The Value of Choosing the Right Insulation

Published on Wed, 04/22/2020 - 9:13am

The Value of Choosing the Right Insulation.

 By Mary Gatliff.

Energy and how it is used is vital in the utilization of farm buildings.  Goals are always reducing heat loss in the winter and excess heat in the summer.  Proper insulation is the key.  An investment in quality insulation with a long life can pay for itself in a few years not to mention better animal wellbeing and a more comfortable working environment.

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Warm Air Retains More Moisture
With each 20 degree F rise in temperature the moisture holding capacity of air doubles.  This is why some insulation allows walls and ceiling to get wet.  Add livestock and the problem grows.
Moisture Can Travel Through Building Materials
Most building materials allow moisture to penetrate.  As air vapor penetrates insulated walls and ceilings condensation collects.  Vapor pressure always pushes from the warm side to the cool side; the only thing that protects the surface from water damage is an impervious barrier.

The Advantage of Spray Foam Over Other Insulation
• Permeable vs. Impermeable Insulation
• Impermeable insulation does not absorb Moisture (spray foam SPF)
• Permeable insulation such as vinyl faced fiberglass and wet sprayed cellulose does
• R values on impermeable insulation are virtually unchanged over long time periods
• Permeable insulation looses 90% of R-value over a very short time due to moisture absorption
• Absorbed moisture trapped on the bottom of a metal deck caused rust and corrosion
• SPF vs. fiberglass nearly doubles the insulation R-value per inch

Structural Benefits of Closed Cell Spray Foam
First and foremost fully adhered insulation cuts down on metal deck flex due to live loading (roof traffic).  Assistance in slowing movement in a metal building due to pressure changes through openings in wind events is also greatly improved.  High performance insulation will have a significant impact on HVAC sizing and design.  Lastly because SPF fills all void and seals the building it also assists in preventing fastener withdrawal and panel loosening over time.

Cost vs. Return on Spray Foam vs. Fiberglass/Cellulose
Initial cost is higher with SPF than fiberglass, but SPF pays for itself early in the building life cycle.  The cost difference is declining when SPF pricing involves the manufacturer, whole installation team and scaling to job size.  Utilization of SPF when designing milking parlors and cross-vent dairy barns offers owners a superior performing product over the long haul with a minimum initial cost difference.
Sustainable Polymer Products has the capacity to meet tight schedules on large projects.  Our team has a track record of completing challenging applications.