The Best Insulation For Metal Buildings

Some people choose to have their metal buildings constructed without insulation.

Depending on what the building is used for, whether it's a metal automotive manufacturing facility or metal medical center, and where you are located, metal building insulation may be essential to prolong the building's life.

If you live in an area with high humidity and considerable temperature swings, you will need insulation.

If the temperatures are noticeably different between the outside and inside, condensation will form.

That moisture can also cause building rust and corrosion.

And it can also damage your valuables stored inside by causing mold and mildew.

But if you insulate your pre-engineered metal building, you are stabilizing your structure's interior temperature and preventing moisture from damaging your building.

You will also be able to heat and cool your building with more efficiency, saving you money on energy costs.

In the article below, we will discuss why you should insulate your metal building and the best types of insulation available.

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How Does Metal Building Insulation Work?

Insulation for your metal building will control heat flow, prevent condensation from forming, and maintain noise levels.

Some insulation can even increase the efficiency and effectiveness of lighting fixtures.

The insulation in your prefab steel building will slow the movement of heat and keep it inside in the winter.

During the warm summer months, it will keep the heat outside.

Your heat transfer rate throughout the building is controlled, reducing energy usage.

Blanket insulation has a vapor retarder that can also prevent condensation from forming by blocking the passage of water vapor so it doesn't condense onto the interior building surface or dampen the insulation fibers.

Insulation can also dampen noise from the outside by absorbing the reverberations.

Lighting is more efficient because you can choose facings for brightness and reflectiveness.

Where Should I Insulate?

If nothing else, you need to insulate the roof of your prefabricated metal building.

If you live in an area with varying weather patterns, like most of the country, you should insulate the walls as well.

So, for example, if you live in an area where snow may pile up against your walls, insulating your building will be very important.

When you insulate, you will break the steel-to-steel contact to prevent condensation that can rust your building.

Steel building insulation is usually installed by placing the insulation between the sheeting and building skeleton.


Benefits of Insulating a Metal Building

No matter what type of insulation you use, when you insulate a metal building the right way, you are conserving energy, promoting a comfortable environment, and saving money.

Here are a few more benefits of metal building insulation.

Stabilizing Your Building's Temperature

When you insulate your building and reduce the heat flow out of your steel structure, you create a building envelope that enables the heating and cooling system to control your interior building temperature with much less effort.

Limiting Your Building's Moisture

The primary job of metal building insulation was to reduce condensation created by the differing temperatures on the inside and outside of a metal building.

This is still one of its primary functions, but metal building insulation also helps reduce thermal bridging which can create heat loss and condensation.   


Absorbs Sound

With the extra interior padding, steel building insulation keeps outdoor sounds outside and indoor sounds inside. It improves the sound quality on the inside of your business.

This is good for your business and is especially beneficial if you're working with loud machinery.

How to Insulate a Steel Building

With traditional construction methods, insulation is typically installed between studs.

When it comes to insulating a steel building, insulation is typically installed above the framing, providing more continuous protection.

The placement here prevents heat and moisture transfer between the framing, exterior roof, and wall panels.

What Are The Types of Steel Building Insulation

If you choose to insulate your metal building, you will have four different types of materials to choose from.

Each comes with its own benefits and varying costs.

When trying to decide which is best for your steel building, keep in mind that the characteristics of the material should match your building's shape, size, location, and the intended use of the structure.

Reflective Foil

Your first insulation option is reflective foil, sometimes called a foil bubble.

A foil bubble is a waterproof type of insulation with a reflective surface that significantly brightens the structure's exterior.

Reflective foil can be more costly, but it's pretty simple to install.

All you will need to install it are some staples, glue, or nails.

Installing this insulation doesn't require any special protective gear or equipment.



Fiberglass has become the most popular and least expensive insulation method for steel buildings.

Fiberglass comes in blankets or rolls of material and is sometimes called blanket insulation.

It won't require professional insulation, and you can install it yourself.

You should wear a mask and protective clothing when installing it, though, because fiberglass insulation can irritate your skin.

Fiberglass insulation can also attract rodents, birds, and nesting bugs, so it's usually sold with a protective facing, which doubles interior appeal.

Insulated Panels

Insulated panels are made of two metal panels that have an insulated core between them.

This is one of the more expensive ways to insulate your prefabricated metal building. Still, insulated panels reduce your need for rigid board installation or fiberglass blankets.

If you choose to use insulated panels to insulate your steel building, the panels provide excellent insulation, fast installation, and a modernized appearance. 

Rigid Board

Rigid board insulation has almost become the universal way to insulate a steel building.

Rigid boards are ideal for almost any type of climate. They are an effective way to insulate a steel building and dampen exterior noise.

If you choose to use rigid board insulation, notify your metal building manufacturer of your intent to use rigid boards to insulate your prefab steel building.

If you use rigid boards for insulation, you will need longer panel lengths and extended fasteners.

Start Your metal building project with stevens

When you partner with a metal building company like STEVENS, they will help you with all the steps to ensure that your metal building has everything it needs.  This includes picking the right insulation for your structure.

When you insulate your metal building, you will muffle sound from interior equipment or activity and exterior noise such as rain, hail, or traffic.

It saves energy and, therefore, heating and air conditioning costs.

Insulation significantly improves the return on investment for any metal building.

It keeps it clean and in prime condition much longer than if you didn't insulate your building, and it protects the health of those using the facility.

STEVENS has years of experience in the metal building industry. They can design and erect your custom-engineered steel building today with any type of insulation.

Our metal building team is ready to help you through the entire building process and make you the proud owner of a custom metal building.

Click the button below to get started with your customized pre-engineered metal building today.


Check out our other pre-engineered metal building articles:

The Rising Costs of Building Materials During The Pandemic

What Are The Best Ways To Customize A Metal Building?

How Long Does It Take To Erect A Metal Building?


About The Author


I'm Ben Sparhawk, the Content Writer and Marketing Account Manager for the esteemed STEVENS company. As someone passionate about crafting captivating content, I take great pride in creating pieces that highlight STEVENS' capabilities and communicate the depth and breadth of their outstanding work.

In my role, I'm constantly striving to develop messaging that resonates with our clients and effectively showcases the exceptional work that we do here at STEVENS. I believe that communication is the key to success, and I work tirelessly to ensure our marketing efforts are engaging and informative.

When I'm not working, I often spend time with my three wonderful children. Becoming a dad is one of the best things that has happened to me, and I love every moment I get to spend with my wife and kids. You can also find me in the gym, trying to better myself, and I also enjoy spending time outdoors hiking or checking out local parks.