• Insulation for Portable Shipping and Cargo Containers

    Shipping and Storage ContainersIntermodal containers are more commonly known as shipping or cargo containers. These rugged and long lasting portable containers are waterproof and can be locked, making them perfect structures for short or long term storage.

    Because of their durability and flexibility, portable containers are used in many different applications other than their original purpose to transport material across waterways on container ships.

    Now, they are being used for jobsite or residential storage. Moving and storage companies like Pods® and others rent and sell them. Common uses in the agricultural sector include greenhouses, feed storage, and raising honey bees to name a few. The modular flexibility allows shipping containers to be used in permanent housing which appears to be a growing trend. Another trend is doomsday preppers who are purchasing containers at a rapid rate and burying their accumulated belongings in them.

    Regardless of what the shipping containers are used for the overall concern is the same, to protect the possessions and belongings inside. As good and versatile as metal storage containers can be, they function like metal buildings and therefore have two potential drawbacks. The first is heat gain and the second is condensation.

    Heat gain is straight forward. Metal is an excellent conductor and if the container is exposed to the sun, the metal will get much hotter than the air temperature and this radiant heat will be absorbed and passed right into the interior space potentially making conditions unbearable for occupancy. Excessive heat can also have a negative effect on goods and materials designed for storage.

    Condensation can also be a concern in many locations and climates, just like it is in metal buildings and barns. Condensation is harder to diagnose in most cases as buildings that do condensate or sweat only do so in certain seasons when the conditions are right. These conditions are typically either: warm, heated, moisture rich interior air contacting a cold metal roof in winter months or cool, moisture rich interior air contacting a hot roof in the summer months. If moisture has accumulated once, it will accumulate again potentially damaging possessions inside.

    Thankfully, the same InfraStop® foil insulation used in metal buildings and barns can be used in portable shipping containers to prevent both radiant heat transfer and condensation. Insulating with InfraStop® allows you to keep your container cooler in the summer months and warmer in the winter months if you are heating the inside. A more consistent temperature is much better on goods and materials than large temperature fluctuations.

    Regarding condensation and moisture, InfraStop® bubble insulation is a vapor barrier when correctly installed which includes taping the seams. This prevents moisture rich interior air from contacting the metal. The reflective layers of the insulation reflect any absorbed radiant heat which a typical non-reflective vapor barrier cannot do. The result is a conditioned space and a buffer zone of trapped air, an ideal insulator in itself.

    Traditional insulations such as blow in-in cellulose or spray foam can be used as well. These types will do well in insulating but will not be as effective in blocking radiant heat or preventing condensation. Traditional insulation types are also much more costly to use and are be difficult to remove and are not reusable. Typically, they only make sense if the shipping container is to be used for permanent habitation by people.

    InfraStop® insulation is a natural choice in this environment as reflective insulation is the insulation used in the shipping and packaging industries. The difference here is where it is installed. Instead of covering the material inside the shipping container as it would if a container ship was out to sea, InfraStop® can easily be installed on the walls and ceilings effectively doing the same job to protect the interior. Another benefit of InfraStop® is that it can be removed and reused very easily if needed.

  • Mini Storage Buildings: Single Bubble Foil Insulation and Condensation

    Mini Storage Building with Foil InsulationMini storage units are commonly used buildings.  They give customers extra storage space for their belongings.  Because storage units protect people's possessions it is very important for the units to stay dry and keep stable temperatures.  This can become problematic because all of the components used in construction are metal.

    When moisture rich warm air meets cooler air it can condense into water.  This moisture accumulation can prematurely degrade the structure and ruin its contents.  In mini storage buildings this moisture accumulation typically happens in the summer months when the warmer air meets outside cooler air in the morning and evenings.

    Bubble foil insulation creates a barrier between these bodies of air lowering the possibility of moisture accumulation.  Single bubble foil insulation, which provides the thermal break, also blocks the transfer of radiant heat.  In metal buildings with metal roofs radiant heat gain can be excessive, especially in southern locations where the sun is more powerful.  Reflective insulation blocks 97% of this heat transfer.

