What are some benefits of
insulating a metal building?
If your building is heated or cooled, the
primary benefits are energy savings and user comfort. Other
benefits include noise reduction, enhanced light reflectivity,
and condensation control.
How much insulation should I use?
In a heated or cooled building installing
the highest R-value (thickness) packages available is usually
the best way to go. While the pay back through energy savings
may have been 7 to 10 years in the past, the high cost of energy
in today’s world means the pay back period could be cut by as
much as 2/3. The most common thickness is 4 inch in the walls
and roof. 6 inch insulation is very common but the buyer needs
to be aware that if the insulation is not thinned out over
purlins or girts a “pillow effect” may occur causing panel
distortion or bulging. If you desire a higher R-value or need to
meet a certain commercial code, you have the option to go to a
banded system which places the insulation in between the purlins
and not as much between the panel and purlin.
What does insulation do?
Metal building insulation acts as a barrier
to slow down the movement of heated or cooled air, reduces
energy consumption, helps prevent condensation, absorbs sound,
and increases lighting efficiency.
What is R-value?
R-Value is a measurement of the
effectiveness of an insulator to retain or retard the loss of
heat flow. The R-value is directly related to the fiber glass
thickness. The thicker the fiber glass blanket the higher the R-
value. All R-values listed are determined with the insulation
uninstalled. Compression of the purlin install method will
reduce the R-values listed.
Note: Improper installation of any insulation can significantly
lower the insulations effectiveness.
What is U-value?
The U-value (overall heat transfer
coefficient) is a term used to describe the thermal performance
of a building envelope assembly such as a roof or sidewall
system in a metal building that has a number of heat flow paths.
NOTE: THE LOWER THE U-VALUE THE BETTER THE PERFORMANCE.
Who is NAIMA?
NAIMA or North American Insulation
Manufacturers Association is a trade association of
manufacturers of fiber glass, rock wool, and slag wool
insulation products. Today NAIMA has expanded its role and
concentrates its efforts on promoting energy efficiency and
environmental preservation through the use of fiber glass and
other insulation products.
Are there guidelines or instructions for
Click here to view the NAIMA publication “Recommendations for
Installing Fiber Glass Insulation in Metal Buildings” You
need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document. If you do not
have a copy, you can download it for free here
What are NAIMA 202-96 Certified Metal
NAIMA 202-96 Certified Metal Building
Insulations are fiber glass insulations intended to be laminated
and manufactured for the metal building market. This standard is
supported by NAIMA to assure that these insulations are
distinguished from insulations produced for other uses. If
non-certified insulations are used, they may not deliver the
same thermal performance, tensile strength, and greater
thickness recovery after compression as those insulations that
If my insulation is exposed to moisture
does it affect its performance?
Moisture from rain or humidity can degrade
the thermal performance of the insulation and service life of
the building. It is important that a vapor barrier, such as a
facing, is installed without gaps and sealed to help protect the
fiber glass blankets. If moisture exists it is equally as
important to provide a well ventilated environment. Wet
insulation should be replaced if it is damaged.
What do you know about reflective
NAIMA has tested this type of insulation
and has found them to be a concern for fire safety both in the
foil/bubble pack and the foil/foam core type. The published R-
Values are much higher than NAIMA’S test could achieve. Note:
Test configurations performed in “lab” conditions are not
typical of the real world of metal building application.
What concerns should I have about the
First and foremost is safety. Fall
protection is a requirement from OSHA especially when installing
roof insulation or roofing. Be sure that you read all warnings
and abide by the OSHA regulations for your safety as well as
others working with you.
What is ASHRAE 90.1 compliance for metal
It is a commercial code requirement and has
been adopted in most areas. Check with the authority having
jurisdiction in your area to verify whether this code is
applicable and if consideration should be made to meet its
How should the insulation be stored once
it arrives at the job site?
Insulation should be stored in a dry
protected area especially if it is not to be installed
immediately. All poly bags should be elevated as to not become
in contact with surface water. Poly bags should have punctures
in each end to help allow for circulation.
What should I check for when unloading
at the time of delivery?
The insulation should be inspected upon
arrival to insure that your order is exactly what was ordered.
Take care as to not inadvertently puncture the poly bags while
unloading. Seal any tears that may have occurred during the
shipping process. If there is anything wrong with the order or
insulation then it should not be installed. Contact us
immediately! Your insulation comes with a limited warranty.
Items not subject to claim under our warranty include
reimbursements for consequential damages, labor or rental
equipment costs or losses resulting out of a warranty claim.
How is my insulation packaged?
Your insulation is pre-cut for the walls
and roof and placed in heavy poly bags for added protection. The
bags are labeled “ROOF” or “SIDE WALL” or “END WALL”. When we
say pre-cut we do not mean that there is no field work. For
example there may be angles to cut for the end wall. Also, there
may be several runs from the base to the eave in one roll. The
length of the roll is usually a multiple of the eave height
(plus one foot extra to be trimmed).
Does insulation absorb water?
Yes. Insulation actually acts like a wick
when exposed to water. INSULATION SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A
CLOSURE UNDER PANEL ENDS. It is especially important to cut your
insulation fiber glass back (you can leave the facing to fold
back over the end of the insulation blanket) at the ends of
panels such as the eaves and base. This is a common mistake
among new installers which results in a wicking of water into
the building. Be sure that you read all installation
Does your company supply NAIMA certified
NIAMA certified insulation is a common
product supplied from our laminating facilities. We do however
work with some of the largest fiberglass blanket suppliers that
are not members of NIAMA. This means that the testing results
which are available were performed by independent testing
facilities other than NIAMA. If NIAMA is a required
specification make sure you indicate that in the quote and order