It is extremely important to take all safety measures when installing pole building insulation. Familiarize yourself with fiberglass safety and with height safety procedures. It is recommended that you educate yourself with industry safety programs. OSHA has established guidelines for reducing workplace hazards and for personal safety.
When preparing to install wall insulation in a pole building, it is important to know the spacing of your posts. Most commonly posts in pole building construction are 8′ on center with 7 ½’ between posts. The widest a fiberglass insulation blanket comes 6′ wide. To tightly fit the insulation between posts, two blankets are used in the space. In the case of posts 8′ OC, 4′ and 3.5′ wide blankets are installed to fit tight between the posts. A tab on each side is wrapped around the post and nailed or stapled into place. A taped tab in the center of the two blankets seams them together. This method gives the wall a continuous vapor barrier. The gap between the post and exterior wall can be filled with trimmings. For a finished look plastic washers can be nailed to the walls.
Tip: To avoid a wrinkle finish to your walls it is best to install all of your blankets in the same direction. Typically they are placed starting at the top of the wall going down towards the floor. If some are done in reverse, an unattractive wrinkled look may result.
Cut an X in the center of openings (windows, walk doors, electrical outlets) and peel back the fiberglass off of the facing. This will leave you with enough facing to wrap and trim the opening. This method gives a clean finish.
Deciding whether you want the trusses exposed or not will help you determine the method used for installing your roof insulation. You can leave the trusses exposed and follow the roof pitch, or you can create a lower ceiling and insulate at the truss line.
Installed to the Trusses
Often times pole building owners opt to create a lower ceiling and insulate at the truss height. This option is recommended when the building is heated or cooled and energy savings are a factor. Steel banding is installed every 30″ on center, perpendicular to the trusses. The bands can either be installed to the underside of the trusses, or to the top. Installing the banding to the top allows a ceiling to be created, but leaves the bottom of the trusses exposed. Once the bands are installed the fiberglass blankets are installed over the top of the banding. The blankets are pre cut to fit in between the trusses, making it important to accurately measure the distance between your trusses.
Tip: Make sure to ventilate the airspace above the fiberglass insulation. This is easiest done be adding an attic vent on each end wall. This will help in the prevention of condensation.
Installed to Follow the Roof Pitch
Insulating to follow the roof pitch is optimal when the building owner would like to leave the ceiling open, exposing the the wooden trusses and giving the building an open feel. It is important to determine whether the purlins were installed flat or on edge and to measure the depth available. This will determine the insulation thickness to be installed.
Purlins Installed to the Flat Side
When purlins are installed flat against the roof panel, there is not enough depth to run the insulation blankets parallel with the purlins, therefore, they must be run to follow the truss chord. The distance between the chords is measured along with the chord depth. Blankets are cut to fit exact in each space. The blankets are then held up with steel banding screwed every 30″ on center. If the space between the trusses is greater than 6′, two blankets are fit into each space and seamed together with a taped tab.
Purlins Installed on Edge
When the purlins are installed on edge, fiberglass blankets are installed in the direction of and parallel to the purlins. Fiberglass blankets are cut to fit in between the purlins. The purlin depth and the distance between the purlins first need to be measured. The blankets are run between the purlins and secured with banding, nails and finishing washers, or staples.