Pole Barn Insulation

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Comparing Pole Barn Insulations - Prodex, Fiberglass, Spray and Bubble



chart comparing pole barn insulations

Don't buy a Pole Barn if you're not going to insulate it -

You'll experience excessive heat, cold and water! 

  • Pole Barn condensation - It can seem like a tropical rain forest at times inside an unprotected pole barn. A temperature difference between the outside and the inside of your barn will create condensation (dripping on the sheeting) - Similar to what happens when you leave a cold can of beer outside on a summer day.  
  • The sun's rays on the metal surface transfers radiant heat inside making it unbearably hot and humid inside the building during summer months.
  • Cold winter temperatures on the metal sheeting turns the sheeting cold. The cold sheeting creates the effect of an ice box making it even colder inside the barn than outside.

A Complete Pole Barn Insulation System -- Requires an insulation that prevents condensation, radiant heat transfer and has an R-value that is unaffected by humidity. Given this demand, most insulations perform poorly in pole barns.

Fiberglass Pole Barn Insulation Loses R value

Once fiberglass insulation gets wet (and it will get wet, due to condensation in a pole barn) it will lose R-value! Water trapped between fiberglass insulation and the exterior of the barn will also cause mold, fungus growth, rust and oxidation - Conditions that will degrade the metal and shorten the service of the barn. In addition, fiberglass insulation does not prevent radiant heat transfer (the primary source of heat-flow in and outside your building).

Take a look at the white vinyl facing the next time you're in a pole building - It will be either sagging, or sagging and flaking. This is due to the added weight of water. Behind the white vinyl is a wet, mold filled blanket that will eventually cause the white vinyl to crack and fall off. At some point, when you're exposed to the toxic fibers, you'll be forced to remove the insulation - Hopefully before it does too much damage to the metal framing. If you insist on using fiberglass, use it in conjunction with Prodex Total, so the Prodex can keep the moisture out of the fiberglass. Is R-value meaningless?

Spray Foam Pole Barn Insulation Doesn't Stop Radiant Heat Transfer

In addition to being very expensive, spray foam insulation won't prevent radiant heat transfer (the primary source of heat-flow in and out of your metal building). Without a radiant barrier, when your metal roof gets hot (as in summer) it radiates solar-generated heat down. This often results in it being hotter in your barn than out. It's also suggested you supplement open cell foam with a vapor barrier. Why not get the vapor barrier all in one product?

Bubble Wrap Pole Barn Insulation Collapses in Time

If bubble insulation is punctured or smashed, its  core (center) collapses. We see little difference between the performance of single and double bubble insulation - The latter simply has a second layer of air bubbles (A balloon with more air). Although we strongly suggest you order Prodex Total because of the quality of its core, if your budget only allows for bubble wrap, we suggest our single bubble insulation over double bubble. You'll get virtually all the benefits of the double bubble while saving money.

To meet the unique insulation requirements of a metal building, you need a total insulation system -  Prodex Total Insulation = Radiant barrier + Reflective Insulation + Vapor barrier.

Condensation in A Pole Barn It can feel like a Rain Forest

 The most reported problem by pole barn owners is condensation. In addition to being a vapor barrier (perm rating less than 1), Prodex Total Insulation also eliminates condensation. When a cold surface comes in contact with warm air it creates moisture on the surface (cold bottle outside in summer).

condensation in pole barn

Prodex eliminates the moisture (condensation) from forming on the metal sheeting. It does it by making the temperature of the metal sheeting on the building approximately the same on the inside as the outside. When the heat or cold from outside comes through the metal skin it hits the outside aluminum facing of Prodex and is reflected back upwards through the underside of the metal sheeting. This process keeps the metal sheeting temperature consistent on both sides. In addition, the inside layer of aluminum in Prodex reflects away the heat (heater) or cold (air-conditioning) from inside the building, from getting to the metal skin. This also helps in preventing condensation.

Hot In A Pole Barn - Radiant Heat Transfer

Ever wonder why it's so hot and wet inside a pole barn in the summer and so cold and wet in winter? The metal skin magnifies the heat of the summer and frigid temperatures of the winter. Metal is a very good conductor of heat and cold. In hot weather, metal framing and sheeting rapidly transfers the sun's heat into the barn, and in cold weather it rapidly transfers the heat out of your barn. When warm air comes in contact with the cool metal sheet, condensation occurs.

