Here is a short post from our archives showing InfraStop® bubble foil insulation being used in a metal building application west of St. Louis, Missouri. This large 36,000 square foot building is used for horses. For this project we custom produced 72” x 75’ double bubble white rolls to accommodate our customer. Click here for our standard size white double bubble insulation roll.
Are you really ready for cold weather? If you own chickens, you may not be -- keeping them warm and dry is essential if you want to avoid frostbite, respiratory and related health issues this year; insulating your coop can protect your birds and keep them in an optimal setting year round. The insulation and protection you need to provide for your chickens in winter depends on several factors. You’ll need to consider the average low temperature where you live, the way you insulate your coop and even the varieties of chickens you have.
How cold does it get where you live?
If you live in a state that occasionally drops below freezing, but otherwise has mild winters, simple insulation and blocking drafts will help keep your birds warm all year round. For those with regular freezing temperatures at night, snow and sleet, more aggressive insulating measures may be needed.
How hardy are your birds?
Some breeds are more winter hardy than others and will be comfortable in temperatures that are too cold for you. If you have purchased your chickens from a hatchery or local breeder, you should have an idea of how hardy they are; big robust and healthy birds like Orpingtons, Jersey Giants and Rhode Island Reds are known for being cold hardy, as are many Sex Link Hybrids. Despite their hardiness, insulating your coop can prevent comb and foot issues, even in these larger birds. If you have bantams, Silkies or very young chicks, you’ll need to take more measures to insulate your coop.
What is your coop setup like right now?
Would you want to spend the night? No matter how your coop looks, unless two or more walls are solid, your chickens are likely too exposed to cold weather. Covering two or more walls with a durable, chicken safe insulation can help keep your pets warm. If you do have walls, covering the exposed or wind side of the run can help provide a dry spot for winter scratching, even if it snows or rains outside.
Insulating your Coop
Your chickens generate enough body heat to stay warm, provided you insulate your coop. By wrapping two or more sides of your existing coop with a good quality insulator that is chicken safe, you can keep them warm without resorting to a dangerous outdoor heater. Insulated coops stay warm enough to prevent waterers from freezing, so you can be sure that your birds stay healthy and hydrated
Insulation works so well, you actually have to remember to leave a gap at the top of the coop for heat to escape; too much warmth can cause humidity levels to rise and can be uncomfortable for your birds. Insulate all but the top few inches of your coop to allow warm air to escape and to keep your birds toasty warm and dry.
- While any material can be used to block winds and drafts, some are far superior to others. Simply covering the coop with a trash bag or floor cloth isn’t enough. These materials won’t hold up for long and could even be dangerous if your chickens decide those dangling strands of plastic are food.
- A reflective bubble insulation for the chicken coop allows you to safely insulate your birds as needed, without the risk or headache of using a flimsy plastic. The bubbles trap air, helping you maintain a warm coop just with chicken body heat, while the reflective layer allows light inside. If you have year round layers, even an additional hour or two of light per day can make the difference between daily eggs and occasional eggs in your nesting boxes.
- Covering one side or the top of a scratching area can help insulate it while repelling airborne predators. Hawks get particularly aggressive when food supply dwindles in winter and a reflective surface can help protect your birds from predation.
- Choose a chicken friendly insulator like reflective bubble wrap and set aside an hour or two to insulate your coop before the really cold weather arrives. Once this task is done, you can be sure your birds are safe, warm and dry no matter what the weather is like outside.
We have provided insulation for a lot of chicken coops. We’ve got you covered – literally! Find your wrap among these sizes to keep your birds safe this winter.
An uninsulated pole barn, garage or farm building always bears the risk of having problems with condensation at certain air temperatures. Using our pole barn insulation helps to regulate temperature and moisture inside the building to make a structure safe and comfortable for its inhabitants.
The non-toxic insulation material, which is recyclable, is both fire and moisture resistant. The product does not promote the growth of fungi and bacteria and is non-corrosion to make the building lasts longer.
The reflective insulation consists of reflective foil layers on the outside fused to interior bubble layers. It is thin, lightweight, flexible and strong and can be cut with a knife. The product is easily stapled, nailed and glued in place.
The roof of a pole barn or building is insulated by placing the insulation blankets at the top or bottom of the trusses. Metal roofing is attached above the rafters. In either case the insulation blankets are positioned below the roof deck.
In the warm months, without insulation, the temperature radiating from the hot roof and walls of the pole barn can pose a problem. The higher heat can negatively affect livestock and poultry which lack an effective cooling mechanism. Heat stress has been proven to contribute to lower production and reduced fertility.
