Insulating 20'X20' Corrugated Metal garage.

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Old 04-11-16, 11:08 AM
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Insulating 20'X20' Corrugated Metal garage.

During the winter months the amount of condensation that accumulates on the ceiling and walls renders my garage useless and now looking to insulate the structure.

The garage measures 20'x20' with 8' walls and from the floor to peak measures approx. 10'.

1)Considered using appropriate size corrugated panels and sandwiched insulation between the panels and walls; finding it can be expensive and not sure how effective, considering the cost??

2)Rolls of bubble wrap type of insulation, but not sure how well it would work considering the walls are corrugated?

The other issue is installing an exhaust type fan but that's a topic for another day.

Suggestions, comments appreciated!!
 
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Old 04-11-16, 01:21 PM
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In my opinion there is only one fool proof method and that is to have the inside sprayed with expanding foam insulation. Any other method will allow air circulation between the insulation and the sheet metal and THAT will allow the condensation to continue. Yes, it will be expensive.

Others may have different opinions.
 
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Old 04-11-16, 01:25 PM
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My steel hangar has a large roof vent and even with it open moisture will condense on the metal roof and make it rain inside so I'd say ventilation isn't the best solution. Sometimes ventilation can help and sometimes it actually makes things worse. Insulating the walls is probably the best option. I'd consider a sprayed foam or rigid foam so you don't have to worry about the insulation becoming water logged.
 
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Old 04-11-16, 01:36 PM
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I agree with Furd that you need something which is up tight against the metal to not allow the surface to be cool enough to allow water to condense and spray foam is the only thing coming to mind for me as well.
 
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Old 04-11-16, 01:44 PM
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Assuming your garage is built using 2x4 studs the standard way to prevent condensation in cold climates is to install insulation in the stud space and apply a poly vapor barrier on the warm side of the insulation and then cover with drywall or other fire resistant material.

Fiberglass is quite common as it is protected from condensation by the vapor barrier.
 
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Old 04-11-16, 02:00 PM
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The structure is make entirely of metal; studs, sill plates, rafters, etc.

Came across this site quite some time ago, waiting for weather to improve before taking on the task, preparing myself for sticker shock before requisting a cost estimate? Probly need to first look into item description to determine if appropriate for application?

Foam Closure For Metal Deck And Metal Roofing Panels. In Stock.

Considering removing the bathroom heat, exhaust, and light fixture, works great at first then it cycles to cold, can't imagine manufacturer would install a humidity sensor? Anyhow, rather than recycle, thought I would research putting it to use in the metal structure??

Definitely need to come up with a solution, currently it's become a fair weather structure, tried force air heaters, which work fine until 10 min's after shutting down then the condensation.

I do appreciate the input, very helpful and food for thought!!
 
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Old 04-11-16, 02:46 PM
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...tried force air heaters, ...
If you mean ventless heaters, the kind that release the products of combustion into the space being heated, these will actually worsen the condensation problem as the combustion itself releases vast quantities of moisture into the air.
 
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Old 04-11-16, 02:54 PM
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Yes it's a propane forced air heater, certainly get the area nice and toasty in a matter of a few minutes but minimal effect on the condensation; if I can solve the insulation issue then turn my focus on suitable heating system?
 
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Old 04-11-16, 10:08 PM
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Is it a "propane forced air heater" with a chimney that vents products of combustion outside or does it discharge the flue gasses indoors?

If you have no chimney that could be a big part of your problem.
 
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Old 04-12-16, 09:21 AM
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The heater is not vented; however, the issue for me is how to minimizing the amount of condensation during the winter months, whether working in the garage or not, currently tends to be used to store equipment which is not good. I should have taken this into consideration before installing an all metal structure but at the time it offered an alternative I could afford.

Posted the question in the hopes other member's have had similar experience and came up with a reasonably cost effective solution.

Again, appreciate the input!!
 
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Old 04-12-16, 11:36 AM
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The issue is not having a metal building, that only makes the problem worse. The real problem is when the structure cools to a temperature equal to or below the "dew point" of the air. That is when the naturally occurring moisture in the air will condense forming liquid water. It happens in wooden buildings as well, just not as obvious because the wood generally offers some slight amount of insulative properties between the outside temperature and the inside temperature.

The unvented heaters compound the problem by dumping tons of moisture into the air inside the building. The lack of insulation ensures the metal will be closer to the outside temperature and therefore encourage the moisture to condense. Honestly, you would be better off with NO heat than using the unvented heaters.

I'm not sure of the chemistry of burning propane but with natural gas you make two molecules of water for every molecule of gas (mostly methane) burnt. I suspect it is higher with propane so you can see how much moisture you are dumping into the building.

I think the first thing to do is replace the unvented heaters with properly vented models. That alone will do wonders. Although expensive, keeping the heat on rather than allowing the interior to drop in temperature to near outside temperature will also mitigate the problem, the down side being the cost of fuel to keep it warm when so much heat escapes through the metal structure. Insulating and air sealing is the real answer along with the vented heaters. You might also consider infrared heaters as they will warm the objects (including people) in the building rather than trying to heat the air. This can often make the building more comfortable while at a lower air temperature because the objects will radiate heat TO your body rather than the other way around.

Proper insulation will be expensive but if you think of it as fuel you only buy once the benefit is a little easier to understand.
 
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Old 04-12-16, 01:36 PM
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With summer coming-on in the next few weeks I can hopefully come to a decision on what would be the reasonable solution to the matter. Been researching on heating options, so far, my preference would be 'infrared'; oh yea$$$

As for insulation, a product I just began to read up on is 'Prodek', appears there are a number of articles challenging the manufacturer's claims than not; having said that, the manufacture's 2-fer offer certainly is enticing? Aware that I can not expect a totally sealed structure, if I can get to around 75% plus; in addition to the heater, may come close to a working environment??

Foil Faced Bubble Wrap

Thank you for the information and suggestions!!
 
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