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Discussion Starter #1
Since I hate procrastinating and now that winter is almost over and living here almost 10 years, I'm thinking about insulating my metal shop. I would have had it done already but I was waiting for the big winter storm last year to damage my shop roof and get it fixed again before starting the project.

So anyway, like I said my shop is metal. I can't afford the spray in foam, you know the stuff the guys come out in space suits and flame throwers use. I know it's the best but the cost will get in the way of something else I want but just can't think of at the moment.

Questions I have.

What are my alternatives to the flame thrower space suit wearing alien applied stuff?

If I use the house pink panther roll insulation do I need to worry about a water or vapor barrier between the pink panther and the metal walls?

What type of materials should I use for a vapor barrier if I need it?

I'm concerned about Mildred or is it mildew so want to eliminate a potential problem there.

I was also thinking about those Styrofoam insulation panels in the different thicknesses. Anyone use them? Are they more cost effective than pink panther?

Are there other questions I should know to be asking but don't know what they are to ask?

Anyway, if you're bored with winter and have some knowledge I'd like to hear your ideas so I can steal them.

Thanks
 

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You seem to have pretty good knowledge. I have seen some spray insulation kits on line but I have never used any. My stepdad has a metal building and he put plywood 4x8 sheets around the lower 8' and that alone made a huge difference. My best guess would be a combination. Thin foam board against the metal, pink insulation over it then plywood. If money were no object I think spray foam. I am considering a metal building, barn house at some point so I hope to learn the best insulation for these as well.
 

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I don't have any knowledge but I do own a metal building. It has the pink panther stuff, or a reasonable generic alternative. I don't think there is a vapor barrier, but I will check tomorrow. I am pretty sure that it is not paper backed, but plastic.
I can't remember from the 59 minutes since I was there. Most of it has sheetrock walls.
 

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Vapor barrier with acoustic sealant and/or tuck tape over the fiberglass. Fiberglass works better then sheet foam but is more vulnerable to rodents using it as nesting or an entry point. Then drywall or plywood etc.

Our bike shop is so well insulated we even have foam under the concrete floor with infloor heating pipes, but we cheaped out on the stove and plan to upgrade before next winter.
 

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The simplest way of dealing with this, is to dry wall with attached insulation — expect to replace with new at about the five year mark

If you attempt dry wall with separate insulation, unless you replace both layers, it will accelerate the damp

The moisture will naturally gravitate to the outside (internal) layer, eg the plaster board — the longer you can keep that dry — the longer it will last

But as long as that plaster board absorbs the damp — the less damp gets through to the room ….
 

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You didn't mention if your building was like a quonset hut, if so the curved walls make things more difficult and spray foam would be the easiest. We live in a metal building that's 50' x 128', half the building is our business, then 26' of garage and the balance is our home. Since the metal siding is attached to 2 x 6's strung 14' between the I-beam structural framework we went with 5" of sheet polystyrene laid inside of the 2 x 6's and then all covered with another layer of 1" sheet polystyrene. Then a 6 mil poly ethylene vapor barrier on top of that (on the interior side), then internal 2 x 4 walls and finished with 1/2 drywall. At the time this seemed like the best option based on price as the spray foam estimates were in the $20K range. However once it was all said and done I realized the labor to install the sheets in between the 2 x 6's was very labor intensive and if I was doing it over I would have gone with the spray foam instead which would have negated the need for a vapor barrier which was also labor intensive to install and tape with the special red tape made for that job. We also heat with radiant heating tubing in the concrete floor powered by propane (no natural gas available where we live).

Of course we can see as cold as -40F in the winter although -24F is more common. So to answer your question in Canada the vapor barrier goes on the inside of the insulation unless you spray foam which negates the need for it since the foam is a natural vapor barrier. For both heating and cooling the key today with constantly rising energy costs is to spend as much as you can on insulation because in the long run it pays, unless your time in the building is not long term? Good luck with your project.
 

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Kinda need to know if it’s a pole building, stick built on true metal building with curved walls. If pole building are horizontal wall girts fastened to outside of posts or book shelved? If stick built, 2x4 or 2x6. Any house wrap or vapor barrier used between framing and exterior metal?
 

