I have a strange question that has never come up before. 

I have a customer that would like vinyl batts adhered to the wall of a metal frame work shop.  The original batts where simply glued with the seams taped to hold them up to the wall.  I originally bid the job out to correct the problem with stick pins to hold the batt in place.  Due to the increased labor for stick pins to be placed he would like to know if there is an option for gluing the batt directly to the wall as it was done previously.  I have told him that I cannot guarantee the durability of this type of install already, but he would still like to know if it is an option.   The seams are already going to be taped and all surfaces are going to be cleaned before any type of install.  (Photos of the wall can be seen in the attachments)

 My question is then what type of glue would be recommended to hold the batt in place?

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Your customer's requested method has potential problems. 

1.) Adhesion to the steel siding due to temperature instability. That siding will be very cold in winter and the summer sun will make it too hot to touch. I would make sure the manufacturer of the adhesive covers the full temperature spectrum for adhesion to both steel and the vinyl.

2.) How stable are those old batts? It looks like you have essentially plastic bags filled with f/g insulation. Are they still in good shape? Has the insulation inside settled or been compromised or damaged by rodents, moisture, contact, etc.? I'm not sure you will be able to achieve an effective improvement. Your adhesive would stick to the bag, and I'm not sure that will effectively hold the insulation as well.

3.) The corrugated siding will not act as an air seal, and so you will not have an effective thermal barrier. Considering the way the siding is installed, it is likely that the J-channel and the corners do not have effective air sealing-I have seen many such applications where the foam inserts do not stay in place-they are usually about 3 ft long and lock into each other, but are often not placed well-and they have an adhesive backing that often fails. I have never seen an application where a steel building was caulked around the J-channel, corner pieces, and other trim. Probably for good reason. Plus, you can't seal the drip cap at the bottom without locking in moisture which will condense on the inside face of the steel.

I would talk to someone at the company that fabricated the metal building. If you can't tell who it is (they often have their names on a gable cap.), then call and talk to Morton Buildings, General, or whoever is prevalent in your area to see what methods they use in current projects.

It looks like your customer wants a cheap solution, this may be one to offer a best solution instead and let him go elsewhere if he doesn't like your price.

Good luck.

Thanks Bruce, all great points and I could not agree with you more as far as being willing to walk away form a job. If i do not feel comfortable standing behind my work and am wiling to guarantee the work, I will not do it.  I have given the full list of options with the job being done correctly and stand by that price. Currently however, the option that the owner if the warehouse has persisted on is for materials to be delivered and  to have his employees complete the work.  

It is not the best option by far but there is little one can do but try to educate the ignorant on how to do the job correctly, and let them use the information as they see fit.

By the way as far as the adhesive goes I made some calls, one directly to Liquid Nails.  They claim to have a product (Liquid Nails for marble and granite) that should work the best.  I can't say I recommend that until I see it but that is what the warehouse owner is planing on using.

Timothy---------I agree with you and Bruce. the adhesive will fail. We have done similar projects with this type of building and insulation. We have drilled holes in the purlins and formed a wire grid to hold the insulation in place

Ed Ballard

How can I air seal a metal building in the south to keep out humid air which is causing mold?

Will removing the metal siding and putting 2 offset, taped, or culked layers of foam board on and then put siding back work? 

How about spraying closed cell foam on outside or a sealant or covering with synthetic stucco?


The reason the metal is corrugated is so it has the ability to expand and contract.  Day, night, summer, winter.  No news to anyone there.


I cannot speak for any other RCC (Radiant Control Coating) but the one I work with.  When our coating is applied to the exterior surfaces, it stops thermal shock dead, it does not happen anymore.  Our  coating has a Solar Reflectivity (SR) level of 0.83.   TheThermal Emissivity (TE) level is 0.90.   That means that 83% of the suns heat energy is reflected away back into the atmosphere, which leavs 17% that actually enters the outer surface of our coating.  90% of that 17% is emitted back in the direction it came from. 


Do the math.  Only 1.7% gets past the surfaces of our coating and actually enters the building.  That is how we stop thertmal shock dead.


What does that mean as far as energy savings to a large metal building?  When applied to the roof and exterior walls of refrigerated commercial buildings we have dropped their total electric bills by over 50%.


Does it retain heat in the cold months?  Yes it does.  Yes, it is a VERY effective thermal heat energy barrier. It has 2 surfaces to each coat and it works to keep heat in, even when nobody wants to believe that a matertial as thin as thick coat of paint can have insulating properties at all.

We have coated boilers, steam pipes, incinerators, exhaust equipment for industrial air pollution control equipment, etc, with huge surface temperature reductions.  I personally oversaw the coating of 3 boilers and all the steam piping in a hospital in my area.  Our coating dropped the surface skin temperature fron 267 degrees F,  down to 155 degrees F, with just a thick coat of paint.     This was a 35% reduction in heat loss per the chief engineer doing the calcs.  The air temp in the boiler room was 125 degrees F and I never did figure out how he came to 35%.  That is what he put on the statement so,  oookay.


It is also an excellent sealant and moisture barrier.  It cannot get rained on in the first 72 hours.  The surface area must be asbsolutely dry when applying.  Applications this time of year, is risky and depends on the weather report. 


Sounds like your building needs this.




THE RCC CLASSROOM                                                                                                                                


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