Prodex reflects 97% of the radiant energy (primary source of heat flow) that strikes it - Which also protects your animals from Black Globe Effect. Prodex also reflects back the heat inside your pole building. Each unit of radiant heat energy that is reflected away from your barn in the summer, and each unit that is reflected back during the winter, means less operation of your heating and air conditioning system - Less wear and tear on your equipment - Less money you pay in utility costs. 

mass insulation heat-flow without Prodex Prodex Insulation heat-flow

Cold In A Pole Barn - Colder Inside Than Out

Once metal gets cold its transfers the cold downward often making it colder inside the building that out. To combat this you need an insulation that doesn't lose its thermal protection when you need it most!

The Prodex R-value 16 is not affected by humidity. Other insulations such as fiberglass lose R-value once damp (and it will in a metal building). Once fiberglass insulation gets damp, it will stay damp. Once damp, it loses R value. Not only will you have trapped moisture in the blanket causing rot, rust, oxidation, mold etc, the damp blanket will provide less and less R value as the moisture builds. Couple this with the fact that fiberglass insulation does not prevent radiant heat transfer (primary source of heat flow) and you can see why fiberglass insulation is not the recommended insulation for pole barns.

MORE Benefits of Prodex Total Pole Barn Insulation

Protecting Contents From Vapor

Prodex is a class 1 vapor barrier. A vapor barrier (moisture barrier) refers to any material that prevents moisture from passing through the walls or roof of a building. This material can be plastic or better yet, Prodex Total Insulation - 13/64 inch, 5mm closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with .0012-inch (00.03mm) aluminum foil facing. Prodex Total Insulation (Vapor Barrier, Class 1. perm<0.1 ).

Preventing Rodents, Bugs and Birds from Nesting

Unlike fiberglass insulation, Prodex does not provide for the nesting of rodents, bugs and birds. Rodents, bugs and birds aren't able to digest the aluminum.

Making Installation Easy

It's a lot easier and less expensive to install a 5mm roll of Prodex than a bulky 6 inch roll of fiberglass. Pinching 6 inches fiberglass between the framing and sheeting is not easy. Prodex Total can be installed before or after your metal sheeting. For fastest and easiest installation, install before applying your sheeting. Installation methods 

Deadening Sound of Rain and Hail

Metal skin on a building can exaggerate the sound of rain and hail. Prodex has an excellent 19db sound deadening. 

Increasing Lighting Efficiency

Prodex provides a bright, attractive finish to your building. It reflects the light, making it easier to light the building interior.

How do I know this is a great product?

Prodex Total is ICC-ES recognized and Energy Star Qualified. Link to BBB report is posted bottom right of every page. Real-time customer comments on every product page - visit Prodex Reviews

wood framed building with Prodex Insulation installing prodex insulation on roof or pole barn  


Prodex Difference: Energy Star Qualified : ICC-ES Recognized : R 16 unaffected by humidity : Prevents condensation : Prevents 97% of radiant heat transfer : Vapor barrier : Core sealed on both 175' sides with flange : Elastic : 19dba contact noise reduction : 90 degree celsius (194 fahrenheit) contact temperature rating : UV resistance : Does not promote mold or mildew : Does not provide for nesting of rodents, bugs or birds : Seals around nails (no leak) : Reflective aluminum foil on each side of 5mm (13/64) closed-cell polyethylene foam center : Keeps its shape over time (doesn't collapse) : Rippled surface increases airflow : Member of US Green Building Council - Made with 100% recyclable virgin raw materials : Over 2 billion square feet sold worldwide.

Recommended insulation for your pole barn: Prodex Total 48 Inch : Prodex Total Fast Action 48 Inch : Prodex Total 72 Inch or Prodex Total 24 Inch

Prodex Total Fast Action 4 ft. x 175 ft. (700 sq. ft. total) - Identical to Prodex Total 48 Inch with the exception of having adhesive running 175 ft. on one side of roll. The adhesive is not for attaching the insulation to a surface - It's for sealing the seams. No need to order reflective tape to seal seams. It saves time and money. Roofers report up to 50% savings in installation time. Reflective aluminum foil on each side of 5mm (13/64 inch) closed-cell polyethylene foam center. 

pole barn insulation pic of roll, foam and adhesive

Calculate Amount of Insulation Required for your Building

 5 Reasons To Believe In Prodex Total Pole Barn Insulation

  1. Real-time Prodex Insulation Reviews on every product page 
  2. Energy Star Qualified
  3. ICC-ES Recognized
  4. BBB report (bottom right of every page)
  5. Over 3 billion square feet sold worldwide

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October 23, 2014


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