How To Install Metal Building Insulation – Radiant Barrier [Video Transcript]

This is Ed Fritz. I’m the owner for and in this video I’m going to talk about different installation methods for installing a radiant barrier in a commercial type building. When I say commercial type building, it could be and airplane hanger, a barn, a shed, a mini storage unit, pretty much any building that’s a non-residential attic type. In fact, our original website,, covers everything you need to know about residential attic applications. In fact, is a spinoff. We’ve has so many customers over the years do commercial type buildings that we decided to do a dedicated website just for commercial type applications.

The biggest challenge is that there are so many different type buildings that can benefit from a radiant barrier that we can’t cover every type of building in detail. I’m going to cover most of the common type buildings and honestly, there’s really no right or wrong way to install it. Many steel building suppliers and manufacturers likeĀ comes with detailed installation instructions. You really might have to improvise to make it work. I apologize, but we don’t have a lot of videos or pictures from customers so if you have any questions, please send us an email or give us a call. Send us pictures of your building and we will help you with a solution for installing WareHouseFoil in your building.

Remember, this information is for non-conditioned or non-insulated buildings. These are buildings that are typically just a shell. They’re usually either metal or wood or a flat warehouse type building. There’s usually air flowing through from the doors and the windows and the shell is getting hot and absorbing radiant heat from the sun and then it’s re-radiating heat across the space and heating up everything inside the building. The main thing to remember is to just cover as much of the shell as possible. Basically if the sun is hitting one side, you want to get a piece of WareHouseFoil on the inside between you and that outer shell.

Here are some general rules to follow when installing WareHouseFoil. First, the more coverage, the better. Radiant barrier has a cumulative effect, just like if you put a tree over half the building, it’ll help. Same thing if you put radiant barrier over half the building, it’ll help too. If the sun is hitting the outside of the building you really want foil on the inside. Finally, it’s okay if you have some gaps or cracks or small openings in the foil. Just remember, the more coverage the better.

Second, it does not have to be pretty of perfect. Just get the WareHouseFoil up. The heat doesn’t care if the foil is a little crooked or wrinkled.

Finally, let the air flow. You want air to flow freely through the building. Usually air is going to come in the building through doors and windows and then exhaust through the top of the building through some type of exhaust vents.

Most buildings can be categorized into one of three types. The first are warehouse type buildings and these are usually flat roof buildings and they’re built with either concrete walls or cinder block walls. They usually have a flat roof using a purlin system to hold the roof up. Usually either a tar and gravel type roof or possibly just a bare metal roof.

The second type of building are wood frame buildings. These are buildings that are built with a wood frame and they’ve either got a metal type shell like a garage or a auto shop or they’ll have a wood type of shell typically like a barn.

Finally, the last type of building are metal frame buildings. These are buildings that are all metal framing and they usually have an all metal exterior skin.

In this video I’m going to give just a brief summary on how to install WareHouseFoil in each type of building. You’ll find complete information on how to install in the different type buildings at

For warehouse type buildings with purlins you’re generally going to run the WareHouseFoil between the purlins up and over the cross supports. Now WareHouseFoil is available both in 48″ and 60″ wide rolls. Typically purlins are on 60″ or 5′ centers, so the foil fits perfectly between the two purlins. All you have to do is bring the foil up and over the cross supports from one end of the building to the other. If you don’t have cross supports, you can create your own. It’s really easy. You can use wire or cord or packing strapping, PVC pipe, 1×2 lumber, pretty much anything just to create something to hold the foil up. It doesn’t weigh a whole lot but it’s super strong and durable. You just want to create a grid so the foil can go from one end to the other between the purlins.

Wood frame buildings are probably the easiest to install WareHouseFoil in, both in the roof and in the walls. A wood frame building usually has wood frames and either a metal skin or a wood skin, kind of like a barn. Really all you’re doing is you’re stapling the foil to that wood framing, and you can either go horizontally or vertically. You can take the measurements and decide whatever is best for you, but really all you’re looking for is you want a piece of foil inside the wood framing, so coming from the outside in, for example, you’ll have the metal, you’ll have an air space, and then you’ll have the foil. Ideally you want that air space to be vented. You want air to flow freely between the foil and the metal skin. If you have a dead air space, that’s fine. A ventilated air space is a little better.

We also have a product that’s white on one side and foil on one side, so with that product you put the foil to the outside and you’d have a nice, clean, white interior so you’re reflecting the heat before it ever even gets into the building.

Metal frame building are probably the hardest to install simply because you can’t staple the WareHouseFoil into the metal. Now if you’ve got a roof where the beams are dropped down a little bit, you can run the foil up and over the beams, basically between the beams and the roof and that works great. If you don’t have that option, you’re going to have to get a little creative to figure out a way to attach the WareHouseFoil to the metal framing.

Here are just some of the options, and we’ve had customers do all kinds of stuff to work. Probably the easiest way is to attach some type of board, either plywood or 1x2s to the metal framing and just staple it. You can use glue, you can use screws, clamps, pretty much anything to get that wood to attach to the metal and then you can staple it. We’ve also had people do what’s called the sandwich method, where they’ll take the foil, they’ll put it up on the metal and then take a strip of plywood and just screw it in and basically squeeze the foil between the wood strip and the metal.

We’ve even had customers us magnets. Get a bunch of magnets and hold it up into place, so pretty much you’ve got to get creative on a metal building, but if you send us some pictures we will be glad to offer you some suggestions on how to install WareHouseFoil.

Like I mentioned earlier, there’s really no right or wrong way to install WareHouseFoil in your commercial type building and you might have to get a little creative to make it happen. The main thing to remember is just to get a piece of WareHouseFoil between that hot building shell and the interior. Once you eliminate that radiant heat, you’ll be amazed at how much more comfortable the building feels. Now the air temperature may not drop a whole lot, but it’s the radiant heat that you’re eliminating.

It’s kind of like the difference between a car parked in the sun and car parked in the shade. Same air temperature but the car parked in the shade is a lot more comfortable, so the main thing is just to get a piece of foil up, get it done, and if you have any questions we’re always a phone call or an email away at

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