What You Need to Know About Metal Building Insulation

By Mark Hiatt   |   Posted In: Garages

What You Need to Know About Metal Building Insulations

Metal Buildings Are Great Solutions

Metal buildings are truly one of the best additions you can make for your home, business, or farm property. You’re probably already familiar with metal carports and metal garages, but those only scratch the surface when it comes to the many useful metal building applications now available to you from Carport Central. Steel buildings also make for great metal barns, workshops, office spaces, commercial buildings, industrial buildings, barndominium kits, and metal building homes. Steel structures are known to be more rugged, durable, weather-resistant, pest-resistant, and fire-resistant than comparable stick builds, and they also require less maintenance.


Why Insulate a Metal Building?

If you’re just planning to use your metal building for outdoor storage, you may be tempted to just skip the insulation. A popular question we get is whether insulation is really necessary for a metal structure. While it’s true that traditional insulation isn’t essential for maintaining the structural integrity of a steel building, there are still benefits that come from choosing to have some type of insulation installed.


The known benefit of insulation is its ability to help stabilize and maintain the interior temperature of your building. This is especially important if you’re considering going with a metal homes approach. Since metal is a very good conductor of heat, an uninsulated metal building can leave you feeling warmer than you might like in the summer and cooler than you might prefer in the winter.


Thankfully, there’s a simple solution. Adding insulation with sufficient R-value will help mitigate the rate of heat transfer, thus keeping your building interior much more comfortable in any season.


The Value of Adding a Vapor Barrier to Your Prefab Metal Building

When it comes to owning a metal building, mitigating heat transfer isn’t your only concern. It’s also important to be intentional about minimizing any potential interior condensation issues. If you’re planning to install an open-air metal carport or other open-air metal building, ambient air should be able to flow freely both above and through your roof-only structure, and interior condensation won’t be as much of a concern. But if you’re planning to enclose your metal building, then condensation is something you’ll definitely want to avoid. And here’s the good news: condensation can be effectively mitigated by choosing to install a quality vapor barrier.


Vapor Barrier Overview

No matter how you intend to use your custom metal building, it’s a good idea to include a vapor barrier, along with some type of thermal insulation if temperature moderation is also a priority for you. Here are some of the vapor barrier and insulation options we can provide for your new metal building at Carport Central:


• Single Bubble Vapor Barrier

The single bubble insulation we offer is our most economical option, and comes with an R-value of 4. Single bubble insulation is a metal-wrapped vapor barrier that’s primarily designed to prevent moisture infiltration and interior sweating from condensation.


• Double Bubble Vapor Barrier

Our double bubble insulation includes a second layer of wrapped air bubbles and delivers an R-value of 8. Double bubble is an effective vapor barrier and also offers a moderate amount of thermal insulation performance.


• DripStop Moisture Control

DripStop is different from other vapor barrier products in that it’s adhered to the metal paneling before it ever gets installed on your building. One advantage to this approach is that it can save you both time and money in onsite installation labor. The DripStop membrane is designed to trap any condensation that forms inside your building. Once the temperature rises in the morning, DripStop simply releases this moisture back into the atmosphere. The result is no interior condensation and no moisture drips. DripStop is also known to be a more durable solution than other traditional vapor barrier products.


• Prodex-Equivalent Vapor Barrier

We also offer a Prodex equivalent that’s a great option to consider. This is different from traditional bubble wrap vapor barriers, in that it’s composed of woven reflective material that’s effective at eliminating moisture and condensation issues, and also prevents up to 97% of radiant heat transfer. When installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, Prodex or a Prodex equivalent can add insulating value up to R-16. But if you’re looking to use your structure as a climate-controlled space for residential, office, or storage applications, you’ll still want to install thermal insulation as well.

Insulation Options for Finishing Your Metal Building

If you’re going to finish the interior of your metal building, you have several metal building insulation options available for climate control. Among others, these include fiberglass insulation batts and blankets, foam board or rigid board panels, and spray foam. You can also opt to partner with a local blown insulation contractor to add some loose-fill insulation to the wall and attic cavities, if you want to achieve maximum thermal performance for your building.


Can a Metal Building Really Be More Energy-Efficient than a Stick Build?

Yes, it can! Many folks naturally assume that wood-framed buildings are more energy-efficient, but that’s not necessarily the case. A well-insulated metal home, for example, can actually be up to 40% more energy-efficient than a stick-built home. Why is that? Since steel framing is more dense and compact than wood framing, you have more cavity space for packing with insulation if you choose a metal building. And more insulation inevitably means less demand on your HVAC system, thus equating to lower heating & air costs. The ability to pack in more insulation also means you’ll enjoy a higher level of external noise buffering performance.


Carport Central Has All Your Metal Building Needs Covered

Carport Central is always innovating in order to provide better metal building solutions for our customers. For example, we’re the first major metal building provider to offer DripStop installation on our metal paneling!

If you’re in the market for a custom steel structure, look no further than Carport Central! We can provide any type of metal building you can think of, and we deliver and install for NO extra charge in 46 US states. We also have the best financing, and RTO plans in the industry, including an attractive metal building home mortgage option.

At Carport Central, we don’t just sell metal buildings. We provide shelter for your way of life! Connect with us online, or for a faster response, just give us a call at (980) 321-9898 to speak to a friendly building specialist today!


At Carport Central, What’s Central to You Is Central to Us.


  • Mark Hiatt

    Mark Hiatt brings over 20 years of commercial construction experience as a licensed engineer in NC, SC, and VA. Design-and-build is his specialty, and he serves both as a structural engineer for American Building Network and as an engineering consultant for Carport Central.

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