Metal Building Insulation: High R, Vapor and Radiant Barrier

Thumnail of Prodex on ceiling of metal building

8 Things Metal Building Insulation Must Do


  1. Stop Condensation 
  2. Prevent Heat Transfer
  3. Stop Air flow
  4. Deaden Sound of Rain and Hail
  5. Not Support Rodents, Bugs or Birds
  6. Install Easily
  7. Vapor Barrier
  8. Not Promote Mold or Mildew

1. Stop Condensation

insulation for metal buildings, wood framing, thumbnailIt can seem like a tropical rain forest inside an unprotected metal shed. It's worse on those days where there is a greater contrast between temperatures at night vs. day. The morning sun hitting the cool metal sheeting will create a drip. When warm air comes in contact with the cool metal sheet, condensation occurs. A temperature difference between the outside and inside of your building creates condensation - Similar to what happens when you have a cold can of beer outside on a hot day. 

Protect your valuable contents from damaged caused by moisture.

condensation in metal structures

Using Prodex Total as your metal building or warehouse insulation will eliminate 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 reflective 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 reflective layer of Prodex metal warehouse insulation keeps the heat (heater) or cold (air-conditioning) inside the warehouse from getting to the metal skin. This also helps in preventing condensation.

2. Prevent 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 - Fiberglass 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. Metal building insulation blankets (fiberglass), lose R-value once damp (and it will get damp in a metal 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 metal shed 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 Total also reflects back the heat inside your steel 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.

3. Stop Air Flow 

Prodex Logo Air Barrier Featured

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 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 metal building 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 ).

No Leak - Prodex Total Plus seals around nails and screws.

8. Not Promote Mold Or Mildew 

Prodex Total does not support mold or mildew. 

How To Insulate A Metal Building

Prodex Metal building insulation - grey frame Prodex insulalation in metal roof - under construction insulation quonset hut - metal building

How to Insulate a metal building New Install

Roof/Wall (New Install) Over Purlins: 
Use Prodex 48 InchFast Action72 Inch10MWhiteRusticReflective Bubble Reflective or Foil Fiberglass Vinyl.

  1. Apply double sided tape on the top of purlins (helps keep the insulation from blowing in the wind).
  2. Roll insulation perpendicular to and over the purlins. Allow insulation to sag at least 2 inches. 
  3. Tape seams with reflective tape or use Prodex Fast Action or 10M to avoid seam tape.
  4. Attach your sheeting

See installing steel building insulation

How to insulate an existing metal building

How To Insulate An Existing Metal Shed

Use Prodex 48 InchFast Action72 Inch10MWhiteRusticReflective Bubble Reflective or Foil Fiberglass Vinyl

Glue (super metal sealant) and tape (double sided tape) the insulation to underside of purlins. Run the tape and glue adjacent to each other. The tape serves as short-term hold and the glue serves as long-term hold.

Run the insulation perpendicular the purlins - That way a 48 Inch wide roll will work regardless of the width between your purlins. Use double sided tape to hold the insulation while the fast drying glue sets. To ensure insulation won't eventually peel way, use a wide head self-tapping screw every or banding every four feet to reinforce the attachment.

Many builders cut 1" x 2" pieces of metal. They'll screw through these small cut sheets to reinforce the insulation. See installing steel building insulation


Steel Building Insulation for Sale 

prodex insulation cross sectionProdex Total 5M Plus R 17. 5mm (0.2") closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with reflective reinforced foil facing. 

prodex insulation cross section

White Prodex Total 5M PlusR15.3. 5mm (0.2") closed cell polyethylene foam with reflective reinforced foil facing on one side and plastic white finish film on the other side.                               

 Prodex Total 10M New TagProdex Total 10M Plus - R22. Twice as thick as regular Prodex Total.  10mm (0.4") closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with reflective reinforced foil facing.



Roll Sizes

Metal Building Insulation Pricing/Cost | Buy Metal Building Insulation

  • Roll Pricing on every product page
  • Shipping calculator on every page in blue bar
  • For Discount volume price or to buy, click the "Order Here or Get A Quote" button  

metal building insulation prices   

Options/Comparisons - Fiberglass, Spray Foam and Bubble vs. Prodex Total Metal Building Insulation

chart comparing Prodex Total  Metal Building Insulation

Fiberglass Losing R-value And Cracking In Metal Building

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). 

fiberglass torn insulation under metal roof

Take a look at the white vinyl facing the next time you're in a metal 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. Avoid an insulation that collects moisture, attracts mold, cracks and needs to be replaced. If you insist on using fiberglass, use it in conjunction with Prodex Total, so the Prodex can keep the moisture out of the fiberglass.

The Prodex Total R-value is not affected by humidity. This feature cannot be over emphasized. There will always be some humidity in a metal building and your insulation must work in these conditions. 

