Reflective Resources Guide

Pertinent information on the most popular THREE reflective insulation types.

Finally, a High R-Value Reflective Insulation that is an ALL-IN-ONE solution for HEAT, COLD, CONDENSATION, AND MORE!

The #1 Selling Insulation for Steel Buildings and Pole Barns

Over a million orders of this high R-Value Reflective Insulation have been sold. This totals more than 5 million square feet of insulation!

Many in the building industry would say the most popular insulation solution for decades, whether residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural facilities, was fiberglass insulation. 

Well, this one-size-fits-all application has quickly changed! There is a quickly growing realization that the best way to slow down conductive or convective heat transfer, one needs to look to other means than fiberglass. Based on independent government studies, it is REFLECTIVE insulation that is best suited for slowing down radiant heat as well as condensation. Radiant heat can account for as much as 93% of heat transfer. Therefore, in most cases, it makes sense to use a radiant barrier instead of foam or fiberglass. Keep in mind, our reflective insulation types are not affected by humidity. This is a very important point! If there is humidity outside, there will be humidity inside your building. Your insulation must work efficiently in these conditions.

Needless to say, every type of insulation has its justified building niche. That is why Factory Steel Overstock offers the public the two most popular insulation types: Fiberglass batt and Reflective insulation. But if you primarily want to reduce radiant heat transfer, and condensation as well as save money, reflective insulation is the way to go! Our reflective is a superior and complete vapor and radiant barrier! The reflective insulation product we offer reflects the highest amount of radiant energy flow (97%) that strikes it.  It reflects the heat inside the metal building in the winter and reflects the sun’s heat outward during the summer months.  All of this means less cost of your heating bill, as well as lower air conditioning expenses.

Difference Reflective Insulation Types:

There are four main reflective insulation products: Foil, Single Bubble, Double Bubble, and Factory Steel Overstock High R-Value (15.3, 17, and 22 when installed with an air gap) Reflective Insulation.

The Bubble and FSO’S insulations are both advantageous in giving R-value, a radiant and vapor barrier. Beyond this point, they have little in common. You see, FSO’s high R-Value insulation of polyethylene foam center keeps its shape when expose to numerous forces. This is very important! Under pressure, if insulation collapses, it loses its capacity to be an effective radiant and vapor barrier. With a 6-psi pressure, FSO’s high R-Value insulation only collapses 6%. Keep in mind, when the pressure is relieved, it fully forms back to its initial shape! This is not the case with Single or Dubble Bubble insulation.

Single or Dubble Bubble insulation is composed of air bubbles sandwiched between metal surfaces. Dubble bubbles simply mean a second layer of bubbles; however, we have found there isn’t much difference in performance between the two. Once a bubble is punctured it naturally loses some of its shape as well as radiant and vapor protection. Remember, all bubbles can pop!

Regarding Foil insulation, do you think that a simple piece of foil is going to offer much protection? I could elaborate, but common sense is all that is needed here!

Insulation Layered (FSO’s Reflective Insulation)

Reflective reinforce foil
Polyethylene backing
Close -cell polyethylene foam center
Reflective reinforce foil

Foil Only
Double Bubble
FSO’s Radiant Insulation

Factory Steel Overstock’s Reflective Insulation is the preferred choice for Steel Buildings and Pole Barns

  • Available High R-Value – 15.3 (white facing), 17 and 22 (reinforced reflective facing)
  • It is ICC-ES Recognized
  • R-Value unaffected by outside humidity
  • It prevents 97% of radiant transfer (the primary source of heat flow)
  • Is a vapor barrier
  • Prevents condensation
  • 19 dba contact noise reduction
  • 90 Celsius (194 F) contact temperature rating
  • UV resistance
  • Center is polyethylene foam instead of air bubbles.
  • Material does not allow mold or mildew
  • Does not provide for nesting or rodents, bugs or birds
  • Easy seals around nails (no leaks)
  • 100% recyclable virgin raw materials; therefore eco -friendly. 
  • Its surface keeps it airflow
  • Lighter weight; therefore, less cumbersome installation than fiberglass batt
  • Significant price savings over fiberglass batt and spay of same R-Value standard
  • Delivery times (fiberglass average delivery is 2 to 3 weeks vs. reflective is 7 to 10 days).

Reflective R-Value 17

  • 4′ x 175′ (700′ per roll)
  • Adhesive along one side of the 175′ roll.
  • 5 mm thickness
  • Improve tear resistance
  • Flame Spread – ZERO

Insulation Layered

  • Reflective reinforced foil
  • Polyethlene foam
  • Reflective reinforced foil

It is lightweight and easy to install. The applied adhesive running down one side of each roll makes no need to order reflective tape to seal the seam.  This benefit can save up to 50% installation time. Those erecting buildings have noted its ease of installation as well as 50%-time savings.


I have been a part of two orders and am now working on my third order from Factory Steel Overstock. John Barber is always helpful throughout the entire process from start to finish.” 

– David Muniz  30′ x 50′ x 16′ w/ R-22 Reflective Insulation


Reflective R-Value 15.3 WHITE Vinyl- BACKED

  • 4′ x 175′ (700′ per roll).
  • 5 mm thickness
  • Improve tear resistance
  • Flame Spread – ZERO
  • White “attractive” facing
  • Layered: Reflective reinforced foil + Polyethlene foam + UV resistant “white” facing

Insulation Layered

  • Reflective reinforced foil
  • Polyethlene foam
  • UV resistant “white” faceing

Comparable in price to R-17 yet with the FRESH OPEN LOOK of the white vinyl backing many customers prefer in the interior of their metal building.  R-Value is slightly reduced from 17 to 15.3 in this product due to the replacement of one side of polyethylene backing and reflective reinforced foil with the ALTERNATIVE UV-resistant White Facer. 

