Steel Building Insulation

Steel buildings are functional and quickly constructed making them an ideal industrial structure. But because these buildings are often used in a purely functional way, insulating them is often overlooked. And as metal is one of the best conductors of heat, steel building temperatures fluctuate more than many other types of construction. So it’s best not to overlook the benefits that steel building insulation can offer.

The most significant benefits of insulating a steel building are in managing condensation issues and regulating the internal temperature (lowering the u value). Both of these can be achieved if you choose the right sort of steel building insulation. And as closed cell spray foam is the most effective insulation for steel buildings, we’re happy to talk to you more about how Spray Foam Tech can help you insulate your building more efficiently. 

What's on this page?

How to Insulate a Steel Building?

All of the traditional types of insulation that can be used in other types of property will work with steel buildings. But the fact that steel buildings or steel and concrete structures rarely have a cavity wall to insulate could make insulating the building more or less tricky, depending on your choice of insulation. 

So let’s look at the insulation options in more detail:

External Insulation of Steel Buildings

If you’re considering how to insulate a steel or steel-framed building, you could choose external insulation for minimum disruption to any activity within the structure. It is, however, one of the most time-consuming and costly of all the insulation options. 

This type of insulation option would require steel rails being fitted to the steel frame or structural steel of the building. After this, insulated boards can be installed into the frame. There will be a cavity requirement of at least 20mm between the steel and the insulation to allow air to circulate and reduce condensation.

You’d then need to clad the insulation to make it weatherproof. Some of these insulation boards can be prepared pre-clad or weatherproofed to give a variety of possible external appearances. 

The attachment of the steel frames is essential for this steel building insulation option and the whole process can be quite laborious even for an expert contractor. And costs can be quite high. Plus, the construction of any external feature can be hampered by weather conditions too. 

Internal insulation for Steel Buildings

By far the most popular option, is to add internal insulation to steel buildings because it can be constructed under the protection of the existing building. It’s also protected from weathering this way too. 

However, as most steel buildings don’t come with a preinstalled frame on which an internal cavity wall can be fitted, this needs to be done first.

One option is to attach a timber frame to the structural steel frame of the building. This way you can staple or mount your insulation into or onto this timber frame – leaving enough of a cavity for air circulation. Your choice of insulation methods is pretty open, here. You could use reflective or radiant boards such as Kingspan or Celotex. Or you could use fibre or wool roll. 

But the effectiveness of these options are undermined by the main problem that steel buildings are prone to and that is condensation. Fibre and wool insulation are prone to rot, especially in buildings that are partially open to the elements or have high volumes of condensation which metal buildings do. While Kingspan or any other type of rigid extruded polystyrene insulation won’t rot exactly, it will hold moisture that can be passed into the timber frame causing that to rot. And both of these types of insulation are easily destroyed by rodents. 

But don’t worry! There is one insulation type that avoids all of those headaches. 

Featured Projects

Previous slide
Next slide

Best Insulation for a Steel Building

What is the best way to insulate a steel building? The best way is by using spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation is perfectly suited to steel buildings for a number of reasons. But the main ones tackle the habitual problems these buildings suffer from. 

Prevents condensation 

Closed cell spray foam acts as an effective air and vapour retardant which prevents, condensation and the resultant mould and mildew that can build up as a result. We’ll talk more about this below.

Direct Application

Rather than spending time, money and effort in constructing timber frames which can eventually rot and need replacing, spray foam insulation adheres directly onto the surface of your building. So whether you have steel, steel and concrete, or any other mix of construction materials including asbestos, spray foam will not need any different methods of application.  

Energy Efficiency

If you were looking at ways to improve the energy efficiency of your steel building then having spray foam insulation is going to be a superior option. Because spray foam offers such effective sealing capabilities, it can deliver up to 50% greater energy savings compared to other insulation products. 

Rodent Resistant

Rodents don’t like spray foam. They won’t eat through it, and if the spray foam is properly applied, all the holes and entry points that rodents normally find can be closed and sealed

Spray Foam Insulation for Steel Buildings

Traditional insulation can leave gaps through which air can escape. It can rot, rot supporting timber, degrade quickly and sometimes increases the fire risk within a steel building. All of these problems can reduce the effectiveness of the insulation. 

Spray foam insulation, on the other hand, can expand to up to 100 times its original size and fill every corner of a room or building to ensure it is tightly sealed. It won’t rot and it is a reduced fire risk than many other forms of insulation because of the density of the closed cell foam. What’s more, closed cell spray foam’s rigidity can help with the structural integrity of older steel buildings. 

Steel Building Spray Foam Insulation Condensation Issues

The most significant problem in steel buildings is condensation. And any type of moisture can undermine the structural integrity of a steel building causing it to rust and degrade. The resultant mould or mildew can also affect the stock within or the occupants of a steel building. 

Spray form insulation used in steel buildings can reduce or eradicate this issue entirely as it is resistant to condensation and the mould and mildew that builds up as a result. 

Steel Building Insulation Cost

Costs of insulating steel buildings vary enormously. They can depend on a number of factors, such as the building size, geographical location, use of the building, how much of the building is open to the weather and other environmental and structural factors. 

Before giving an estimate, it is important to arrange a pre-installation survey with a qualified installer to assess the steel building that needs insulation. So to arrange one with Spray Foam Tech get in touch today.

Spray Foam Tech know that many business owners are looking for ways to save money on their properties, And using spray foam insulation can significantly improve the longevity and energy efficiency of your steel building. We want to work with you and your steel building to give you the best return on your insulation investment.

Call Now Button