Tag Archives: soffits

Metal Building Insulation

Building Has Metal Building Insulation

Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Rachel received an inquiry from a client whose existing post frame (pole) building has metal building insulation.

Rachel sent this to me:

“STEVE would like some advice on insulating.  He has a Cleary Building which has blanket insulation in the walls and roof and he would like to insulate over the top of this insulation and wondered if there would be issues.   

Steve mentioned that as your standing in the building you see the white vinyl on the inside.  Is there vinyl on both sides?  If not, shouldn’t the vinyl by facing the steel?

Any information or assistance you can give him would be appreciated.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru writes:

I am not much of a vinyl faced metal building insulation fan to begin with (read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/metal-building-insulation-in-pole-buildings-part-i/]. Even though I have it in roofs of my two older personal post frame buildings, it isn’t a product I would use if I were to construct a new building for myself.

Problems would come from having insulation sandwiched between two vapor barriers.

I would do this personally –completing each wall individually, I would remove wall steel, remove  wall metal building insulation. Cover each wall with a Weather Resistant Barrier (like Tyvek) and reapply wall steel. Spray two inches of closed cell foam insulation upon the inside of the wall steel. If full wall thickness bookshelf girts were not used in the walls (flush or extending inside of columns), another set of girts should be added to the inside surface of columns. Your engineer of Record (engineer who sealed your building plans) should be consulted to determine proper size and spacing of girts. Once installed, fill insulation cavity completely using BIBs. Glue two inches of rigid closed cell foam insulation board, taping all seams, to the inside face of girts. Glue interior finish (typically gypsum drywall) to the inside of foam boards.

PBG NOTE ADDED: Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Rick Carr aptly pointed out to me WRB (Weather Resistant Barrier) purpose would be defeated by spray foam application. Correct application should be one only, however only after metal building insulation removal.

For your roof, provided trusses are adequate to support applicable dead loads, I would install a truss bottom chord level ceiling. This would allow insulation to be blown into dead attic space. In order to achieve adequate insulation above the sidewalls, it may prove necessary to use closed cell spray foam insulation above the ceiling in areas closest to the sidewalls. If eaves have ventilated soffits, ensure an inch or more of free air space exists between insulation and roof deck (or metal building insulation). Appropriate ventilation must be provided in dead air area above insulation.

 

Cardboard (or Plastic, Foam, Metal) Eave Baffles

Cardboard (or Plastic, Foam, Metal) Eave Baffles

The model building codes (IBC and IRC – International Building Code and International Residential Code) require enclosed attic spaces, in most cases, to have ventilation. The most efficient ventilation design solution is to have enclosed vented soffits at the eaves as an air intake, and a vented ridge as an air exhaust.

In order for this system to work effectively a minimum of a one inch air space has to be maintained from eave to ridge across the top of the attic insulation. For traditional stud wall frame buildings with trusses or rafters every two feet, this air channel can be maintained by prefabricated eave baffles which block the insulation from tumbling into the soffits. There are numerous materials used for these baffles, each of which has its own good and bad points.

But what about post frame construction? With trusses at a myriad of different spacings, due to engineering design or builder preference, there is not a one size fits anyone solution to maintain airflow.

 

Energy efficiency is a high priority for new building owners, making arriving at solutions which are as painless as possible a prime directive for post frame designers.

In order to maintain full insulation depth from outside of wall to outside of wall, it is most advantageous to use raised heel trusses (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/07/raised-heel-trusses/). Now, how to keep the insulation where it belongs?

High R rigid insulation sheets can be cut to fit between the trusses, extending from the soffit supports to no less than one inch below the roof sheathing. A minimum one inch space must also be left between the inside of the eave strut and the insulation sheet.  Product dependent, of course, the high R boards can offer an R value of approximately six per inch of thickness.

Plywood or OSB (Oriented Strand Board) can also be used as a baffle, however either product is going to be heavier to work with, as well as not affording more than a minimal R value.

 

Fascia Trim Dimensions

How to Calculate Fascia Trim Dimensions

Justine (aka Hansen Pole Buildings’ wizard of deliveries) and I were discussing this subject today, so it makes for a good time to share!

In most cases, pole buildings with sidewall (eave) overhangs have fascia boards. These are most generally 2×6, 2×8, etc., depending upon snow loads as well as the “look” the building owner wants to achieve.

I say “in most cases” because there is one fairly significantly sized company who believes it is apparently satisfactory to just run the roof steel a foot past the sidewall without supporting it in any way…..sure hope the building owner never needs to get on the roof, and there are never any ice dams in the winter!Fascia TrimIn most instances, fascia boards will be installed vertically, attaching to a plumb cut on the ends of the truss or rafter tails. This application allows for the easy installation of gutters, which are required in many jurisdictions.

When steel or vinyl siding is used, I happen to feel it is a right nice idea to put steel trim on the wood fascia boards. It happens to look nice, and it keeps the fascias from having to be painted (after all, the idea is to be maintenance free) or turning gray, then black, then just rotting.

Along the I-5 corridor in Washington and Oregon, there are plenty of builders and pole building kit suppliers who rely upon “cheap is the king” and leave the fascia boards exposed. I am not quite understanding this in a climate where 60 inches a year of rain is not unusual!

Fascia trims are most easily done as an “L”, which covers the “street” side of the fascia board, as well as the bottom side (which will always be 1-1/2 inches in width). The height is the variable.

Done right, the top edge of the fascia board should be run through a table saw, to cut a bevel on the top of it matching the slope of the roof. This bevel cut allows the roof steel to be applied to the top, without crinkling or otherwise damaging the roofing when attached with screws.

The remaining height of the street side face of the fascia board can be determined by deducting the thickness of the bevel cutoff. Multiply the 1-1/2 inch width of the fascia board by the slope of the roof (e.g. 4/12). 1.5” times 4 divided by 12 = 0.5 or ½ inch. For a 2×6 fascia board at a 4/12 slope, the trim size would be 1-1/2 inch x 5 inches for an overhang without a soffit.

When soffits are added, the thickness of the soffit material needs to be added to the vertical dimension. Most typically steel or vinyl soffit panels will be no greater than ½ inch in thickness.

No rocket science involved, just an opportunity to brush up on the math skills we learned in grade school!