View Full Version : Barn Insulation question

Jul. 21, 2010, 08:17 PM
I'm having a barn buillt and want to install R-11 polyiso insulation in the entire barn. Are there any health problems associated with it? Are there any negatives associated with it. The walls will be covered, but for the ceiling I plan to have the insulation between the trusses and the metal and the insulation would not be covered on the inside. Is this OK in a horse barn and tack room/shop? Or does the polyiso insulating need to be covered on the inside. Since the roof will go on either tomorrow or Monday, a quick reply would be helpful.

Jul. 21, 2010, 08:40 PM
If you are talking about isolene (sp) spay foam insulation which is water based and has no "out gassing" I see no reason to be worried. I have used in in several houses and have found it to out perform ANY other insulation I have used. R-11 is pretty thin and you may not get much bang for buck. Not sure why you would want to insulate a barn anyway unless you are in an area where it is very, very cold for a long time. Horse have no problem with the cold and on very cold and windy days blankets are far cheaper. Now heat is a different story. My owners never ask about how their horse is during a heat wave. But they sure are worried when it seem very cold outside to them.

Jul. 21, 2010, 11:06 PM
I'm talking about a rigid board called polyiso. It's two inches thick. We were going to insulate the roof anyway, but replaced the roll insulation with this and added the walls. (It has a lot of doors so it won't get too hot - and part of it is a run in - my horses aren't stalled unless there is a lot of snow on the ground or it is going to be below 5 degrees roughly). Oh and the insulation is to keep the heat out and keep the cold out - both. I insulated my small indoor with an r-6 and it was wonderful in winter and summer and made such a difference in both seasons - the insulation made a lot of difference. If this stuff is healthy, I'm going to add additional insulation to the indoor too - but there could be covered.

Jul. 21, 2010, 11:29 PM
coyoteco - I'd like to hear more about your insulation. was your r-6 rigid foam, too? I think it's really smart especially in an indoor. Did it add a lot to the cost? I think some of those foam insulations require something to cover them to keep it from degrading if light hits them.

Jul. 21, 2010, 11:50 PM
coyoteco - I'd like to hear more about your insulation. was your r-6 rigid foam, too? I think it's really smart especially in an indoor. Did it add a lot to the cost? I think some of those foam insulations require something to cover them to keep it from degrading if light hits them.

The r-6 is all over the indoor - the ceiling and the walls. It is the kind that comes in a roll. The indoor was expensive for its size and I don't know how much of that was the insulation. This addition is cheap for its size and we were originally going to have the same r-6 roll insulation on the ceiling and it would have been $2500 for about 3600 square feet. I happened on this rigid board insulation and changed to it for the barn. (The rigid board retails for $26.00 per 4 x8 panel when purchased new at Home Depot) I'll have to check on the degradation that can occur with the light in the indoor. I has a lot of natural sunlight and I didn't know it could possibly degrade that insulation.

The r-6 in the indoor has been reallly great - no condensation (though we do have a ridge vent), much quieter in rain and hail, much cooler in summer (though the metal has some high-reflectivity rating) and much warmer than outside in winter.

There are tons of good deals in insulation on Craigs List. So, if you want to insulate a building you may check there to see if your cost can be cut substantially.

Jul. 22, 2010, 08:24 AM
I would still cover it on the roof interior. Mice, birds and insects love picking, chewing and digging in that kind of stuff. :no:
However you can cover it easily and inexpensively with a few rolls of metal window screening. About $6 per roll at Home Depot and you can order it narrow (to fit beam width) and then just roll it out and staple gun it over the rigid insulation. Takes no time and little effort and keeps the critters from making a mess of it over time. :yes:

Jul. 22, 2010, 10:58 AM
MistyBlue, thanks for the suggestion. That is a good idea and I will talk to the builder today.

Jul. 22, 2010, 06:14 PM
Now I know what you are talking about. It has several names depending on maker and if it is faced or not, (foil or plastic). Foil side up will reflect more radiant heat, plastic acts as a vapor barrier which you would not want in a barn. At 81 cents a square foot plus installation can be a bit pricy.
I still feel Isolene (sp?) spray foam is the best bang for the buck. Outstanding performance. The last project I used it on a few years ago I believe I paid around $1 per sq ft. installed for around an R-25+. Though you may not have a contractor in your area. A Google search will tell you. As far as light degradation you should be all right being that it is not direct sun light I assume. Easy enough to check with the manufacture. MistyBlue is right about mice, birds and insects. I built a small cabin in Colorado and used it in the roof between the metal roof and the roof deck. Not long after I finished it I found what looked to be saw dust on the floor. After closer inspection it turned out that carpenter ants had moved in and I had an ant farm in my ceiling.

Jul. 22, 2010, 08:57 PM
Coyoteco, that's how I'm putting my roof insulation up. I have the walls done and closed in with plywood but haven't done the interior roof yet. I suck on ladders...very clumsy and not a fan of heights. So far haven't braved trying it because I have visions of me splatting on the barn floor, LOL!
But I didn't want to try to nail up sheets of plywood to cover it and didn't want plastic because that just collects condensation and also doesn't stop birds or mice from getting into it. So I bought rolls of the screen. Keeps stuff out, cheap and easy to get up. Just make sure it's not that fabric window screen stuff they make now.

Gumtree...yikes, carpenter ants? That had to be a fun removal.

Jul. 22, 2010, 10:00 PM
What kind of screen are you using and about how much does it cost?
I have about 3600 of ceiling area and then there is the getting the guy to add it as he puts up the other.

Jul. 22, 2010, 10:31 PM
The packages just say Window Screening. It comes in a roll and was $6.
This is the type my local Home Depot had:
But it also comes in 36" x 25' lengths for $19.99 per roll. For your size ceiling that would cost about $960 I think. (math isn't my forte, LOL) So not overly cheap for that size ceiling, but not ridiculous either.
My barn is only 24x40 a-line roof so not that big.

Jul. 22, 2010, 11:40 PM
It looks like you math skills are fine:) Thanks for that information. One problem I see is that the rafters are on two foot centers so the three feet is a little awkward. The extra 1000 sounds like a lot, too. It does sound like a good idea, and it will be hard to do later......decisions, decisons.

Jul. 23, 2010, 06:33 AM
They had a 48" x 25' but I don't remember what it cost. It was more, so that would add to the extra cost.

The "extras" is how we all end up going way over budget. ;) I said the same thing a bunch of times when we were first building our barn..."It's more money, but if we try to do it later it'll be a PITA." *sigh*

Jul. 24, 2010, 08:53 AM
Okay MB, try stilts for ceiling work. ;)