Metal Building Insulation

Metal building insulation can be a crucial addition in some climates, especially for residential buildings like barndominiums. The conductivity of metal along with the chance of condensation forming in humid regions can make insulation a must-have. Thankfully there are a variety of insulation options available for both steel framed buildings or Quonset metal buildings. We'll look into them below.

metal building insulation

Metal Building Insulation Options

Spray Foam

spray foam insulationSpray foam insulation can be applied to the ceiling cavities and metal walls. It’s a great solution for Quonset buildings given its ability to get into the arches. It provides a great deal of thermal protection and also acts as a vapor barrier. Typically spray foam is a polymer mixed with a foaming agent. It is sprayed on metal buildings as a liquid. Within a few moments, the mixture expands fast and dry to form a solid mass of air-filled cells.


Metal buildings are prone to condensation due to humid air rising and condensing on the cool metal panels. This is of particular concern if you’re building in a dusty or cold area, or even near a large lake or ocean area. Sometimes just adding an extra layer of protection using fiberglass is necessary. Fiberglass comes in batts or rolls, and it is usually placed between metal studs in the walls or floor joists in the ceiling.

steel building insulation batts To install fiberglass on a straight-wall metal building, attach different strips of the material to the inner part of the wall. The spacing is essential since the shed has different studs and panels.

If you’re looking to install fiberglass insulation on a Quonset building then be sure to contact your representative since there are generally Quonset-specific fiberglass kits that have a mylar-type material on one side. The interior screws get extensions added which are punched through the insulation then held on with a cap.

Radiant Barrier

Radiant barrier insulations deflect high temperatures during summer and help keep heating costs down in colder climates. It looks somewhat like bubble wrap with foil on each side and is usually installed on the inside of roof panels but can be used for walls as well. Radiant barriers are made of heat-reflecting materials, and it is among one of the most recommended insulation materials for metal buildings.

blanket insulationKeep in mind that it is durable and energy-efficient.

Installing radiant barrier insulation is not difficult, but it is quite time-consuming. In order to get going though you must begin by measuring the size of the metal panel and cutting the barriers to fit the dimensions. Once done you secure the insulation and screw on the outer metal panel, being sure to also use double-sided tape for reinforcement.


Loose-fill insulation is made of fiberglass, rock wool, or cellulose. It is blown into the metal framing using a special machine. Loose-fill insulation is great for those hard-to-reach areas, including corners, and it provides excellent coverage.

To install loose-fill insulation, first cut small holes in the metal framing. Ensure to wear gloves and a mask when handling the insulation material. Next, insert a tube into the hole and use the special equipment to blow insulation into the metal framing. This is done until the area is filled. Once completed, you should then seal the holes with metal wool or caulk.

Form Boards

Form boards are rigid panels used for insulation. They can either be exclusively closed-cell foam, or have a metallic finish on one side. Foam boards help to prevent heat loss and condensation and are quite easy to install on a building with flat walls.

To install form boards, measure the height and length of your interior shed panels and determine the number of boards you will need for the entire space. Cut the form boards to size using a saw. Place the form boards on the metal framing and secure them with screws, nails, or aluminum tape to create a vapor barrier.

Which Insulation Option is Right for You?

There are many different ways to insulate a steel building. The best method depends on the climate, the type of metal building, and of course, your primary budget. Insulating a metal building can be challenging if you do not know what to do. However with expert help for your project, you can keep the building comfortable and energy-efficient, and it is worth it, as you can also save on energy costs.

Need help insulating your metal building? Whether it is for a new building project or to retrofit your existing building - insulation often makes sense. Request a free building quote to speak with a helpful expert about insulation for your building.

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