One of the challenges in metal buildings is how you're going to attach insulation to the inside of the metal framing. We will cover that on this page, but just remember that for this application, the basic goal is to create an “envelope” inside the frame, made from BlueTex™ insulation that is attached securely to the inside of the framing.
The objective is to create a NEW interior air barrier, vapor barrier and thermal barrier with the foil side facing the exterior of the building and utilizing the gap created by the framing as the required airspace the foil side needs in order to act as a radiant barrier and reflect 97% of radiant heat BEFORE it enters the interior of the building. This will basically put the building “in the shade” from the heat, almost like it was instantly under a giant tree.
Because not all buildings are identical, you may have to get creative with your installation when you have an existing building you're trying to retrofit for insulation. If you have a specific question about how to install BlueTex™ in your building, please email us pictures and/or drawings and we will be glad to help you. We do this everyday and have seen just about everything when it comes to installations and applications. Let our experts give you some advice: contact us by email or give us a call at 800-595-8772.
PREP: HOW TO ATTACH TO THE METAL
Before you begin your install, you need to determine how you're going to attach the product to your metal framing. As mentioned above, you may have to get creative if you have special circumstances, but we've got 3 great options that should work for most of our customers. The video below goes over the methods we suggest, and you can read below to get more detail on them as well as complete installation information.
Choose the Best Way To Attach the Insulation
You can find all of the supplies mentioned below on our Resources Page.
OPTION 1: Using self-drilling screws *BEST OVERALL METHOD*
For this method you'll attach the BlueTex™ by using a screw gun/drill (cordless works great) to attach round insulation washers with self-drilling screws into the framing. We supply screws + washers in 100-count packs HERE; no pre-drilling is required when using these screws. We recommend ¾" (5/8" will work too) screws with hex-shaped heads (as opposed to Phillips heads). It's super easy if you get a magnetic nut-driver attachment for your drill to help hold and drive the screws into the metal.
The best way to approach this install method is to have a helper and have them pull the bluetex across the framing. You can easily pull 30 plus feet at a time and the BlueTex™ is super durable. Make sure the BlueTex™ is level and attach it with screws on the next metal support. While keeping the BlueTex™ pulled tight (by the helper), continue to attach the product to the framing as you move towards your helper.
Double sided tape can also be used to hold in place while attaching, but the helper/pull tight method is best.
OPTION 2: Using a pin system (2 methods)
This is simple and fast and a good choice if you can’t screw into the metal (for example, Quonset-style buildings or if you’re renting a space).
The pins go on the framing, then push the BlueTex™ so the pins poke through, and secure them with locking washers. There are two options for using a pin system: self-adhesive pins and glue-attached perforated pins.
OPTION 2A: Using self-adhesive (peel-and-stick) pins
These pins are easy to use, just peel off the backing, stick them to the metal and then push the pin through the BlueTex™ before securing it with a locking washer. Pins can be attached and spaced about 24" apart.
Note: the recommended maximum temperature for the adhesive on these pins is 140F. An easy solution to make sure they stay is to use a self-drilling screw to permanently attach the square base of the pin to the metal framing (see image below).
OPTION 2B: Glue-attached perforated pins
*We really only recommend this application for Quonset style buildings that have no framing, or a unique applications where you cannot use a screw to attach the pin into the metal.
The base of this pin is perforated so you can use any adhesive (specifically one rated for higher temps) and attach it to the metal frame.
To use these pins, you just apply a small dab of glue to the middle of the perforated base, apply the base to the metal and then let it harden over about 24 hours.
Pins can be attached and spaced about 24" apart. Once the glue has dried, then come in and install the insulation and "lock" it in place with the washers.
You can find all of the supplies mentioned above on our Resources Page.
Now that you know which method you're using to attach the product to the metal, let's get started with installation.
Begin Your Installation
START AT THE BOTTOM: Use the floor of the building and the bottom part of the framing as your guide to start the first run. Install BlueTex™ so that the foil side is facing out of the building (away from you) with the tape tab facing DOWN (you actually will NOT use the tape tab on the first run of insulation). The easiest thing to do is remove the paper backing and fold the tap tab over the edge and stick to the back side of the insulation, basically, you are hiding the tape tab.
