Comparing Insulation Types in Metal Buildings and Roofs, Pole Barns, Walls, Basements and Crawlspaces
Condensation, Heat and Cold
- Condensation - It can seem like a tropical rain forest inside an unprotected metal building or under a metal roof. A temperature difference between outside and inside your building will create condensation (dripping on the sheeting) - Similar to what happens when you leave a cold can of beer outside on a hot day.
- Heat - The sun's rays on a metal surface transfers radiant heat inside making it unbearably hot and humid under the roof 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 colder inside the building than out.
Once fiberglass insulation gets wet (and it will get wet due to condensation in a metal building) it will lose R-value. Neither fiberglass, insulation board or spray foam will prevent radiant heat transfer (the primary source of heat-flow in and out of your building.
Prodex Total Insulation is by far the best metal building, roof and pole barn insulation - It is the one solution for cold, heat and condensation under metal sheeting.
Fiberglass and Cellulose Allows Air Infiltration Through Walls
Air Infiltration - Air sealing and moisture control make a building more comfortable inside and save energy by making insulation more effective. A significant amount of moisture enters the walls through air leaks and capillary action from ground water below. When installed over the studs Prodex Total will act as an air infiltration barrier thereby sealing the wall to reduce heat loss from expanding warm air and prevent water vapor in the air from entering the wall cavity. Fiberglass and cellulose with a stated R-value of 25 placed in an improperly sealed house will allow wind to blow through it as if there were no insulation at all. The US Department of Energy estimate that in a 100 sq. ft. wall, one cup of water can diffuse through the drywall without a vapor barrier in a year, but 50 cups can enter through a 1/2 -inch round hole. Sealing air leaks is estimated at 10 to 100 times more important that installing a vapor barrier.
Prevent Moisture, Mold and Mildew In Basements and Crawlspaces
Due to the underground environment, moisture is the primary consideration in developing a basement wall and crawlspace insulation strategy. Moisture problems in basement walls and crawlspaces have lead experts to recommend against using fiberglass insulation in basement walls and crawlspaces. The old standard installation of fiberglass batt insulation between framed stud walls on the basement interior with a vapor barrier over the studs is no longer recommended because of excessive problems with mold, mildew, decay and rot. To maintain its effectiveness, fiberglass must not be exposed to high-moisture conditions such as a damp basement. Moisture will negate the insulation R-value of fiberglass insulation and promote mold and mildew - This degrades indoor air quality.
The underground environment of basements and crawlspaces present unique challenges. The moisture content in soil below three feet deep is almost always higher than the moisture content of the air inside. This difference in vapor pressure causes moisture to be driven from the soil into the basement or crawlspace interior by diffusion through the wall.
A significant amount of moisture from the soil below the slab will wick upward into the crawl space. Underground soil temperatures can be much colder than either the outside air or the indoor air. The warmer the air of the basement constantly expands. When this warm air reaches the cooler surface of a wall next to the ground, condensation will occur on the interior of the wall. Any insulation in your crawl space will be subject to potentially large amounts of moisture driven from both the exterior and the interior depending on the season.
Wow, that's a lot to digest, so I will summarize. The best insulation type will protect you from heat, cold, humidity, wind and water. The standard bearer of the reflective insulation industry, Prodex Total insulation, meets all these requirements.