External metal buildings cover a variety of uses that can meet just about any homeowners’ need. But before they’re able to fulfill the year-round functions that you intend, the question of insulation must be answered. Insulation is a must if you’re looking to reduce energy costs while heating or cooling your building (and really, who doesn’t want to save a little money?).
Insulating a metal building, whether it’s a carport, garage, shed, or barn can be tricky, especially if you’re tackling the task yourself. So here are a few need-to-know questions you need to ask yourself before you get your hands dirty to ensure that the job goes smoothly.
1. What are you putting inside it?
What is the purpose of your steel building? Is it a metal garage, meant to house your expensive sports car when you’re not tearing up the track? Or is it a metal storage shed for gardening tools and equipment? Maybe it’s one of those livable sheds, and you’re planning to rent it out as part of your property. In any case, knowing what you plan to use your metal building for should determine what type of insulation you need.
If you live in an area where the climate is either humid, dry, extremely hot, extremely cold, dusty, or all of the above, then insulation is a necessity. And if people are going to be spending lengths of time in the building, you should definitely consider the type of insulation you need.
2. Will you be spending a lot of time inside it?
Piggy-backing off the end of the last section, you need to consider how long you’ll be in the structure for any period of time. If your intention is to use it all year ’round, you may need to have it heated during the cold months, and air conditioned during the hot ones. So unless your steel structure is a small 12’ space for your garden tools or other simple storage use, you should definitely consider your cooking and heating options!
Be sure you have room for a generator or 120v electrical outlet (depending on what you’re using and the space to be covered) to power your system. Also, if your metal building is a workshop or shed, then ventilation may be necessary as well. Look into installing windows or vents.
3. How much heat/air conditioning is enough?
As if it weren’t enough to ensure your building bases are covered — that is to say, that you have heating and cooling in your steel structure — you also need to ensure you have enough to make the space comfortable. Depending on the size of your building, you will need to ensure sufficient heat and cold is being pumped inside, or else it won’t have the desired effect. Proper insulation will help keep the heat or cool in, but it’s always best to think about how much is needed before you go through the trouble of installing a heating/cooling system and find that it’s not enough.
A room heating calculator can give you a base guideline to follow. Dimensions such as length, width, and height will change how much heating you’ll need. So will the presence of any windows or doors. Try inputting the dimensions of your metal building, carport, shed, or barn to get an idea of what you’ll need. For example, small metal buildings such as garages or livable sheds will only need a small space heater or fan, while larger buildings like two- or three-car carports will have more robust HVAC needs.<
4. What type of insulation is best?
- Vapor barrier wrap – This type of insulation can be purchased and installed by Carport.com is Vapor Barrier Insulation. This is a lined insulated barrier with a low R-value that designed to keep the building from sweating in dramatic temperature changes from condensation. The light insulating material is a stable, energy-efficient, optional upgrade for your carport, garage, or metal building.
- Fiberglass – One of the least expensive (yet most common) insulation materials, fiberglass is an affordable option that can come with a vapor barrier for rodent protection.
- Batt and blanket– Another cost-effective option, batt and blanket requires you to install pieces of insulation cut from a roll to specific dimensions.
- Spray foam– The quickest form of insulation. Spray foam insulation provides convenience and ease, as you’re able to apply it like you would an aerosol spray, enabling you to reach any difficult to access areas. You also don’t have to build additional barriers. Just be sure to be aware of how much you’re using; the spray can go quickly.
Got more questions about insulating your metal garage, shed, carport, or barn? We are happy to provide any further direction. Give us a call, 1-855-227-7678 and we will discuss your needs for a steel structure that lasts through the hottest summer or chilliest winter!