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

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