Farmers who own metal buildings and pole barns can tell you that the two critical issues affecting metal structures are extreme temperature fluctuations and condensation. Although metal is a sturdy building material, its properties make it an extremely efficient heat conductor, making climate control inside the structure difficult. The vast temperature differential between the outside of the building and the inside means that metal buildings are also especially prone to mold, mildew, and moisture buildup, which can lead to rust that threatens the building’s structural integrity.
Farmers who raise livestock such as hogs and poultry in metal buildings must take extra care to ensure consistent indoor temperatures in summer and winter, since extreme temperature swings negatively impact the animals’ weight gain and health. Farmers who effectively insulate their metal buildings also save money on energy that would otherwise go towards cooling or heating the indoor space.
Most commonly, farmers require insulation for the building’s roof or attic space, as this is the area where the most heat enters or exits, and condensation buildup is the greatest.
Now that we’ve covered the importance of metal building insulation, here are some tips for selecting the most efficient insulation for your money:
- If you use traditional insulation, check the R-value.
You will see an “r-value” listed for most types of insulation. The r-value measures the insulation’s degree of thermal resistance – or how well it prevents heat transfer. A higher r-value slows the absorption of heat. Thicker insulation sheets or panels typically have higher r-values.
- Fiberglass insulation is the most popular choice, but can have downsides.
Fiberglass insulation is a popular option among farmers for its affordability and ease of installation. However, fiberglass can attract more insects than other types of insulation and tends to more easily absorb moisture, which can lead to rust problems for metal buildings over time.
- Consider the frequency of replacement.
Some types of insulation will need to be replaced more frequently. For example, fiberglass insulation can eventually become compact, requiring a new installation. Check to see if the insulation comes with a warranty or guarantee.
Radiant barrier insulation is an affordable, easy to install, and highly effective alternative to traditional fiberglass or foam insulation. Instead of slowing the transfer of heat like traditional r-value rated insulation, radiant barriers reflect up to 95% of the sun’s radiant back to the source – keeping metal buildings cool in the summer and preventing heat loss in the winter. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, applying radiant barrier insulation such as Super R® Plus Ag Barrier® can help farmers save up to 50% on energy costs.
One major benefit of Ag Barrier and other radiant barrier products is that they can be installed alongside traditional fiberglass insulation, greatly improving the existing insulation’s performance. Ag Barrier can also replace bubble insulation at a lower cost.
In addition to blocking radiant heat from entering the metal structure, another major advantage of radiant barrier products is their resistance to condensation. AgBarrier comes perforated at a 6.28 permeability allowing it to eliminate condensation under the metal roof.
With a lifetime warranty, Ag Barrier products provide long-lasting value to farmers at a low installation cost.
For questions about selecting and installing metal building insulation, or how radiant barrier products can benefit you, do not hesitate to call our experts at 800-825-0123. We look forward to hearing from you!