Let’s take a look at one of the common issues associated with metal buildings. This issue is the condensation that can occur when moisture forms on the metal walls or ceiling of your building. Don’t think this is really an issue? You couldn’t be more wrong! Condensation can cause damage that could weaken your building if not addressed. But let’s start at the beginning…
What exactly is condensation – “It is defined as water that collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air is in contact with it.” The cold surface in this instance would be the metal walls and ceilings of your building. Humidity can come from the air or from moisture inside of the building from animals being kept there or people working inside. So how can you defend against condensation?
Insulation In Metal Buildings
If the metal building you have is not insulated properly, or at all, condensation could really become an issue for you. It is important that you make the decision of how much insulation to use, if any, based on what you are using your metal building for. If it is a farm building housing livestock, you will want to make sure that it is fully insulated since horses and cows produce moisture from their breathing and even from sweating! Did you know that a horse can sweat up to two gallons of moisture a day? All of this can make for a very humid atmosphere.
Even if your building is just storage and a workshop you will want to consider insulating it as the more people who are in the building can raise the temperature of the interior and lead to the possibility of condensation occurring.
When putting in the insulation, it is really important that a vapor barrier is used to keep any moisture that might arise from seeping into the insulation material. If that happens, it is possible for mold and mildew to grow quickly. But what can you do besides making sure your building is insulated properly?
Air flow is the key! Making sure that your building has the right amount of ventilation is super important. If using as a farm building with livestock, you want to take advantage of vents, louvers, windows and fans. Horses or Cows need to have good airflow so that they are not exposed to irritants that can lead to breathing problems or fungal infections.
If the metal building is mostly storage or a workshop, think of the collectibles and memories that you are storing. You wouldn’t want them damaged by condensation any more than you would want your animals to fall ill. Windows that can be opened as well as vents can help to keep all of the memories safe and sound as well as give you a place to create many more.
In order to start out on the right foot with your metal building, make sure that you use the proper construction practices! When putting up a metal building, sometimes a contractor will put up the building before pouring the concrete pad for the floor. This is where you can run into a problem and if possible pour the concrete first!
Why does this cause a problem? Because the wet concrete needs to dry out as it sets. This is a large amount of humid air that can be trapped in your metal building if it has been built first. A sure recipe for condensation! If you must construct the building first, try to leave a wall panel off until the concrete is set. If this is not possible, use fans and vents to keep the air moving and being vented out of the structure.
Why is This So Important?
Is this all just a fuss about nothing? No! The potential of damage from condensation is real. If you don’t take the time to address the areas of ventilation, insulation and proper construction, you may find your building damaged in costly ways.
Condensation is moisture that if left to sit on the steel of your building, can rust and corrosion. This is unsightly as well as leading to a weakening of the materials. It may even effect the value of your building.
This moisture can promote the growth of mold, mildew, fungus or other allergens and irritants. Growth of these reduces the quality of the air for people as well as for any animals being housed in the metal building. Again, a costly result as vet and doctor’s visits can add up.
If you find that your building is having evidence of condensation act fast and see if one of these areas needs to be addressed. Have any questions? Give the experienced representatives at Carport Central a call at (980) 321-9898!