    Single bubble foil insulation is the optimal choice for metal storage buildings.  It's a radiant barrier so it blocks radiant heat.  This helps stabilize temperature.  The bubble layer provides r-value as well as a vapor barrier when the seams are taped to control moisture. Single bubble insulation is offered in white on one side so the interior of the units have a clean, bright finish.

    Bubble foil insulation is effective in extreme temperatures both hot and cold.  The lightweight material is low profile and can easily be attached with screws, staples, nails, or glue.  The waterproof, non-absorbent surface is ideal for insulating metal storage buildings.

  • Moisture and Fiberglass Insulation in Metal and Steel Buildings

    Several of our last posts have dealt with your outbuildings. Metal and steel buildings are excellent choices for affordability and low maintenance. These buildings are for the most part worry free structures. For owners who want full use of their buildings in all seasons, insulation becomes important. As condensation and moisture are always an issue, understanding your insulation is always important. Here's a link to facts about moisture and fiberglass insulation for metal buildings offered by the North American Insulation Manufacturer's Association that is comprised of the four largest fiberglass manufacturers in the United States.

  • Buy Insulation for Metal & Steel Buildings Online

    Metal & Steel Barn Insulation at InsulationStop.comYou choose to insulate a metal or steel building for several reasons. The main emphasis is to keep the inside temperature comfortable for both the heating and cooling seasons whether the building is designed for humans or livestock.

    A correctly insulated metal or steel building slows down heat transfer and stops drafts in both hot and cold climates.

    As these structures are excellent in their cost and ease of installation they are also prone to condensations issues. Insulation is the major factor in condensation control and there is no better insulation for your metal or steel building than reflective foil insulation.

    Maintaining consistent indoor temperatures using foil insulation and correct ventilation will protect not only the building itself for years to come but also any equipment or agricultural products you choose to house or store inside.

    The best insulation for metal and steel buildings is reflective foil because in one product it provides thermal insulation, a radiant barrier, and a vapor barrier to eliminate condensation. Foil insulation is made in either a foil/foil or foil/white configuration that provides an attractive finish and enhances the aesthetics of your building and improves the lighting. It is used for all aspects in the construction; under walls, under roof decking, under floors, and around ducts and pipes.

    Foil insulation consists of two layers of foil or one layer of foil and one white layer (poly) with a layer of single or double bubbles at its core. Reflective foil insulation uses trapped air space as part of its design to slow the flow of convective heat, the same way fiberglass insulation works.

    Heat gained through radiation is responsible for 65-85 percent of all the heat transferred through the walls and roof. Aluminum, the second most reflective material behind gold, reduces radiant heat transfer by as much as 97%. Because of this, foil insulation is extremely effective against radiant heat transfer because it reflects almost all of the invisible radiation striking the surface and emits very little heat that does conduct through it. The result is your building does not get as hot in the summer and keeps warm air in during the winter.

    Perhaps the best reason to use reflective foil insulation in your metal or steel buildings is to help control condensation. Water vapor will condense inside a building whenever it contacts a surface that is cold enough. Through the heat transfer process of conduction, this air will lose heat to the cold surface. Condensation occurs when the air reaches its saturation point. (The cooling air lowers the dew point and relative humidity increases until the saturation point where condensation occurs.)

    Moisture in metal and steel buildings is present for many reasons. Humans and especially animals give off considerable amounts of water through breathing and perspiring. Heating through the use of gas, oil, and propane also give off significant amounts of moisture through the combustion process. Exposed earth also gives off a tremendous amount of moisture because the soil is exposed to the air. Freshly poured concrete is another major source of large amounts of moisture. Correct insulation and ventilation is needed in all of these circumstances or moisture may become an issue.

    Moisture and condensation can either be exposed or concealed. Exposed condensation is when you can see moisture appearing on the inside surfaces. This is generally present on windowpanes or purlins and results in dripping water. Installing reflective foil insulation reduces the cold surfaces where condensation is likely to occur. Providing correct ventilation to exchange the indoor moisture rich air with outdoor air will reduce the amount of condensation in your building. This is accomplished generally through the use of circulating fans. The addition of a vapor barrier under the floor will also greatly help to reduce this issue.

