Insulation For Pole Barns Should:
1. Prevent Condensation
It can seem like a tropical rain forest inside an unprotected pole barn. It's worse on those days where there is a greater contrast between temperatures at night vs. day. The morning sun hitting the cool sheeting will create a drip. A temperature difference between outside and inside your building creates condensation - Similar to what happens when you leave a cold can of beer outside on a hot day.
Prodex, the best pole barn roof insulation, eliminates moisture (condensation) from forming on the roof 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
2. Stop Heat Transfer in and out
- Heat - Mid-summer sun rays hitting the metal sheeting radiates downward (inside). It makes it unbearably hot and humid inside.
- Cold - Winter temperatures turn metal sheeting cold. The cold sheeting creates the effect of an ice box making it colder inside the building than out. This also adds to the condensation problem.
R-value is the measurement of a material's ability to stop heat transfer. If two products have the same R-value, they have the same efficiency in stopping heat transfer.
I thought I had a Higher R-value - Pole Barn Insulation Blankets Lose R-value
Once metal sheeting gets cold it creates a situation where it's 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 is not affected by humidity. Pole barn insulation blankets (fiberglass), lose R-value once damp (and it will get damp in a pole building). Once fiberglass insulation gets damp, it will stay damp. 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.
Ever wonder why it's so hot and wet inside a pole building in the summer and so cold and wet in winter? The metal skin magnifies the heat of the summer sun and frigid temperatures of the winter. Metal is a very good conductor of heat and cold. In hot weather, metal framing and sheeting rapidly radiate the sun's heat into a building. In cold weather it rapidly releases the heat out of your building. 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 barn. 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.
3. Air Barrier
Air flow carries moisture that impacts the temperature and integrity of the building. Air-flow affects a building's behavior in fire (spread of toxic smoke and gasses). Air barriers also separate garages from conditioned spaces. In this case an air barrier would also serve as a "gas barrier" an obvious safety feature. Prodex Total is an air barrier.
4. Deaden Sound of Rain and Hail
The metal skin on a pole building can exaggerate the sound of rain and hail. Prodex Total has excellent sound deadening.
5. Not Support Rodents, Bugs and Birds
Unlike fiberglass insulation, Prodex Total does not provide for the nesting of rodents, bugs and birds. Rodents, bugs and birds aren't able to digest the foil.
6. Install Easily
It's a lot easier and less expensive to install a 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. Installing pole barn insulation
7. Vapor Barrier
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 - closed cell polyethylene foam and reflective reinforced foil facing. Prodex Total Insulation (Vapor Barrier, Class 1. perm<0.1 ).
8. Not Promote Mold Or Mildew
Prodex Total Does not support mold or mildew.
9. Not Leak
Prodex Total seals around nails and screws.
Compare Prodex Total to Bubble, Spray and Fiberglass
Bubble Air Issues
Foil Only Single Bubble Double Bubble Prodex Total 5M
Take a look at the photos above. Even if you didn't know anything about double bubble insulation or Prodex Total, which would you choose? The obvious choice is Prodex Total. It has a high quality core that keeps its shape when exposed to forces. Prodex Total 5M plus has a nominal thickness of 5mm (0.2"). Prodex Total 10M is 10mm (0.4"). Both are closed cell polyethelene foam covered on both sides with reflective reinforced foil facing.
Under pressure, the Prodex micro-cells do not collapse -- With a pressure of 6 PSI Prodex compresses just 6%. When the load is relieved it takes back its initial shape. The density of the foam is between 1.25 lb/ft (sq) - 1.87/ft (sq). This gives the material real body.
Because Bubble insulation has a core composed of air rather than closed cell polyethelene foam, it lacks the long-term consistence in performance of Prodex Total.
Fiberglass Moisture Issues
If you use fiberglass as your pole building or metal building insulation, you will have moisture issues (hidden behind facing), Loss of R-value (consequence of the moisture b) and heat gain from radiant heat transfer.
Once fiberglass insulation gets wet (and it will get wet, due to condensation) it will lose R-value! Water trapped between fiberglass insulation and the exterior of a building will also cause mold, fungus growth, rust and oxidation - Conditions that will degrade the metal and shorten the service of the structure. 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 barn - 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.
Spray Foam Insulation Won'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 roof gets hot it radiates solar-generated heat down. This often results in it being hotter in your building or house 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?
Updated December 11, 2019