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Preventing Metal Building Condensation

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    Metal buildings are designed for durability and are resistant to damage from insects and harsh weather conditions, however, they can be damaged by moisture. Controlling moisture within your metal building is crucial to prolonging its lifespan. Learn more about preventing metal building condensation.

    What is Metal Building Condensation?

    Condensation occurs when the air is oversaturated with moisture, As the air cools down, it releases moisture, causing condensation to form on the surfaces of your metal building. Condensation also occurs when there is a difference in temperature between your metal building’s surface and the surrounding air. For example, when warm, moist air comes into contact with the cool metal roof or wall panel surfaces of your building.

    There are two different types of condensation to consider:

    Visible Condensation - Visible condensation forms on the surface of your metal roof and wall panels as water droplets, ice or frost. This commonly occurs on skylights, cooling ducts, cold water pipes and more.

    Concealed Condensation - Concealed condensation forms when moisture enters the interior structure of your building and collects in areas with temperatures that are below the dew point. Look for signs such as wet spots, stains or mold and mildew on your walls and ceiling.

    How Does Moisture Enter the Building Envelope?

    When moisture enters the building envelope, it often collects on girts and within cavities where it can drip into the insulation. This moisture penetrates the building through heat transfer, which is a difference in temperature between the interior and exterior.

    In most cases, the vapor barrier is to blame when moisture penetrates the building envelope. The vapor barrier is responsible for preventing air movement between the interior and exterior of your building. This could mean that no vapor barrier was installed, an incorrect vapor barrier was selected, or the correct vapor barrier was not properly installed. Moisture can also enter through a leaky roof or through the ground.

    Why is Metal Building Condensation a Problem?

    Condensation can cause serious damage to many structural components of your metal building. Moisture build-up can cause:

    • Deterioration of metal panels
    • Damage to ceiling tiles
    • Rust and corrosion
    • Breakdown of metal panel coatings over time
    • Mold and mildew formation within the insulation

     

    Tips to Prevent Metal Building Condensation

    One of the main causes of condensation is a difference in temperature between the surface of your metal building and the surrounding air. Properly insulating your building will serve as a thermal barrier, preventing the interior and exterior temperature difference from causing condensation. It’s also important to reduce humidity within the interior of your building. The interior of your metal building should have a humidity level between 30-50%. Here are some tips to prevent metal building condensation:

    • Add Continuous Insulation - Insulation helps to regulate the interior temperature of your metal building. It also prevents the interior air from coming into contact with the metal roof and wall surfaces.
    • Install DripStop - Add DripStop in areas that are prone to condensation in order to keep the moisture from damaging the structure of your metal building. This membrane traps and holds moisture until the temperature recedes below the dew point. It then releases the moisture back into the air.
    • Add A Vapor Barrier - The vapor barrier is designed to keep environmental moisture from penetrating your building envelope. This helps keep the interior of your building from becoming too moist.
    • Proper Ventilation - It’s important to properly ventilate your metal building with ridge vents, wall louvers and a roof fan. This will help remove heat and humidity from the interior of your building.
    • Check Roofing Insulation - Make sure that the roofing insulation is in full contact with the metal panels. If you have a roof leak, sagging insulation can allow moisture to build up over time.

     

    To learn more about preventing metal building condensation, find a store near you or request a quote!

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