    Concealed condensation is more difficult to control and can cause more damage than exposed condensation. This occurs when water vapor has passed through the insulation and condenses on the metal surfaces of the roof or exterior wall or inside the insulation. The best way to control this is during the construction of your building making sure to have proper roof ventilation and a tight vapor barrier.

    Preventing concealed condensation is the most important component in the health of your metal or steel building. Using vapor barriers are critical. A vapor barrier will significantly reduce the movement of vapor transmission. Foil insulation has a perm rating of 0.05 which makes it an excellent vapor barrier. It's waterproof and when correctly installed can reduce or even eliminate condensation. It doubles as your wall and roofing insulation and vapor barrier all in one product. Because the material does not absorb moisture it will not mildew, rot, or promote fungus growth.

    For these reasons, traditional fiberglass batt insulation is not recommended for metal or steel buildings. Instead of warm air rising and striking the metal walls and roof directly and causing condensation and dripping, the insulation with its design makes the air cool gradually. The warmer, moist indoor air will cool and reach its dew point either somewhere inside the insulation or when it reaches the roof or walls trapping the moisture. Any moisture increase severely decreases the R-value and effectiveness in fiberglass insulation because water is also an excellent conductor of heat. And even though the metal in a steel building is treated, water trapped in or between the insulation will over time cause rust and oxidation or mold and fungus growth. All these conditions will degrade the steel walls and shorten the service life of the building.

    Benefits of Using Reflective Foil Insulation

     Up to R-14.5 thermal resistance
     Extremely strong and durable
     Lightweight and flexible
     Thin and can be used effectively in small spaces
     Easy to install
     Requires no special installation tools or clothing
     Easier to cut than fiberglass insulation
     Can be stapled, nailed, or glued
     Non hazardous/Non-Toxic/Non-carcinogenic
     Provides good soundproofing
    Excellent temperature range -20C to 80C, even higher with an airspace
    Vapor Barrier, waterproof, non-absorbent
    Radiant Barrier, reflects 97% of radiant heat
    Does not promote growth of mold, fungus, or mildew
    Does not provide nesting of birds, rodents, insects
    Used in animal confinement to reduce the "black globe effect"
    Provides Class 1/Class A fire rating
    UV resistant
    Withstands fluctuations in outdoor temperatures

    Reflective Insulation Compared to Other Insulation Types

     Reflective insulation has higher R-values than any other type of insulation per inch. 1/4" thick foil insulation has more insulation value than 6 inches of common fiberglass insulation.
     Aluminum foil insulation is the only type of insulation that reflects radiant heat. Traditional fiberglass insulation has no effect on the transfer of radiant heat. Estimates are that between 80% and 90% of radiant heat that strikes fiberglass insulation will pass right through it. Reflective aluminum, the main component in foil insulation is an excellent radiant heat barrier, which reflects up to 97% of radiant heat striking the material.
     Reflective foil insulation is the only type of insulation that can be used as a vapor barrier. All other insulation types require the addition of a separate vapor barrier to prevent moisture accumulation in the walls and ceilings that causes rot, mold, fungus, and dripping water.
     Reflective insulation will not compress or absorb moisture, all conditions that seriously degrade the performance of batt and blanket insulation systems.
  • Understanding and Controlling Condensation in Metal & Steel Buildings

    Dew Point Condensation CalculatorMoisture control is a major concern in metal and steel buildings. As moisture vapor is present to some capacity in every structure, condensation often becomes an issue.

    Adding insulation has a positive impact on energy consumption, but it does not mean that more or thicker insulation will reduce moisture problems. As metal buildings are made more airtight, their thermal efficiency increases. Interior moisture however is less likely to be reduced by the often drier outside air.

    Moisture will occur anytime air comes into contact with a surface that is at or below its dew point temperature. If you know the air temperature and relative humidity you can predict the temperature at which condensation will form. Use this chart to help you predict dew point temperature in your building.

