Pole Barn Insulation – Stop Cold, Condensation, Heat and Air

9 Things Insulation For Pole Barns Should Do

Definition of Pole barn: A building with wood framing and either wood or metal sheeting. It is also referred to as a post-frame building.

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.

Using Prodex Total as your pole building insulation will eliminate the moisture (condensation) from forming on the sheeting. Prodex creates a shield (a new interior surface) that is warmer (or at least above the dew point). Prodex Total keeps the warm-moist air from reaching the cooler metal exterior skin.

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. Stop 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 - 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

Resistance to Growth of FUNGI

Aspergillus niger

Aspergillus avus

Aspergillus versicolor

Penicillium funiculosum

Chaetomium globosum

9. Not Leak

Prodex Total seals around nails and screws.

Pole Barn Insulation For Sale - Prodex Total

10M Plus: R22

Thickness: 10mm (0.4") closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with reinforced reflective foil. Twice as thick. Increased R. More strength. Better install.

5M Plus: R17

Select one of these 5M items: 48 inch, Fast Action62 inch Fast Action, 72 inch, 24 inch or 16 inch. Thickness: 5mm (0.2") closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with reinforced reflective foil. 

WHITE 5M Plus: R15.3

Thickness: 5mm (0.2") closed cell polyethylene foam with reflective reinforced foil on one side and plastic white finish film on the other side. Ideal where white finish is preferred.


Thickness: 5mm (0.2") closed cell polyethylene foam with reinforced foil on one side and wood finish facer on the other side.

Calculate amount of insulation required for your building

Comparing Pole Barn Insulation - Spray, Fiberglass, Bubble and Prodex Total

Bubble Insulation In A Pole Building

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 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.

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.

For those of you the like to get into the weeds, I'll explain in more depth why fiberglass loses R-value once wet.

Fiberglass insulation is composed of woven fiber stands. The fiber strands contain hundreds of small air pockets. The air pockets provide the insulation. Once exposed to moisture, the air pockets fill up with water (rather than air) and the insulation loses the ability to provide R-value.

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?

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Prodex adds an extra layer of credibly by submitting these rolls to the ASTM Rima International verification program. By having a third party verification, Prodex assures its clients that the insulation complies with industry standards, and is suitable for any construction system.

Over a million orders totaling more than 5 billion square feet of insulation sold.

Updated February, 2023

INSULATION + Radiant Barrier + Vapor
Barrier + Air Barrier


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

What do our customers say?

Yes. Without it, you’ll have an unhabitable building, Insulation in a pole barn regulates the temperature, prevents condensation, blocks noise and reduces energy costs.

Use pole barn insulation to:

  • Regulate the inside temperature
  • Avoid condensation ("sweating" of buildings)
  • Deaden the sound of rain and hail
  • Reduce energy costs
  • Maximize return on investment
  • Add value to your structure
  • Protect the environment (using less energy directly results in less pollution)

The primary need for pole barn insulation is to stop heat, cold, condensation and air.

A pole barn insulation blanket is made of fiberglass. This commonly used insulation has white vinyl facing. It comes in 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-foot widths. The thickness ranges from 3 to 6 inches. Prodex Total can be used as a supplemental insulation with the blanket. Prodex Total will a protect the blanket from moisture and prevent radiant heat transfer.

See our Insulation Calculator, which is available at the top section of all the pages.

Check out the pole barn installation methods

Roll pricing is on every product page. Discount volume pricing is in the shopping cart.

Yes. Pole barn insulation will increase the value of your building. It will protect its contents. I will reduce your energy costs.

Virtually all our customers install themselves. With a good screw or staple gun, you're halfway there. Measure, cut and screw. That’s basically it.

Some say you can never have enough R. A more appropriate answer is: The amount of R-value you seek will depend on your climate. It’s important that you don’t lose R due to moisture. Unfortunately, fiberglass loses R when introduced to moisture. That’s why it’s so important that if you do use fiberglass, that you supplement it with Prodex to protect it from moisture and to also stop radiant heat transfer.

Prodex Total will keep your pole barn cool in the summer, warm in the winter and dry all the time.

Prodex Total 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 lb/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 consistency in performance of Prodex Total Insulation.

Bubble wraps are composed of either one (single bubble) or two (double bubble) layers of air bubbles sandwiched between two metalized surfaces. Once the surface of single or double bubble is punctured, it collapses.

The R-value of Prodex Total reflective insulation is the measurement of the system rather than a measurement of just the product. Measuring the R-value of the system (a real-world application) is a truer measurement vs. a measurement of the product only. For example, what good is the posted R-value of fiberglass given that once installed in an environment that includes any moisture it loses R-value? Virtually all real-world environments include some humidity. Unlike fiberglass the R-value of Prodex Total insulation is NOT affected by humidity.

November 18th, 2014

With plans in hand to build a 4,600+ sq' custom designed barn the last thing I wanted was a beautiful barn with the constant condensation drip that goes with metal roofing/siding and temperature changes. I've seen way too many barns, outbuildings and commercial buildings that have structural water damage and staining and/or rust as well as damp interiors and damage or degradation to stored items like hay, tack and tools from the regular drip of condensation. I couldn't find a product that had the qualities or guarantees I wanted until I stumbled across Prodex insulation during an internet search. It seemed to have all the qualities I was looking for so I took the plunge and ordered enough 72" Prodex to do the entire building shell, 7200 sq' plus the recommended tape. It's easy to handle and installed easily. It's also a tough material and didn't blow off in the wind if I didn't get the metal on it immediately. I believe it has helped to keep the interior of my building significantly cooler than it would have been otherwise and I have had none of the condensation issues I've seen elsewhere. I will recommend it be installed in every barn, outbuilding or similar project I build and have even been asked for an installation quote by someone with an unprotected barn to remove their roofing and siding and re-install the metal over Prodex after they saw how well this recent project performed. I waited a while to post this review so I could see how it performed through the summer/fall/winter temperature changes and it has exceeded my expectations in every regard.

In addition to the great product at what I now feel is a very reasonable price for how it performs, I also got excellent customer service when I needed it most. I found the product while the project was under way when I had to replace another substrate material I was sold by the metal roofing company. A close review of the warranty information for the rolled good they provided showed it to be improper and unsuitable for my type of construction. It's warranty information said it could only be installed over sheet goods and I already had purlin/strapping style framing 2' on center mostly installed. I returned it improper material, initiated my internet search then decided on, and ordered, the Prodex. The insulation shipped same day and arrived quickly but some of the material was significantly damaged by the trucking company during transportation. As this barn was going to be the site of a large wedding reception, the project delivery date was absolutely inflexible and a lot of people would be disappointed if the project wasn't complete on time. Kathy at I4L immediately saw to it that the damaged product was replaced via FedEx within just a few days so my job's progress wasn't slowed down in the least. We finished on time and delivered the building to the bride and groom for their finishing touches with a few days to spare thanks to Kathy and her prompt attention to my service needs. I am a 100% satisfied Customer/Owner/Builder. Tip for consumers: The insulation4less website is self-serve without call center for most part but no worry, Additional service, if needed, is excellent. Order with confidence.

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