Reflective foil insulation addresses two basic concerns for barn owners; temperature and moisture inside pole barns. Since the material is nonabsorbent, moisture does not affect the performance of reflective insulation and the material does not promote mold or fungus growth. The insulation helps to protect livestock and poultry from heat stress by controlling humidity, air flow and solar radiation.
In addition to helping manage the indoor air temperature of the building, the insulation also helps to control condensation. Because the foil insulation installed in this capacity is a vapor barrier as well, condensation is reduced. Accumulated condensation in the walls and ceilings can contribute to shorter building life is absorbed by structural members and can cause damage to items stored in the building.
Thank you H.J. for submitting pictures of your indoor riding ring. This beautiful post and frame building has a metal roof and side walls. The roof is insulated with InfraStop® double bubble white foil insulation giving an excellent radiant barrier to the exterior and clean white finish to the interior. The decorative trusses look great. We wish you good luck with your building and horses!
Fruits and vegetables need warmth and sunlight to thrive--that is, until they are harvested and removed from the tree, vine or plant that was keeping them alive.
Once picked and readied for shipment, fresh foods become vulnerable to even the slightest rise in temperature. People operating farmer's markets or in the business of shipping fresh foods to remote locations know how quickly bacteria can destroy fruits, vegetables and meat that is not kept thoroughly chilled. Fortunately, packaging dilemmas concerning the safe shipment of fresh foods can be solved with reflective foil insulation.
Avoid Unnecessary Costs and Waste with Reflective Bubble Foil
When you use our reflective insulation, you can ship any perishable items with confidence and know that it will arrive to its destination fresh, delicious and safe. In addition to being non-toxic and recyclable, reflective foil insulation also offers these advantages over non-reflective packaging materials:
- Thermal value properties
- Prevents odors from transferring to other foods
- Ensures that fresh products retain their natural taste, color and quality
- Substantial reduction in warehousing and freight expenditures
- Reflective foil insulation is easily fitted to any size packaging container and requires minimal handling.
How Quickly Can Food Spoil?
It only takes an hour for packaged fresh food to start spoiling under the right conditions.
Fresh food starts spoiling as soon as the interaction of moisture, heat, oxygen and bacterial growth creates conditions ripe for food to start rotting. Bacteria called "facultative anaerobes" thrive everywhere regardless of oxygen content while toxic molds need a minimal amount of oxygen to develop. Spoilage also occurs when negligible changes in humidity affect fresh foods that have been improperly packaged. Photodegradation, or spoilage due to light, causes fresh foods to lose their nutritional value, attractive color and natural good taste as well. Consumers will always avoid purchasing discolored food even though the discoloration does not mean the food is spoiled.
Give Your Customers the Delicious, Home-Grown Foods They Want
Eliminate costs associated with losing fresh foods to damage or spoilage due to appropriate packaging practices by protecting perishable food with affordable, easy-to-use reflective foil insulation. Customers will love the taste and appearance of your fresh fruits and vegetables wrapped in reflective foil and you will enjoy saving on overhead expenditures related to food lost to spoilage during transport.
After the difficulties of the cold winter months, animal producers are glad that frigid weather is over for now. However, the weather patterns will soon be swinging to the other extreme when the blazing heat of summer arrives.
Heat Stress in Animals
Extremely hot temperatures are just as dangerous for animals as extremely cold temperatures can be. Those who raise pigs, chickens, and cattle must be aware of the effects of hot temperatures and take precautions to cool their animals off when a heat wave arrives. Watching your animals closely when the mercury soars will help you determine when you need to step in.
- Poultry: Chickens can't sweat, so they rely on panting to cool themselves. Their normal body temperatures range from 103 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. If a chicken's temperature reaches 113 degrees, they are in serious trouble. However, even slight heat stress can cause chickens to stop laying eggs, stop eating, and produce inferior eggs. If they get too hot, they can die.
- Pigs: Pigs are extremely sensitive to heat. Even getting overheated for as few as two to six hours can upset the digestive systems of pigs, leaving them vulnerable to infections. Additionally hot pigs don't eat, meaning that they won't gain weight. Taking too long to get to market weight will affect your farm's bottom line. Pigs can't sweat, so they have to pant or wallow in the mud to cool off.
- Cattle: Cows, especially those with black hides, suffer tremendously in the heat. Their internal digestion generates heat as their rumen microbes break down their food. Hot cattle will demonstrate increased respiration, increased heart rate, and increased panting. They will not gain weight and lactating cows will produce much less milk when it is really hot.
