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!

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 in lieu 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, 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 back 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.

Please note, Factory Steel Overstock’s reflective insulation is not Bubble Wrap, also called a single or double bubble, which has a core made of air. Our insulation center is made of closed-cell polyethylene foam; therefore, has a much higher R-value of 15.3 to R-22 when installed with an air cap.

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 3 to 5 weeks vs. reflective 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 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.


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
  • 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.  

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

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 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 insulation sag 1 to 3 inches. Then seal at seam according.
  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 radiant barrier.

  • The summer heat (sun’s ray) 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 that occurs when you take a bottle of cold beer or soda out of the refrigerator on summer day.  Condensation.  Needless to say, when there is 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 its 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 because it is very expensive and not remotely as effective as reflective insulation regarding radiant heat transfer. The reason our reflective insulation it is better than double bubble insulation is because 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 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 a price savings!

3 easy steps to buy below market rates.

1. Review 1 or more competitor quotes to confirm Factory Steel Overstock savings.

2. Review Building or Insulation PRICES.

3. If you are ready – to – buy NOW, fill out a quote form below!