*Illustrations below show options where the foil is facing in the building and where the white is facing in the building. The thing to note here is that as long as you have air on the foil side, you can orient the product either direction.
First, you will need to decide which method you want to use to attach the BlueTex™ insulation to the inside of the metal framing: screws & washers or the pin system.
Remember, you can easily cover the screws with our matching tape to make them disappear or you can pre-paint the screws and washers white to match the BlueTex™. Continue with this approach around the entire perimeter of the building until you're done with the first run across all of the bottom of the building.
FINISH WALLS: Move up to the second run. At this point, you need to overlap the seams at least 2" to help give a secure backing to press the tape down and insure good adhesion.
Depending on the installation method you're using (explained up top), attach either pins or double sided tape to the framing.
Start by positioning the bottom of the second piece so that it overlaps the top edge of the bottom piece by 2”. Once it's attached to the frame, go back and peel the tape tab and securely seal the seam. Remember to press firmly on the seam to get a good adhesion. If you can’t apply firm pressure across the span of the seam, consider pre-seaming before installing or using a tool to help give you a solid surface behind the seam as you apply pressure.
If you're using pins and overlapping, you can use ONE pin for both layers with either one or two washers. Then attach the next piece of BlueTex™ and overlap the second piece over this one and through the pin as well.
At this point (or later at the end of the install) you can fold up the tape tabs and lay them on top of the above piece, pressing down to secure the hold. If needed, we can provide extra tape to help you make the seam look finished and extra clean.
After you finish the second run, REPEAT with the next run of foil and continue following steps 1 and 2 until you reach the top of your wall.
THE ROOFLINE: Ideally, you want to keep a continuous new interior surface and connect the walls to the bottom of the roofline. Usually, you can just keep going without any difficulties, but if this is a challenge, please send us some pictures and we can offer some technical advice to help you.
If you have square tubing connecting your gable end to the roof, be sure to watch the video above for how to attach pins in the corners.
Connecting the gable ends to the roofline may also require some insulation tape to get a good airtight seal. Continue up the roofline until both sides meet in the middle. Here you have to decide: are you going to vent the building, or not vent it?
VENTED VS. NON-VENTED
NON-VENTED BUILDINGS: If you are not venting the building, then overlap the sides at the center ridge about 6" - 10" inches and secure with pins/washers or screws/washers. Taping the top seam is optional.
VENTED BUILDINGS: If the building is ventilated, then leave a 3-6” slit/gap at the top of the roof, regardless of whether you have ridge vent or not! If you do not have ridge vents, but you do have other types of vents (ex. wind turbines, static vents, gable vents etc.), you will still leave the slit on the top ridge, AND you will also want cut holes in the BlueTex™ insulation directly below the vent in the roof. Basically, if you have a hole in the roof, you want a matching hole in the insulation directly below the vent.
FINISH UP: Finish closing/taping all the seams on the walls and roofline. Use extra tape to “clean up” any exposed seams or loose pieces from cutting.
We realize that retrofitting an existing building can be a challenging project. However, we can confidently say that both the improved comfort and eliminating sweating/condensation is absolutely worth it!
We have thousands of customers who have installed a radiant barrier in their building and they are consistently amazed at what a difference it makes.
We also offer REAL customer support/technical advice with real people. We are NOT here just to SELL you something. We are here to SERVE you!! If you need help planning or installing your project, please contact our experts. It’s best to send a short summary of your project and any questions you have. Then, our experts will call or email you back for any extra details we need to help you choose the best insulation solution for your building.
*This step is optional INTERIOR FINISH: You can leave the interior layer of BlueTex™ exposed and the install will be done. If you want a completely finished look however, you can cover the white surface of the BlueTex™ with just about anything for an interior finish! Depending on your application and what you use the building for, the most common interior finishes are OSB, plywood, tongue and groove or drywall to secure shelving, signage, racks, etc.
If you have any questions about this install process, feel free to contact us at 800-595-8772!