Insulation is particularly important in metal buildings because that material conducts heat and cold very easily. Insulating a metal building will help make the inside of the structure more comfortable and less susceptible to temperature fluctuations. Insulating metal buildings with foam is a fairly straightforward process, so long as you keep a few basic tips in mind.
Foam Insulation Choices
There are several types of foam insulation that can be used to insulate a metal building.
There are two types of spray foam. Open-cell foam is a thinner, less dense form of foam insulation. It can be sprayed over a wider area, completing the insulation job much faster. Closed-cell foam is most often used in residential construction, but is ideal for sealing any seams in a metal building; that type of foam is much thicker and denser. Once applied to an area, foam will expand up to 50 times its initial size, making it suited for insulating any cracks or crevices.
Sheets of foam insulation also can be installed in metal buildings by cutting the foam to fit between wall studs and roof joists.
Clear the area where you are spraying foam insulation of any debris and dirt to ensure that the foam insulation will stick well to the surface. If you choose wash the metal with water, make sure it is dry before applying the foam.
Start by using a closed-cell foam insulation kit. It will spray out with a thick consistency, similar to shaving cream. As the liquid insulation is sprayed, it will expand and harden. Spray this insulation into all corners and around the border of the floor and ceiling. Also use it to seal off seams where two pieces of metal overlap.
Switch to an open cell foam insulation kit for the larger areas. The thinner foam spray will cover a much larger area. Hold the spray nozzle approximately one foot away from the surface. Move the nozzle in a slow, side-to-side sweeping motion to deliver an even coat of insulation to all of the exposed metal surfaces inside the metal building.
Insulating Around Pipes
If your metal building has any type of water supply, inspect the area for any exposed pipes that may require insulation. Use either open cell or closed cell spray foam insulation to cover pipes. Alternatively, foam insulation sleeves can be purchased and slipped directly onto the pipes.
- Photo Credit Kim Steele/Photodisc/Getty Images
How to Insulate a Metal Building
Metal buildings are popular for utilitarian and industrial uses because they are relatively cheap and fast to put up. Without insulation, however,...