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Foil Insulation: Tips to Optimize Performance

By: Shannon Clark, MWI Components


Foil Insulation Customization

Foil insulation systems do not fall into a "one size fits all" bubble. Be sure to understand your unique building, and insulate it accordingly to control heat loss and gain.


1. Why Use Insulation?

  • Prevent damage & deterioration 

    • ​Uncontrolled air flow causes excess moisture and condensation, which can lead to rust, mold, rotting & mildew. These things can not only damage the building itself but also the items you've store inside it.  

  • Generate lower energy costs

    • ​Heating and cooling a pole barn can be a massive financial investment. "Boosting the R-value – a measure of your insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it – can result in significant savings," Wick Buildings. Ensuring your building is well insulated can result in lower heating and/or cooling bills.

  • Promote a healthier environment

    • Insulation does a fantastic job of creating a comfortable, healthy environment for whoever the inhabitants may be. From you to your animals, your foil insulation will aid in controlling heat, cold, noise, etc. if utilized properly. 


2. What's the Plan?

Your plan for the building is vital to understanding what insulation needs you have. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will this be a post frame garage with a few hours of use per day?

  • Will this pole barn reside in mild weather?

  • Will the build be a man cave or she shed where you reside a majority of your time?

  • Are you planning to insulate the attic?

  • What objects, equipment, material, animals will stay in the pole barn?

Answering these questions will allow you to better understand your insulation needs. For example, if you plan to have hundreds of animals in the building, your need for wall insulation will decrease dramatically; whereas if you're in a building alone, you'll likely need to insulate the space more thoroughly.

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3. Insulation, Ventilation & Condensation

Although insulation is essential, ensuring proper airflow will also protect your building from condensation, "During cold weather, turn on the fans for 15 minutes per hour or whatever it takes to reduce the humidity​. Sure, it costs money to run the fans, but it also costs to hire a moisture consultant," William A. Lotz, P.E. William is a Consulting Engineer and an expert witness in forensic engineering and construction inspection. Here are some pointers for ventilating properly, starting with William A. Lotz's suggestion:

  • Turn on the fans for 15 minutes per hour (or whatever it takes to reduce the humidity)

  • Use air/moisture barriers

  • Seal windows and doors according to the manufacturers instructions to prevent air and water from penetrating your building

  • Plan for effective ventilation with vented ridges and eaves

    • Warm, moist, air will rise, and a ridge vent allows it to escape. 

    • When warm, higher humidity air escapes through the ridge vent, it creates negative air pressure inside the building; here, vented eaves will enable the negative air pressure to draw in cooler, lower humidity air from outdoors


"Ultimately, the best fix is to design the building to not have moisture problems," William A. Lotz.

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Overall, foil insulation is a top priority for any post frame building. Be sure to ask yourself the right questions, so you can adjust your ventilation and insulation products accordingly and save yourself from an abundance of hot or cold air, condensation and/or energy bills!

For more info on foil insulation and/or condensation, check out these articles: (primary resource) or (secondary resource). Meanwhile, browse through our Foil Insulation, Infinity Shield™ options by clicking the button below!

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