Other Accessory Options
While steel buildings are very durable, they need to be augmented with proper insulation. Not only does this reduce energy consumption, it also enables you to control outside conduction of temperature. You can even get tax benefits for adding insulation in some areas. Generally speaking, the more insulation, the higher the R-value or resistance to heat loss. But the insulation must properly fit in the space for which it is designed in order to provide the stated insulating value. The various types of insulation methods include:
Loose-fill (also known as “blown-in”) With this method, special equipment is used to blow loose fiber or fiber pellets into the building cavities. While this is somewhat expensive, it reduces air leakage very effectively and it can also act as a sound barrier.
Batt and blanket This is the most common and inexpensive method of insulation. It is used for walls, ceilings, and floors. Batts are precut panels of fiberglass or mineral fiber insulation, four or eight feet in length, designed to fit in standard-height walls. Blanket insulation uses the same material but comes in rolls which are field-cut to needed lengths.
Spray foam While this method is more expensive than batt and blanket insulation, spray foam provides airtight insulation and is best suited for filling gaps of shaped structures. With this method, a liquid polymer mixture is sprayed in the walls, ceilings, and floors. It expands and turns into solid cellular plastic.
Rigid board Rigid board insulation uses panels of stiff fiberglass, polyurethane, or polystyrene precut to various thicknesses. This method is especially well-suited for flat roofs and vaulted ceilings.
With all types of insulation, ensure that a proper vapor barrier is installed adjacent to heated space, including walls, ceilings, and floors. This will prevent condensation. Some types of insulation come with their own vapor barrier. Most batt insulation, for instance, has a Kraft paper vapor barrier attached to the batts.
Though not structural in nature, trim nevertheless adds fit and finish to a building, lining the edges of the roof, walls, and framed openings. Trim can include window and door molding, corner trim, and rafter fascia, as well as a wide variety of other finish pieces that may be unique to your structure. In addition to contributing to the overall aesthetics of the building, trim also serves the practical purpose of sealing it off from wind and rain.
Steel building manufacturers offer a variety of colors to choose from for their wall panels, roof panels, and the trim that lines the edges of their buildings. Some also produce panels with acrylic stucco or simulated concrete finishes. These not only look fantastic; they can also save you a significant amount of money and application time. You can, of course, paint and finish your steel building yourself, although manufacturers do warrantee their coatings, surfaces, and paint finishes as an added incentive for you to purchase components that have been pre-finished. Paint and finish warranties can range from years to decades to as much as a half-century, depending on the finish grade. Unpainted panels coated with Galvalume (a zinc-aluminum coating), are typically warranteed for 20 years.
Professional finishes like wood paneling, stucco, brickwork, wainscoting, or masonry can be applied to make your steel building look like a regular wood-framed structure, if that is your desire. With a professionally- applied high-quality finish, the average person will be unable to tell that the building is pre-engineered steel; they may only notice that it will feels particularly sturdy and sound. If you do decide to add your own after-market finish, general contractors can be hired to do this for you as well.
Gutters & Downspouts
Gutters keep the sides of a building clean and allow you control over the path of roof runoff so as to prevent the pooling of water around doors, parking areas, etc. Like trim, gutters and downspouts contribute to the overall aesthetics of a building. They are often used as the sole source of ventilation in very small steel buildings. Gutters and downspouts cannot be used with the Arch style of building.
This brings us to the end of our discussion of the various aspects of planning, purchasing, and owning a Pre-engineered Steel Building. We hope we have given you a fair estimation of the benefits of choosing a PEB over other standard forms of construction. We further hope that we have educated you to a sufficient degree to be able to make an informed decision regarding this type of product.