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Insulating barn

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  • Insulating barn

    We just bought our farm (YAAY!!) and it has a 4 stall metal pole barn. It was previously insulated but the insulation has since been pulled out. Any recommendations....standard fiberglass, compressed, spray insulation? I’m looking for temperature regulation as well as noise reduction.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I am in the Midwest, land of the Polar Vortex
    I have a 36X36 metal pole barn with 2 12X12 & 1 10X10 stalls along the Eastward wall (less wind).
    Only the roof is insulated, with foam board.
    Stalls are open to weather 24/7/365.
    Barn remains cooler in Summer & warmer in Winter. No dripping condensation in the stalls.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


    • #3
      Originally posted by JumasMom View Post
      We just bought our farm (YAAY!!) and it has a 4 stall metal pole barn. It was previously insulated but the insulation has since been pulled out. Any recommendations....standard fiberglass, compressed, spray insulation? I’m looking for temperature regulation as well as noise reduction.

      Thanks in advance!
      I think it depends on your goals and your usage plans. Like 2DogsFarm, will the barn be open to the great outdoors 24/7? If so, I'm not sure insulation will do a whole lot for you. We have an 8-stall barn. When it is full, and closed up overnight, it never drops below freezing even in sub zero weather. Gotta love those little equine furnaces. We have a closed and full hay loft above but no insulation in the walls.


      • #4
        Our 40x120 stable has insulation in the roof...don't know what it's called, but white on the barn side and silver on the roof side with pressed in air pockets...great in hot or cold condensation and I'd never have another barn without it!!
        Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


        • #5
          I did not insulate the roof on our main barn and I'm sorry I didn't. The condensation is annoying, not hazardous, but it IS annoying.

          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


          • #6
            In construction, the gold standard today for insulation is spray on types of insulation.
            There are several kinds of those, for commercial structures closed cell is preferred and it can be painted over.
            They can add products to it that deter insects.

            I would check with a reputable company that sprays insulation and see what they say.
            Up front that seems more expensive, but considering it does more and is neater and more versatile and takes much less to spray than adding any other insulation, the cost doesn't seem so high after all.

            In barns, some only spray the roof and say it can make an important difference in how cool it is under there in the summers, compared with what they had before.
            One possible problem, if you have a leak, it will be harder to find where it comes from.

            We used spray insulation in our metal well house and it has worked even better than the old concrete block, fiberglass batten traditionally insulated one does.
            Our tack/bath/feed room and the attic storage space above them are also spray insulated and takes very little to keep temperature controlled.
            I think that spray insulation seems to be a better mouse trap after all.


            • #7
              I totally agree with Bluey. We have a 200 + year old bank barn and some of the old stone at the bottom 3ft of the wall was getting some gaps in them. We had a company in to spray foam the walls (my husband used 2 x 4" to frame the walls first and built out the windows), and they sprayed everything up to the ceiling.

              We also spray foamed the floor and walls of our tack room and it stays nice and warm in there as well. I do have a heater in there as we store all of our saddles/bridles and harness so I dont want the temperature to go up and down and get moldy tack. So far so good!

              We did the barn a couple of years ago and we can easily get -40C for a week or so at a time and we have never had frozen water buckets since we've spray foamed it. We only have 4 ponies in there but they keep it above freezing and the spray foam was the best idea!

              We did not have to do our celing as the loft above holds hundreds of bales of hay and insulates it really well.


              • #8
                How does the sprayed-in stuff handle birds?
                If I ever won a lottery I may want to replace the foam board stuff.

                I can tell you, from my experience, the foam board insulation is prone to bird damage wherever they decide to come in contact. Not widespread, but at key (for birds) entry points.
                I have had to put up hardware cloth screening in corners of the barn roof where birds decided to nest & pecked out the insulation.
                Even closing the barn off to the outdoors would only minimize this, as they find ways to come in anyhow.
                I really don't mind - even welcome - swallows nesting in the eaves & rafters, but the $#@! starlings
                Oh: the "Bird Screening" in my ridge vent is a joke. It is now Starling City up there.
                *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                • #9
                  I don't know how it would hold up to birds as I dont get any in my barn.

                  But spray foam is super tough and I don't think they would be able to do any damage to it. Our foam is all covered with plywood in the stalls and tounge and groove for the outside walls as the spray foam itself is not very pretty. It gets left jagged and uneven...There would be no way a bird could get to it.


                  • #10
                    Several business have it here, one a garage.
                    Theirs is the closed cell foam type and they had it painted over with a paint they can power wash and has stripes with their colors along it, nice looking.

                    They say it is bird safe, unlike the old wire caged insulation they had before.
                    We used that insulation after we talked to them.

                    If it was not so expensive, I would have the now old attic blown-in insulation taken out and use spray on the ceiling itself, that is what they are using today in new buildings.
                    Would save some heating, but not enough for what doing that would cost.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks so much for your responses!! It’s a big help!