People ask us what the difference between BlueTex™ insulation and bubble foil insulation products are and the main differences are what each is made from and how they're made. BlueTex™ is made of pure rolls of aluminum foil bonded to an EPE (2mm) or XPE (6mm) foam, creating a super combo that blocks radiant heat and provides an excellent air and vapor barrier too. Because we use pure aluminum on all of our products, you don't have to worry about performance or lasting-power; the same can't be said for similar insulations that use inferior materials.
Even from the very beginning when Ed started www.AtticFoil.com radiant barrier for residential attics, we had questions about insulation for metal building projects. We just could not ever recommend a foil and foam (or foil and bubble) product because they just were not durable enough to earn our endorsement. Here is a little industry secret!! Bubble foil is CHEAP to make. REALLY cheap because it’s basically plastic and air. Remember the old saying “You get what you pay for?” It's because of this that BlueTex™ Insulation was born! We decidede we would only make a TOP QUALITY PREMIUM PRODUCT and it will never be the cheapest option.
DID YOU KNOW? Most bubble foil products use what’s called MPET, or metalized film also known as Mylar®; basically it’s a potato chip bag. The aluminum in bubble foil products is actually “vapor applied” (think spray painted) so it is 1/200th the thickness of the pure aluminum sheet we use in our products and applied to a clear sheet of plastic. Basically, bubble foil products are 100% plastic and will degrade over time due to the intense heat coming off the metal on a building, and from the UV exposure from interior lighting or sunlight entering the building.
All BlueTex™ products use a PURE ALUMINUM SHEET LAYER that is 200 times thicker than the aluminum on metalized film products. This layer ensures a durable product that will not degrade from heat from the metal building. Plus BlueTex™ uses high-density foam as its core, so you get a strong, fire-resistant base that can handle heat and water vapor with no problem.
This is one of the biggest reasons we developed BlueTex™ insulation. We have made it super-durable and installers tell us all the time how much they love this product because no matter how hard you pull, you can’t tear it! All BlueTex™ products include a tearproof woven layer (similar to a heavy duty blue tarp). You can throw a baseball against it without leaving a mark, and you can even power-wash it if it gets dirty.
And the white interior layer includes UV inhibitors to prevent eventual breakdown from interior lights and sunshine. See pictures attached. Virtually none of the bubble foil products have this feature. This is WHY they eventually will break down even inside a building with no direct sunlight on them.
Investing in a metal building is smart decision for long term durability and minimal maintenance. However, from dealing with many customers the poor quality bubble foil insulation usually starts to deteriorate/fail between 7-12 years. Even if only a few small areas fail, this will allow condensation to form on the metal and drip inside the building. These customers come to us looking for a way to fix and clean-up the interior of their buildings with a retrofit installation for their metal buildings. Take it from us - if you have the opportunity to get it right from the beginning, do it! Adding BlueTex™ metal building insulation during new construction is easy to do and there's no regret later on.
Below are some photos of buildings that have/had bubble foil insulation. As you can see, the product becomes brittle and flakes off after time. The problem with bubble foil products is that they are 99.999% plastic. Watch this video of a guy who documented his bubble foil failing.*Click on an image to enlarge it.*
Don't waste your time with these inferior options, BlueTex™ insulation is the superior vapor barrier, air barrier and radiant barrier choice for metal building insulation.