Tips for Preventing Heat Stress
If you are a livestock or poultry producer, you must have a plan in place to combat heat stress. You could stand to lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars when the temperatures rise. Even if you don't lose an animal, they will be less productive when it's hot, meaning that you won't make as much money as you might otherwise. Therefore, you should consider using these strategies to keep your animals cooler during the hot months of summer.
- Water: Having plenty of water is essential to keeping your animals comfortable on hot days. Make sure that there are several water stations so that dominant animals don't keep the less dominant animals from getting all that they need. You may want to add some electrolytes to the water to help the animals maintain the appropriate electrolyte balance.
- Ventilation: If your animals are housed in barns, keep the air moving by using fans and opening every window and door that you can. If your barn is overcrowded, you may want to either find another place for some of your livestock or sell a few of your animals to help the rest of them stay cooler.
- Insulation: Many people think of insulation only when it's cold. However, using reflective bubble insulation can block the transfer of radiant heat from the outdoors to the indoors. Using this kind of insulation on barns, calf hutches, water tubs, and chicken houses will keep your animals much cooler and more comfortable during a heat wave. This is a very inexpensive way to combat heat stress.
For cattle producers, you may want to look into some technological advances to help monitor your animals. The University of Missouri has created an app called Thermal Aid to help cattle farmers monitor the effects of heat on their animals. With this app, you can input your cows' respiration. The app coordinates this information with current weather conditions to help you know when your animals need additional help in getting cool.
Neglecting to insulate livestock barns, pole barns, chicken houses or hog runs compromises the health and fertility of your livestock as well as the stability of agricultural buildings. Especially important to effectively insulating barns is making sure to use the right kind of insulation designed to reflect radiant heat, prevent condensation and moisture from promoting mold growth and maintain a temperature range optimal for the life your animals and the life of your barn, coop or run.
What is the Black Globe Effect?
Agricultural industry experts have recently discovered a natural phenomenon that detrimentally affects livestock if they are allowed to absorb excessive amounts of solar heat. Deemed the "Black Globe Effect", this phenomenon inflicts a definite stress factor correlating to the cost inefficiency or efficiency of weight gain in cows, chickens and other meat-producing livestock. In fact, results of studies examining livestock living in barns insulated with reflective foil bubble and radiant barrier insulation found that these animals exhibited maximum body weight, increased milk production and better mortality rates in comparison to livestock living in uninsulated environments.
Whether livestock are in barns or grazing, they tend to absorb greater levels of radiant energy emitted by the sun when the temperature exceeds 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Affordable reflective foil bubble insulation has been found to be the best method to use for insulating barns and preventing radiant energy from inhibiting livestock productivity.
Reduce Energy Costs By Insulating Agricultural Buildings
Radiant barrier insulation reflects indoor heat back into a building's space to create a comfortable living area for livestock and provide energy savings during extreme weather. In addition, reflective foil insulation meant for agricultural use contains non-toxic additives that inhibits flammability by resisting and stopping the progression of heat extremes.
Advantages to Insulating Pole Barns
Pole barns are growing in popularity because they are affordable and easy to build. However, their metallic constitution makes it necessary to insulate pole barns with reflective foil insulation so that enormous amounts of heat absorbed and emitted by the metal does not get trapped inside the barn. Instead of packing the walls and roofs of pole barns with bulky, impractical insulation that needs replaced frequently and acts as a magnet for fungus growth and nesting rodents, invest in lightweight, pliable, easily installed reflective foil bubble insulation.
For new construction, you can install the material either the outside or inside the girt method. The inside the girt application method is also used for hanging insulation after the barn is constructed. Insulation is ran vertically or horizontally from pole or post and attached directly to the girt.
For horizontal installation it is optimal to have the edges of the two pieces of insulation to meet directly on the girt. For vertical installation this is not as important because you are attaching every several feet perpendicular to the girt. This makes taping the seams easier, ensuring you are creating a good vapor barrier.
The outside the girt installation method is only available during new construction, before the metal walls are up. The insulation is applied to the exterior of the posts and girts. The metal siding is then attached directly to the girt over the insulation.
These are two basic methods to use when installing our pole barn insulation in your post and beam or pole barn project.
Click on the images to view specific installation instructions. As always, please contact us anytime at 1-800-871-0410 for questions regarding your projects.
Many barns are insulated at the time of construction. This is generally the fastest way to install insulation as there is little or no obstructions and the insulation can be installed in conjunction with the rest of the barn.
But what do you do if you want to add insulation later? Don't worry, this post will spell out some basics and get you on your way to an energy efficient barn.
Let's first deal with the ceiling or roof. You have two options to hang insulation. You can install the insulation underneath the purlins as in the first picture or underneath the trusses as in the second.
