What to Know before Installing Metal Building Insulation

3 min read

types of metal building insulation and prices

Metal building insulation is important for a comfortable temperature. Here is what to know about installing it.

A metal building retains the heat and cold to the extreme. It makes metal building insulation important for the structure, especially if you plan to live in it. There are various types of insulation suitable for this building, and each has its own characteristics. This installation guide will help you determine the best insulation to choose.

1. Types of Metal Building Insulation

There are several common types of insulation for the metal building. They are:

  • Fiberglass sheet

Fiberglass sheet is the cheapest and easiest type of insulation. Nonprofessionals can install it with detailed instructions. You can buy it at common hardware stores. It is effective in areas with mild temperature shifts, but not the best option for areas with extreme summer or winter.

Fiberglass sheet comes in two forms: batts and blankets. “Batts” means they come in cuts, while “blankets” come in rolls.

  • Loose filling

Loose filling insulation consists of small particles, such as from fiberglass, rock, or cellulose. It is an ideal option for odd cracks or gaps that are hard to be covered with regular rolls or panels. However, it will sag over time, and can absorb moisture, resulting in mold.

  • Spray foam

Spray foam is a perfect choice for a metal building that has obstacles or odd structures. It consists of polymer substances that expand when they touch the building surface. Spray foam insulation fills all the possible gaps and holes. It consists of open and closed-cell types.

If your building has strong structural integrity, the open-cell type is perfect, because it is cheaper. However, if you are unsure about the structural integrity, closed-cell is better because it strengthens the constructions.

  • Rigid board insulation

Rigid boards from polyurethane, fiberglass, or polystyrene are common for buildings with flat roofs. They are expensive, but more effective than fiberglass rolls or spray foam. Panels are easier to erect, and block heat or cold effectively. However, this board can only be installed by professionals.

These options are determined by things such as your building’s structural integrity, heat sources, climate, and budgets. However, there are technical measurements you must have in mind: the R-value and roof pitch value.

2. How to Determine R-value and Roof Pitch Value

R-value is a term that describes heat flow resistance level in insulation. Higher numbers mean higher resistance against heat. You determine the R-value by multiplying the temperature differences between the objects with surface area and time, and then divide the result with heat loss.

To determine the size of the insulation necessary for a building, you must also know the roof pitch value of the building. It is a formula that determines the steepness level of a roof compared to its horizontal length. For example, roof pitch value of 1:12 means the roof rises 1 inch for every 12 inches of roof’s length. Multiply the result with the length and height of the building, and you get the total size of insulation you must install.

These formulas are not the only things that determine your insulation purchase. You need to consider other things such as the building’s shape and structural integrity, the climate, and possible heat sources (including holes and cracks).

3. Prices of Metal Building Insulation

Different insulation types have unique price ranges. Depending on where you live, you may find certain price ranges for each type. However, there are standards for each insulation type. Here is what to expect:

  • The cheapest: fiberglass sheet

Fiberglass sheet is the cheapest option. The prices may range between USD0.12 and USD0.60 per square foot. The thicker the sheet, the higher the cost. This is a perfect insulation type for a home project. For example, a metal garage that accommodates two cars may require USD150 to USD600 worth of fiberglass sheet.

  • The mid-range: spray foam and loose fill

Spray foam must be applied by professionals, but it is not as expensive as rigid panels. Standard open-cell spraying application in a two-car garage may cost you USD1,200 to USD1,500. However, closed-cell spraying may cost around USD2,100 to USD3,600 for the same building. Meanwhile, the loose fill may cost between USD450 and USD1,371, depending on the building size.

  • The most expensive: rigid board

Rigid board insulation is the most expensive of all the insulation types. It is perfect for massive buildings, pre-cut into your requirements. The price of each panel varies, depending on its thickness, material, and size. For example, one polyisocyanurate panel with a 4×8 foot size and 1-inch thickness may cost around USD22 to 25.

All these price ranges do not include the installation process. However, professional installation will save you from poor insulation quality and structural damage.

A metal building needs to have proper insulation, especially if it is located in an area with extreme climate or temperature change. Choosing the right insulation is not about price, but the condition of the building, the local climate condition, and the structural size and design. Whether you choose fiberglass sheet, spray foam, or rigid panel, the right metal building insulation will keep you comfortable during the coldest or warmest days.

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