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1" of polyurethane foam (closed cell - more expensive than open cell but also more efficient) has the same R value as 12" of fiberglass is rodent proof, seals and strengthens the structure and only takes up 1"

My last 40 x 100 a 16' eve pole barn had 4" fiberglass with vinyl backing on the ceiling and worked fine but on the walls I have ongoing problems with rats, mice, bats (the bats were the worst just have to leave the lights and loud stereo on all nite - hassle plus electricity costs for 20 years makes foam seem cheap) after 20 years the new owner remodeled one room I had insulated with standard 6" fiberglass and it was all water logged and sagged to the bottom and the metal walls had surface rust on the inside

This was in Chehalis WA pretty wet and damp but not as cold as Idaho

Next time I'll buy the foam because the damage from fiberglass, rodents, rust and I can't imagine fibers all around humans are a good thing

I'd change the name of your thread to "I need to make more money so I can buy spray in foam insulation"
 

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Go to a shop that does metal outside door, they usually have and throw away the cut outs for the large windows they install. Just peal the metal off and you got 1 3/4" thick foam. Cut to size. Did mine places like this for free :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was giving the snow insulation a chance last year but my luck was running out. Ended up damaging the roof. We had the roof replaced and they reinforced the truss's inside quite a bit. Still, I think I'm gonna try and avoid what I did last year. :D


This was last year. The roof was replaced with the metal sheet ridges now running up and down for runoff instead of crosswise as depicted in this photo. This was with about 2 feet of snow which 1 foot had basically melted and was ice under the snow in the picture.


I tried to insulate the patio cover with snow last year as well and it turned out worse than the shop. We got this replaced and reinforced as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What is under your metal siding? It should have an air space under the metal, strapping over building paper, sheathing, and studs and then insulation, vapor barrier, and interior sheathing.
Ya'll providing a lot of good information of which some of it I had no idea. I had to do a lot of copy and paste into a google search to see what product you were talking about. So, I really really appreciate ALL of the info EVERYONE has provided thus far. Great stuff from great forum members and just what I was hoping for.

Below are current pictures of inside and outside of the shop. The roof has been repaired with the ridges now aligned vertically allowing rain and snow to run or slide off the roof and not be caught on horizontal ridges.

The sides and roof are fastened directly onto metal framework which I'll say is close to the size of wood 2x4's. You can see spacing and what not in the pictures. At present, there is nothing else.

From your previous post I think I understand what you're talking about with the caulk like product to seal spaces between the siding/roof to the metal framework.

So after sealing the cracks with caulk what goes on next on the inside of the walls? Then next and so forth. Pretty sure I'm gonna use plywood or that chip wood plywood sheet stuff for the inside walls so I can hang stuff on the walls...better than drywall.

You might not notice but they have added roof bracing to what I'm calling the truss's. You can also see the general spacing of the vertical wall studs. Everything is metal.


Best photo I have of the outside of the replaced roof. You can just make out the new roofline in this photo. No collapsed roof anymore. The inside picture shows the new vertical direction of the roof better than this outside photo.

 

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When storing classic cars, any moisture absorbing inside surface is an advantage – but, it’ll need replacing after 10 years or so due to warping

The other problem with this method is it makes for good rodent nests – which if you have your wiring in there can lead to “spontaneous disassembly syndrome”. The answer to this is to run your power cables in the open where they can be visually inspected, or within metal pipe or conduit

I’m not suggesting this is suitable for you at this time, just a case of “FYI” ……
 

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Discussion Starter #19
When storing classic cars, any moisture absorbing inside surface is an advantage – but, it’ll need replacing after 10 years or so due to warping

The other problem with this method is it makes for good rodent nests – which if you have your wiring in there can lead to “spontaneous disassembly syndrome”. The answer to this is to run your power cables in the open where they can be visually inspected, or within metal pipe or conduit

I’m not suggesting this is suitable for you at this time, just a case of “FYI” ……
Noted. So how what should I use for insulation to avoid mighty mouse from taking up residence? My wiring is routed through the metal vertical supports chest high, not that it would stop a pesky rodent from climbing. Lighting and power outlets for the overhead door openers are run on the low truss's.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Boolian Internet Search can be your friend with ideas, schematics, material and cost estimators for insulating metal buildings. I like rigid foam like various R-Max products and the like. View attachment 156394
Had to google search to find out what a Boolian Search was.

Even though I have different "Girts" if you will, the design consept illustration you show above wasn't something I had considered or thought of. Interesting. Thanks.
 
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