Formal quotes will include double-sided tape for ease of installation. 

Reflective High R-Value 22

High R- Value 22 REFLECTIVE

  • 4′ X 85.3′ (341′ per roll)
  • 10 mm thickness
  • Increased R- Value
  • Added longitudinal strength
  • Improved tear resistance
  • Flame Spread – ZERO
  • Use a hot gun to melt the polyethlene foam at the edges overlapping rolls. Add mild pressure. This will create “very” tight connection!

Insulation Layered

  • Reflective reinforce foil
  • Polyethylene backing
  • Close -cell polyethylene foam center
  • Reflective reinforce foil

It is twice as thick as regular reflective insulation (10 mm) closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with .00012 inch (0.03mm) aluminum foil facing. Its advantage is its high R-value, yet it is light and very easy to install.  

Our High R-Value 22 has cuts at the edge to overlap the rolls. Overlap the rolls. Use a hot air gun to cause a welding process to occur. Simply add pressure and you will create an impermeable overlapped seal between the rolls.

Installation Procedure

Recommended Purchase – Double Sided Tape

  • Comes in rolls of 4
  • Dimensions – 1 1/2″ x 60′
  • Serves 2000 sq. ft.

3 Simple steps to install:

  1. Apply our double-sided tape on the top of the purlins.  Initially applying the tape will help secure insulation – and not allow it to blow in the wind.
  2. Roll insulation perpendicular to and over the purlins.   It would be wise to let the insulation sag 1 to 3 inches. Then seal at the seam accordingly.
  3. Attach your sheeting.

Why do I need insulation?

An insulation R-value is the measurement of a material’s ability to stop heat and cold transfer.  No matter what a metal building’s usage, insulating it will be of value.  Because of the unique nature of a steel building, it requires a vapor barrier and a radiant barrier.

  • The summer heat (sun’s rays) on a steel surface will create extreme heat temperatures inside the building.
  • In addition, the cold winter temperatures are exaggerated by the metal roof and wall sheeting making it frigid inside.  Warm temperatures coming in contact with cool metal roofs or walls create sweating (condensation).

Reflective Insulation Protects Against Condensation

Do you know what occurs when warm air contacts a cold surface? The same phenomenon occurs when you take a soda bottle out of the refrigerator on a summer day.  Condensation.  Needless to say, when there is a temperature difference between the outside of a steel building and the inside, condensation will occur on the steel sheeting. Simply stated, condensation means moisture (water vapor in the air) on the metal skin. Condensation is the #1 cause of damage to steel buildings and their contents!

“It is imperative that a steel building stay weathertight. Once moisture has entered a building, a host of immediate and long terms problems can occur, such as mold, mildew, fungus growth, white rust, and oxidation. Most of these results can also cause adverse health effects” says John Barber, president of Factory Steel Overstock. 

The primary purpose of insulation is to keep the building cool or warm when needed. Condensation eventually will dampen fiberglass insulation and directly compromise its integrity by lessening its R-vale. Therefore, in most cases, we would recommend Reflective insulation over fiberglass when an R-value of 22 or less is sufficient or the location has a humid climate.

All metal building insulation system requires some form of reflective insulation, radiant barrier, and vapor barrier. Unmistakably, you need a true vapor barrier and condensation eliminator! We believe our reflective insulation is superior to fiberglass batt in steel buildings or pole barns because its R-value is unaffected by humidity or water. In a nutshell, this means it doesn’t mildew or promote fungus growth. The reason we do not promote spray foam insulation is that it is very expensive and not remotely as effective as reflective insulation regarding radiant heat transfer. The reason our reflective insulation is better than double bubble insulation is that the heat of the metal sheeting won’t cause our polyethylene micro-bubbles to collapse. There is a reflective aluminum foil on each side of our 5mm and 10 mm closed-cell polyethylene foam center of our R-17 and R-22 insulation types. 


Temperatures can be unbearably hot and humid in the summer as well as frigid cold in winter within a steel building. Why? Well, the metal skin itself magnifies the outside heat and cold because it is the perfect conductor of it. Again, when there are temperature fluctuations from outside to inside, a steel building will sweat (condensation). So, keep your metal building perfectly cool and dry in the summer as well as warm in the winter. Best of all, do it with price savings!

The primary purpose of insulation is to keep the building cool or warm when needed. Condensation eventually will dampen fiberglass insulation and directly compromise its integrity by lessening its R-vale. Therefore, in most cases, we would recommend Reflective insulation over fiberglass when an R-value of 22 or less is sufficient or the location has a humid climate.

Average savings is 10% below market quotes of equal specification standard. Guaranteed savings is a net of $1,000 on steel buildings and $200 on insulation below market quotes.

1. Review Building or Insulation delivered estimates.

2. Ready buyers, fill out a Quote – Order Form

3. Must pay profit-fee amount AFTER (same day) quoted savings!

Wholesale Building Costs + Profit 
$0 to $100,000 | Profit $1,000

Wholesale Insulation Cost + Profit 
$0 to $25,000 | Profit $500

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