Metal Building Insulation Retrofit

Retrofit Insulation When considering insulation materials for your metal building, there are some key points to consider. Owners are always concerned about the initial cost-effectiveness of the insulation; the resulting value from their initial investment; the assurance of climate control for employees’ comfort and the extent to which the long-term energy savings will impact their budgetary requirements.

Metal Building Insulation, a national supplier of insulation products, recognizes that energy loss due to inadequate insulation can put a financial burden on any business. Utility costs continue to be on the rise but the cost of insulation materials has maintained both its value and cost. This is a win-win situation for building owners and its occupants.

Metal Building Insulation has more than 30 years of experience in the insulation and metal building business. We are able to provide you with specific information on the different types of insulation and how various types of insulation will impact your interior environment as well as decreasing your energy expenditures in a timely manner. Our expert consultants will guide you through the benefits of various insulation ‘R’ values (thicknesses of insulation) that might be appropriate for your building type and size. Further, since 2007, the IRS offers tax credits when you choose to increase the ‘R value’ of the insulation for your commercial building. By upgrading its energy efficiency with increased insulation, you are credited with additional incentives by transforming your commercial building into a ‘green’ building structure.

Metal Building Insulation uses over fifty percent of vinyl-faced insulation volume into their retro-fit applications nationally. This is a dramatic change from the past when fiberglass insulation was used exclusively for new construction. ¬¬¬¬It is now our convention to provide existing facilities with new or additional insulation by the process of retrofitting. We have access to over 400 installers and more than 50 different laminating and shipping points across the nation. As a result, we are in a position to fulfill the booming industry for re-insulating existing metal buildings. Additionally, insulation installs do not require skilled or technical labor; reducing installation costs even further. We provide detailed instructions and superior customer service to allow for a smooth, quality finishing of your building’s interior. It is important however, that installers are outfitted with the proper equipment and safety gear, as outlined by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and are cognizant of its rules and regulations, when installing additional insulation to your metal building.

Fiberglass Insulation Tabs

Choosing Your Fiberglass Insulation Blanket Sizes

The key is to hold the insulation blankets up in the cavity between the purlins. The most common method of adding insulation to a metal building roof is the ‘Banding System.’ Normally, metal building purlins are 60” or 5’ apart. A 5’-wide fiber glass blanket is standard. For purlin spaces that are customized or random, our insulation blankets can be factory pre-cut to fit the existing purlin spacing prior to the lamination of the vinyl facing.

All rolls are then labeled with the sizes to help ensure that each blanket of insulation is placed in the proper space. The factory pre-cut roll length is then determined by either the spacing of the bays or the distance between the rigid frames. Steel bands are usually one inch wide (depending upon the supplier), then screwed into the underside of the metal purlin 30” apart; creating a grid system in the roof. Purlin depth can vary, up to eight inches. The factory pre-cut rolls are then fed through the length of the bay and above the steel bands. This process is relatively simple but whenever the roof areas are closed or have obstacles such as electrical or mechanical mechanisms, complications can arise during the installation process. When this occurs, shorter blanket lengths are recommended, with taping of the seams to secure a clean and finished appearance.

Insulation Tabs

Choosing a Facing

The ‘facing’ is the material (white or black vinyl or polypropylene) which is used as the finished vapor barrier cover which is superficially laminated to the insulation blankets. The most common facing is WMP-VR-R, which is a vinyl-reinforced product. Upgrades are available for increased durability and strength. For instance, a WMP-50 facing is twice as strong as traditional facing and it only costs an additional four cents per square foot.

Taped TABS

The tab is the extension of the vinyl-facing past the insulation blanket, which in retro-fit, is three inches on each side. This tab is either tucked up along the side of the insulation roll; acting like a trim or it is used to cover the bottom of the purlin. If it is glued, it is considered to be a vapor barrier. To prevent additional heat transfer, a two-inch wide strip of rigid board acts as thermal blocks and can be fastened at the bottom of each purlin along the entire length of the building.

Retrofit Metal Wall

Metal Building Wall Insulation

Wall installation is much like the roof. The girt spacing will vary for the different eave heights and wind loads in a metal building. Typically, the first girt is 7’4” above the floor and the additional girt spacing can be 6’ or less. When the spacing is less than 6’, we factory pre-cut the roll width and length to the proper size. We then laminate the insulation and label it with the specific location where it is to be installed. For a first girt area of 7’4”, insulation blankets are installed vertically. A base angle must be installed at the floor of the perimeter of the insulated area.

This base angle will provide an attachment point for the steel banding running vertically at the base as well as a place to help seal the bottom and help prevent the insulation from being in contact with moisture. A common option available from our company is a taped tab. This is a tab or extension of the facing which covers the base or a seam where two pieces of insulation come together. This tab has a factory pre-applied adhesive (double-faced tape) which the installer peels paper off to adhere, once the insulation is in place. This makes it easy to seal the seams.

Insulation Stick Pins

Stick Pin Installation

A common retro-fit installation for clean steel surfaces employs a ‘stick pin’ that is glued onto the steel panel surface and then used as a hanger for the insulation blankets. A common retro-fit installation for clean steel surfaces or walls, employs a ‘stick pin’ that is glued onto the steel panel surface and then used as a hanger for the insulation blankets.

To determine the quantity of pins needed for your job, figure ‘one’ pin per square foot for the total area that is to be insulated. This will give you the pin quantity. The cost of pins will vary for the length (insulation thickness) but for budget purposes, add 24 cents for each one, plus an additional $60.00 per gallon of glue, which averages about 750 pins.

Metal Building Insulation Costs

Insulation materials, such as R-19, faced with vinyl-facing, can be purchased depending upon the facing, at less than 60 cents per square foot. Steel banding and accessories are an additional cost. On average, you may pay $1.00-$1.75 for installations that have un-obstructed and clean interiors. When buildings have substantial obstacles or are unclean, such as foundries or manufacturing facilities, the cost would be increased accordingly. In some cases, it might be advisable to remove siding or roofing to install new insulation packages. Metal Building Insulation has significant expertise in retro-fitting insulation and we are able to offer you instant quotes based upon your building elements, dimensions and square footage needs.

Retro Fit Insulation Photos


Retrofit Insulation
Roof Insulation Retrofit
Metal Building Ceiling Retrofit
Wall Insulation Retrofit
Retrofitting Ceiling
Retrofit Ceiling
Metal Wall Retrofit
Retrofitting Metal Wall
Metal Shop Retrofit Insulation
Shop Building Retrofit Insulation