    Example: If your metal building's inside temperature is 60°F and relative humidity is 50% then the dew point of the area is 41°F. Water will condense on any metal coming in the building that is below 41°F.

    Insulation such as reflective bubble foil is an economical means of reducing this problem. The material provides R-Value in metal building applications and is a vapor barrier with sufficient perm ratings to help control condensation.

    Finally, the proper ventilation of interior areas and air spaces above insulation is essential. In all metal buildings, natural or mechanically powered ventilation is always the most effective means available to help control moisture in a buildings interior.

    Hopefully you find this post helpful. Thank you for purchasing your Tempshield radiant barrier insulation at the InsulationStop, the pro's stop for the best quality and best insulation prices.

  • How to Reduce Condensation with Reflective Aluminum Foil Insulation

    How to Reduce Condensation with Reflective Aluminum Foil InsulationAs well as reflecting and blocking radiant heat, radiant barriers and reflective foil insulation are also great at reducing condensation. Today's "Staple Tab" Bubble Foil Insulation is what is used in between in walls, ceilings, and crawlspaces. Years ago reflective insulation was also used but in a different design. The product was multiple accordion aluminum insulation which basically comprised of layers of reflective foil with trapped airspaces. Here is an informative description on how accordion insulation was used to help reduce and control moisture.

    "Prevent Damage to Wood, Plaster, Paint, etc.

    As air becomes colder, it can hold less vapor in suspension. The degree of saturation increases until a dew-point is reached and condensation occurs.

    Heat flows from warm to cold by conduction. A material which is in contact with air colder than itself on one side and air warmer than itself on the other side, will continuously extract heat from the warmer air by conduction and lose it to the colder air. As the contacting warmer air becomes cooler by this action, the amount of vapor it can hold in suspension without condensing becomes smaller.

    The denser and bulkier the material, the more heat it can extract before attaining room temperature, if it ever does. The scientific construction of multiple layers of aluminum, fiber and reflective air spaces minimizes condensation-formation on or within this type of insulation, when installed in building spaces.


    Since the sheet of aluminum adjacent to the warm, inner air of a building weighs only about 1/4 oz. per sq. ft., it does not need to extract much heat from that air to attain and remain at room temperature. Since the emissivity of the aluminum surface is only 3%, little heat is lost by radiation on the cold side. This further enables the metal to remain at about room temperature and not extract much heat from that warmer air.

    Since the other sheets of aluminum and fiber retard heat flow by inner as well as outer convection, and since conduction is slight through the preponderant low density air spaces, each sheet's other surface faces a space which is only a little colder than the aluminum itself. But because warmth flows to cold in conduction, the aluminum will give off a slight amount of heat to the colder space, thereby slightly increasing the vapor retaining capacity of that space. The successive reflective spaces and sheets of aluminum and fiber behave similarly. Since each aluminum surface is slightly warmer than the air it faces on its cold side, there is no extraction of heat. The reverse is true.


    When multiple accordion aluminum is used, fortuitous vapor and water ( like rain) which intrude into building spaces will, as vapor pressure develops therein, gradually flow out as vapor through exterior walls and roofs because vapor flows from areas of greater to areas of less vapor density. Since the vapor cannot back up through the continuous, almost impervious metal, it will flow out because exterior walls and roofs have substantial vapor permeability compared with aluminum, far greater than the required 5 to 1 ratio.

    Of great importance is the use of a continuous metallic vapor barrier, of almost zero water vapor permeability, without "breaks" every few feet, to retard the outward flow of vapor which originates inside the house. Infiltration under the flat stapled flanges of multiple aluminum is slight.

    To obtain MAXIMUM, uniform-depth protection against heat loss and condensation formation, it is necessary to use the new edge-to-edge multiple aluminum*, each sheet of which stretches from joist to joist.

    The U. S. Bureau of Standards has prepared a helpful and informative booklet, "Moisture Condensation in Building Walls," which discusses causes and cures. Use the coupon to get a free copy from us."

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