We repeat! If fiberglass is used as metal building or pole barn insulation rather than Prodex Total, you'll have moisture issues (typically hidden behind facing), Loss of R-value (consequence of the moisture) and heat gain. 

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? 

Bubble Air Issues

     Foil Only              Single Bubble       Double Bubble    Prodex Total 5M 

Foil Only Radiant Barriersingle bubble - radiant bubble foilDouble bubble insulationProdex Total Insulation cross sections

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 polyethylene 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 polyethylene foam, it lacks the long-term consistence in performance of Prodex Total.

Summary of why is Prodex Total the Best Metal Building Insulation?

Prodex Total stops condensation, air and heat transfer. It's R-value not affected by humidity. It installs easily. It does not provide for nesting of birds or rodents. It seals around punctures. AND it does not promote mold or mildew! 

Insulating A Metal Building With Confidence

  1. Independent I4L and Prodex Insulation reviews at Site Jabber. Site Jabber is the leading community of online business reviewers. Unlike most review sites, only customers are allowed to post on this reputable site.
  2. BBB report. For over 100 years, BBB has set the standard for ethical business behavior. We're proud to maintain an "A to A+" rating. This rating takes into account a company's size in its relation to complaints. We're proud to maintain an "A to A+" rating. We've been accredited since March 15, 2004
  3. Prodex Insulation Reviews on every product page
  4. ICC-ES Recognized - ICC-ES is an evaluation service that takes independent test data for a variety of products and analyses it against a uniform Acceptance Criteria that is recognized internationally.
  5. Over million orders totaling more than 4 billion square feet of insulation sold.

Insulation4Less Reviews Surprising Information About Some Review Sites

Prodex Total: 

  • R-unaffected by humidity
  • Prevents radiant heat transfer
  • Vapor barrier
  • Prevents condensation
  • Does not promote mold or mildew
  • Does not provide for nesting of rodents, bugs or birds
  • Seals around nails (no leak)
  • Made with 100% recyclable virgin raw materials. 

Insulation + Radiant Barrier Vapor Barrier + Air Barrier

All in One Product

One solution to Cold, Heat and Condensation - You'll be warm in winter, cool in summer and dry all the time.

Updated February 27, 2020



See independent Prodex Insulation4Less reviews at Site Jabber

William Matthews: Saturday, August 15, 2009

I finally completed my 60" X 42" steel building using your insulation between the steel studs and the metal sheeting. I was amazed at the temperature difference. The metal is not allowed to adversely heat the building and the temperature is cooler than under a shade tree because of the breeze created within the door openings. The reflective foil also provides a tremendous amount of light reflection inside the building creating a very bright look inside. I am amazed and presently surprised that the thin foil actually worked so well.


Customer Reviews
pappyyj: Friday, February 05, 2010

I installed Prodex in my 40'x40'x14' Steel garage when I bought the building it came with the 4" thick 6' wide white vinyl that was hard to work with because of it's weight and bulkiness. The weather was rainy and it was just my wife and I installing the insulation and steel sheeting. Trying to find something easier to work with I found your product I ordered enough to line the entire garage it was grate to work with. When the garage door company cam to install the garage doors on January 02/2010 the temperature outside was 10 degrees and windy. After they had the door tracks fastened enough to hold the doors in place they light there portable gas salamander I was impressed with how quickly it warmed to 40 degrees and healed the heat after they turned it off.


Prodex Insulation Reviews
blakesdadio: Sunday, January 27, 2013

I got the prodex total to insulate my 30x40 steel shop and man did it make a difference in how quickly it took to heat it up in the morning. I could tell when we were putting it up that it was going to work. When we would finish a corner you could feel the temperature difference when you walked from the insulated area to the non insulated areas. It was very easy to put up also it is so light that it doesn't take much to get it to stick to the walls. Another thing that we noticed is that the reflective properties if it made the lighting in our shop a lot brighter it caused the lights we have to reflect into areas that weren't very well lit before. Overall very satisfied with the product would definitely recommend it to others.


Prodex Insulation Reviews
Protector25: Friday, July 29, 2016
I have a 50’x90’ steel building that reached 145 degrees during our 100 degree summer heat. I built an 18’x50’ workshop/paint booth inside it and wrapped it in 6mil plastic then covered the interior walls with your product. The dead air space with your product now easily keeps it at 70 degrees with a 24,000 BTU wall air conditioner. Great product. I will soon be building another insulated booth for our for our RV for the winter to eliminate having to winterize it every time we return from winter jaunts.


CC Franks: August, 2009

Great product!  It refected out the heat in my metal shed. I felt insulation results right away. Light weight. No skin irritation. WeThank you Very Happy About us  Contact us

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