Insulate The Building

Ok, we’re done with the floor – let’s talk about ceilings and walls. Our facility is in Texas, and Texas is known for heat. Really, indoor fields are going to do well when you have too much heat – and / or too much cold. Either way, people want to get out of the elements. If you are going to have a comfortable playing environment for your customers, you will need a lot of heat or air conditioning. But with energy costs being what they are – you really want to have a well insulated building.

I have used the spray foam insulation in my barn, my scuba shop, my house, and the paintball shop. It’s a bit more expensive than other kinds of insulation – but it works great!

There are two different kinds of blown foam insulation, open cell, and closed cell. Closed cell is much harder when it’s done – much like great stuff foam. It is also water proof. And it goes on a bit thinner. But it costs more. For our building, we used the “fluffier” open cell for the ceilings and walls, except for the bottom foot or so of the walls. There we had them spray the closed foam waterproof stuff. That makes for a better stop for moisture, insects, etc.
One of the best ways to insulate an indoor paintball field is with blown foam insulation
To do our whole building, which is 26,000 square feet, it cost right at $50,000. If however, I would have skipped it, I would have had to add more air conditioning, and would run much higher electric bills. So in the long run – this saves you money.

The foam blows on a light yellow color – but after time, especially when light hits it – it will turn a dark yellow-brown color. That’s why we also decided to paint all the foam on the ceilings. The ceilings were not going to be covered with anything except net, and since lighting is important – the whiter the ceiling, the better light you will get. We painted the ceilings by buying one of the good commercial spray units from Home Depot (about $750.00) and then we bought 5 gallon buckets of latex white paint.

We loaded all this onto a motorized scissors jack we rented for a few months, and then you can scissor up to the ceiling, and have one person spraying while the other person runs the jack up and down the field. Since the polyurethane foam insulation is lumpy and 3 dimensional, you will probably have to hit it from several directions to get good coverage. I would highly suggest wearing full hooded painters suits and good respirators as you will be having a lot of over spray.

We are cooling our building even in the heat of Texas Summers with 4 – 10 ton AC units, and keeping the temp in the 70’s, even with a high heat load from customers, and 100 degree outside temps. No way we would be able to do that without the foam insulation we put on.

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