The deciding factor to work around the purlins at the rooftop level or a relatively easy install under the trusses may come down to your climate and whether you are going to heat the barn. See our older post on Barn Insulation: Finding the Right Type.
Regardless of your decision, both of these methods are high performing places to install our InfraStop® pole barn insulation due to having two airspaces in both installs.
To install on the bottom of the purlins, run the material down from the ridge pole to the top of the sidewall where the truss and top wall plate meet, covering and stapling the ridge pole and the top plate at the side wall. Tape all butt seams with reflective foil tape ensuring a proper bond occurs.
Installing under the trusses is faster. If you have 24" or 48" spacing between trusses, you can install directly to the bottom cord of each truss. If not, nail 1" x 2" furring strips to the bottom cords running perpendicular to the trusses on 22" centers. Install 24" or 48" insulation. For both installs, staple approximately every 4" and tape all seams, again ensuring a proper bond.
For the walls, run the material inside the girts stapling the material to the girt itself. The insulation can be installed horizontally or vertically. If installed horizontally the insulation can be ran across the face of the girts, stapling to the side/face/side and continuing to the next girt in line. Again, tape all seams ensuring a good bond.
Reflective insulation, with its relative low cost versus traditional insulation types, and solid performance can make a big impact on your comfort by providing a barrier to either keep heat in or out. Installing InfraStop® creates a radiant barrier and a vapor barrier to help control heat and moisture to prolong the life of your barn and its belongings.
There are so many products available these days. Choosing the correct products when determining what barn insulation to use is no different. We find it helpful to look at specific details of your barn to determine what insulation to use.
The first question is, where are you? What state do you live in? Understanding your local climate is the first criteria in understanding your insulation solutions. It is no wonder residential code construction in the south for example comprises of 2 x 4" construction. In the North, it is 2 x 6". This has nothing to do with strength and everything to do with wall thickness. In the North, the code requirements for fiberglass insulation are designed for a 5 1/2" batt. Conserving heat is of prime importance during the heating season in the North. Wall construction is changed to allow for the insulation to fit. This change does not help homes in the South because the heating season is considerably less and the low temperatures, although cold by southern standards, are balmy for the North.
The second question is, what are you using your barn for? Barns are built for many different reasons and they are used for a wide variety of applications. Are you going to heat your barn? Are you concerned about solar heat gain? These questions help determine the correct barn insulation for you to use.
Or maybe you are concerned about or are experiencing condensation. Condensation is a main concern in metal buildings and pole barns with metal roofs. Condensation inside a building happens when dew point is reached. Metal roofing material, although inexpensive and strong, is a poor insulator and very conductive. This means the temperature of the metal roof on your barn in the winter is going to be fairly close to the actual outside temperature. Condensation can happen when the inside warmer air comes into contact with the cold metal material. If the humidity level and temperature extremes are right, moisture will occur.
From this information we can start to draw some conclusions. Let's make up a barn to show some practical examples. For an insulation choice, we will choose our InfraStop® insulation. When installed correctly InfraStop® is a vapor barrier and will create a thermal break to alleviate any condensation concerns.
Now, let us say our metal building is located in Texas. Most of it is warehouse or storage with a small area for an office. Let's only heat the office infrequently in the winter. What should we do? We would install our InfraStop® underneath the roof joists or over them for new construction. We would also install it across or down the side walls. We would frame in the office area and insulate the walls and ceiling with fiberglass insulation and line the exterior or warehouse facing walls and ceiling with reflective insulation as well.
What will this do? First, it will block most of the heat entering the building that is radiating through the metal roofing and walls. This will help cool the building down. Because you are paying to heat the office and it's a small area, fiberglass insulation is used in addition to reflective foil insulation. This will ensure trapped air and limited air movement to help in the cold months. The radiant barrier is added to keep the warehouse heat out should you want to use air conditioning in the summer.
Let us now say we have a pole barn in Wisconsin. We are using the area as a shop and are heating it via a wood stove during the day. We know our barn is getting hot in the summer but our main concern is keeping in some of the heat generated by the wood stove. For this application, we would again use our InfraStop® insulation but move its position in the building. Instead of putting the material underneath the purlins we could move the material to underneath the trusses. This would significantly decrease the amount of cubic space to be heated and would reflect the heat from the wood stove back into the room. You will still get the benefit of blocking overhead heat during the hot months. If you wanted the insulation at the roof level, either above or below the purlins, it will work but there will be more cubic feet to heat.
Hopefully these two examples get you thinking of your type of barn, its location, and its use. When you look closely at your specific needs it is easier to determine what type of barn insulation will accomplish your building's goals.
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