Moisture control is an essential aspect of maintaining the longevity and efficiency of metal buildings; excess moisture can lead to a range of problems, including rust, corrosion, compromised insulation, mold growth, and even reducing your property value. In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of moisture control for metal buildings and share practical tips to help you protect your investment and maintain a safe, durable, and comfortable space. Let's dive in!
Why do metal buildings sweat?
Metal buildings - by which we mean non-conditioned buildings - "sweat" due to a process called condensation, which occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cooler surface. In the case of metal buildings, the metal surfaces (such as the roof and walls) can become significantly cooler than the surrounding air, especially during the Spring and Fall when outside temperatures drop significantly at night.
Here's how condensation happens in metal buildings:
Warm, moist air
The air within or around the metal building may contain moisture due to various factors, such as humidity, occupants' activities, or weather conditions.
When the warm, moist air encounters the cooler metal surfaces, the temperature of the air near the surface drops. As the air cools, it loses its ability to hold moisture, which then condenses into water droplets on the metal surface.
Formation of condensation
The condensation appears as "sweat" on the metal surfaces, which can lead to water droplets or damp patches on walls, ceilings, and floors. In non-conditioned buildings it may be impossible to eliminate all condensation, problems occur when the condensation remains on the surface and stays wet for an extended period of time without being able to dry out.
Why is moisture control important for metal buildings?
So, why is it important to control condensation? Moisture control is crucial for metal buildings for several reasons:
Excess moisture can cause rust and corrosion on metal surfaces, compromising the building's structural integrity and leading to costly repairs or replacement of affected components.
Moisture can reduce the effectiveness of insulation materials, resulting in decreased energy efficiency, higher heating and cooling costs, and less effective temperature regulation within the building.
Mold and mildew growth
When moisture accumulates in a metal building, it can create an ideal environment for mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew can damage building materials, cause unpleasant odors, and even pose health risks to occupants, especially those with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues.
As we already mentioned above, moisture in metal buildings can cause condensation to form on interior surfaces, leading to water damage, staining, and potential deterioration of walls, ceilings, and floors.
Damp conditions within a metal building can attract pests like insects and rodents, which can cause further damage to the building materials and pose health risks to occupants.
Decreased property value
Moisture-related issues such as rust, mold growth, and damaged insulation can reduce the overall value of your metal building. By taking preventive measures to control moisture in metal buildings, you can protect the structure's integrity, maintain energy efficiency, and ensure a safe and healthy environment for those who use it.
Moisture control tips for metal buildings
Install proper insulation
Adequate insulation and vapor barriers are vital for moisture control in metal buildings, as it helps to regulate temperature and prevent condensation. Choose insulation materials suitable for metal buildings.
NOTE for next paragraph: There is a big difference between ventilation (outside air) and air flow or circulation (same air being recirculated)
Ensure adequate ventilation
Proper ventilation is essential for moisture control in metal buildings. Good ventilation helps to regulate temperature, control humidity levels, and maintain indoor air quality. Install vents, fans, or an HVAC system to promote adequate ventilation throughout the building. Or, in non-conditioned buildings, ventilation with outside air will help flush out the warm moist air. That being said, do note that ventilation can result in an incredibly cold interior during the winter months.
What is causing condensation in my metal building?
Before attempting to fix a condensation problem in your metal building, it’s helpful to first understand where it might be coming from. Here are a few factors that can contribute:
- Water related appliances inside the building. This can include anything from washing machines to any products or appliances that emit steam.
- Plants and other produce.
- Storing compost or manure, as these contain lots of moisture.
- Animals and livestock.
BlueTex™️ Insulation for Metal Buildings
If you’re dealing with a persistent condensation problem in your metal building, BlueTex™️ can help. Our unique insulation product works to block the formation of condensation by moving the interior surface of the building to the inside surface of the insulation material - eliminating the cold metal. Plus, the radiant barrier of BlueTex™️ also reflects heat, meaning that you’ll enjoy a cooler temperature in your building during the warmer months, without having to rely on ventilation alone.