Structural Insulated Panels Help Prevent Condensation Within Metal Buildings

Jul 17, 2019

Managing the atmosphere within a metal building can be a major challenge in a number of ways, and one of the biggest challenges is preventing condensation.  Besides making the interior unpleasant to be in, condensation can wreak havoc with electrical systems, computers, critical experiments, and more.  Left unchecked, it can even lead to mold growth.  Condensation needs to be controlled, but in a building type which encourages it, this can be easier said than done.

The causes -and solutions- to condensation are many, but one thing you can do to help minimize the problem is to utilize structural insulated panels in the construction.  Among their many overall benefits, they are excellent at discouraging condensation within the rooms they surround.

The Causes of Condensation Within Metal Buildings

Fundamentally, condensation occurs when the air is saturated with more water vapor than it can hold.  This most commonly happens when warm air is suddenly cooled because warm air can hold more water than cold air.  Metal construction, therefore, encourages internal condensation because of the tendency of metal to be cold. The air right up against a metal wall is marginally cooler than the surrounding air, causing it to deposit water vapor onto the wall as condensation.

The reasons that the atmosphere can have too much water vapor are myriad, usually involving an HVAC system unable to keep the air de-humidified.  Of course, other elements such as the outside weather can have a big impact as well.  If there’s high humidity outside, there will probably be high humidity indoors as well.

One obvious solution to the problem would be to have well-insulated walls, but this can be easier said than done.  Most typical types of insulation, like fiberglass, are susceptible to damage from condensation.  The more damaged they are, the less insulation they provide.

But that’s not the case with structural insulated panels (SIPs).

Structural Insulated Panels Reduce Condensation

SIPs utilize laminated steel sandwiching a foam core which is a highly effective insulator.  These inhibit the passage of water vapor around a building, while also being far less susceptible to condensation as “bare” metal walls.  The insulation helps them maintain the same temperature as the local air, reducing the tendency of condensation to appear.

Plus, they are excellent at insulating rooms with special temperature needs.  They can contain high heat, low cold, or both – and serve as firewalls too.

Contact Structural Panels, Inc. to learn more!