a new building, then give us a call! We won’t just help you with a new metal building, we will make sure you have the best quality steel building that’s out there. Metal Garage Central partners with the best prefab building manufacturers across America to design, deliver, and insulate the exact metal building you’re looking for. And if that isn’t enough, we deliver and install for no extra charge. Give us a call at (980) 321-9898.