How to Insulate a Metal Building

The importance of effective insulation in a metal building can’t really be understated. The amount of heat a metal building can absorb is perhaps it’s only downside, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. With the right insulation, you can enjoy all the benefits of durability and longevity without feeling like you’re being cooked alive in summer. In this guide, we will be taking you through everything you need to know about insulating a metal building. This will include why it’s so important, what type of insulation is best, how the insulation process works, and more! Essentially, by the end, you will know everything you need to. Let’s jump in!

Why Insulate a Steel Building?

Metal conducts far more heat than other construction materials such as wood or stone. This means it heats up fast. This can make for incredibly uncomfortable conditions in the summer months. Not only that, but uninsulated metal buildings cannot retain heat, so that the winters will be cold too. That is before considering the amount of money you could lose trying to heat an uninsulated building. 

Additionally, when temperature varies greatly between indoors and outdoors, condensation will build up fast. This excess moisture can cause all kinds of problems, most notably being the build-up of mold and mildew. Not only is this unpleasant to look at, but it can also cause serious problems for those with allergies. A build-up of moisture can even lead to structural fault from corrosion or rust. 

With the right insulation in place, you can increase the value of your property and its overall lifespan. It is truly a no-brainer. With a steel building, you already have the edge. Steel framing is far easier to modify than similarly sturdy materials. Interior padding can be added without total structural change. Of course, this all depends on which insulation you opt for. 

What Type of Insulation is Best for Metal Buildings?

There are multiple options available for metal building insulation. We have listed just a few below for you to review. 

Batt and Blanket

Batt is a cost-effective option that requires highly precise installation. Blanket insulation is a form of rolled insulation cut into specific measurements to match the width and length of the steel framing. 

Loose Fill

As its name suggests, loose-fill insulation is made up of a variety of loose fibers and pellets. It is blown into cavities in your walls to fill the space between the framing. It can be quite costly, but it can fill spaces a blanket-type may not. 

Spray Foam Insulation

Similar to loose-fill insulation, spray foam is applied to cavities as a liquid. It then foams and hardens to form highly effective insulation. This process is highly accurate as the foam fills all available space, including even the tiniest nooks and crannies. 

Reflective Foil

Sometimes alternatively referred to as ‘foil bubble,’ this insulation is unique as it is entirely waterproof. The reflective material can also provide enhanced light to the interior of your building. It can be quite expensive, but the installation is incredibly simple. 

Rigid Board

This form of insulation is actually made up of composite materials, including polyurethane, fiberglass, and polystyrene. It is highly versatile and capable of taking on all climates. It also has strong soundproofing qualities, which is always a nice bonus!

Fiberglass Insulation

This is the most popular method of metal-building insulation, largely due to its inexpensive price tag. It arrives in a ‘blanket’ material that can be installed by non-professionals, though if you do it yourself, you must wear an appropriate mask. It is appropriate for both commercial and private properties and is frequently used in a variety of colors. 

Insulated Panels

These panels are made up of insulated foam nestled between two sturdy metal panels. These tend to be on the pricier side, but they provide unparalleled insulation and are far quicker to install than other options. 

How Do You Insulate an Existing Metal Building?

Though more complex insulation is best added during the original construction, it is completely possible to add insulation retrospectively. Both fiberglass sheets and spray foam insulation are ideal for this, with loose-fill also being a good choice. This is because they are the easiest to install and require very little intervention structurally. 

In the case of a steel building, radiant barrier insulation will need to be used. It works cooperatively with the exterior panels to ensure proper insulation. Everything must be placed securely for the insulation to be successful. If you don’t feel confident doing this yourself, consider hiring a professional. 


Can You Insulate a Metal Garage?

Yes. Metal garages can be effectively insulated even after they have been built. This will protect the interior from the harsh outdoor climate and will prevent corrosion over time.

Can You Insulate a Pole Barn?

Yes. Spray foam is most recommended for insulating a pole barn as it provides a total seal, preventing heat loss. This can help to reduce your energy bills and maintain temperature regulations. 

Can You Insulate a Steel-Framed House?

Yes, but there are certain compromises. Cavity wall insulation is not appropriate for steel-framed houses, and many surveyors consider it an active risk to the house’s framing. Other forms of insulation are fine. 


If you wish to insulate a metal building but aren’t sure how to approach it, contact Package Steel Systems today! Our experts are eager and qualified to answer any questions you may have.