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Barn Aisle Finish Options?

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  • Barn Aisle Finish Options?

    I am looking for opinions as to what I could do to refinish the floors in the barn I manage.

    Currently, floor is dirt, but under the dirt it appears that the barn was built on a few really big rocks. It is a converted older barn, from end to end it has quite a slant. The stalls are built mostly level with the aisle, so anything super thick is not an option.

    The dirt is a pain in that I have to put shavings down to replenish it, as when I rake to make it tidy it eventually disappears. I do not care if the aisle is level, so that isn't a concern.

    So, asphalt? Stone? Suggestions?

  • #2
    Rubber matting may be an option for you if the slope isn't too severe. The thick, heavy sheets seem to stay in place pretty well. I find it easy to sweep/keep clean and it's fairly none slip.
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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Kooki, I had thought of that. But the number of mats we would need is huge. Our main aisle is at least 8 foot by 100, and we have 5 side aisles roughly 8 by 25 or so. We just installed mats in all of the stalls. Plus, with the floor being so sloped, I am not sure if I would be asking for trouble.

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      • #4
        Those are quite narrow aisles. Can you find any second-hand industrial conveyer belts for sale? Somethmes they can be found. You wouldn't necessarily need the full 8'----------6' or even 4' would suffice.

        Are there drains?
        Sakura Hill Farm
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        • #5
          I bought these interlocking mats with a reverse diamondplate pattern stamped on them. Great traction and I did a 10 x 60 foot aisle for about 1200 bucks. It was well worth the investment!! The interlocking thing keeps them from shifting! Liked the matting so much, I replaced the mats in my trailer with them!
          \"I can\'t drive....55!!!!\" Sammy Hagar

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          • #6
            So, I am currently working as a working student here in virginia, and i have helped deliver feed at many of the big name TB farms around here. I have seen asphalt used alot. It looks quite nice and holds up well (because I am SURE you won't be driving semitrucks over it lol. I have also seen an aisle made of cobblestone, which, to the eye, is very aesthetic. However, when considering sweeping, its a pain-in-the-a.$$. And it is also uneven. If it were my bard, I would say cement it. It's cheaper than asphalt (I think? Correct me if I am wrong), holds up quite well, and its SO easy to clean. But this is JMO
            I see distances. Most times more than one. Sometimes I pick the right one, sometimes I pick the wrong one, and sometimes I close my eyes and let Jesus take the wheel.

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            • #7
              I know you said rubber mats weren't an option due to cost but consider running the mats initially down the center and then cut a mat in 1/2 coming from the stall door to the mats down the center. I did this initially and gradually just kept adding mats. In a couple of yrs I had the aisle matted. My aisle is 12' wide so it worked out well. I only matted the area in front of the stalls, tack and feed room, which amounted to ~55'. Under the mats I re-leveled the aisle with stone dust.

              Even putting down stone dust should help. Good luck.
              Sue

              I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DeucesWild11 View Post
                So, I am currently working as a working student here in virginia, and i have helped deliver feed at many of the big name TB farms around here. I have seen asphalt used alot. It looks quite nice and holds up well (because I am SURE you won't be driving semitrucks over it lol. I have also seen an aisle made of cobblestone, which, to the eye, is very aesthetic. However, when considering sweeping, its a pain-in-the-a.$$. And it is also uneven. If it were my bard, I would say cement it. It's cheaper than asphalt (I think? Correct me if I am wrong), holds up quite well, and its SO easy to clean. But this is JMO
                +1 for asphalt. It's durable, easy to clean, not excessivly slick, and reasonable to install. We've had it for six years. The floor was dirt before that. I'm sorry I didn't do it when we built the barn.

                If you have the money, concrete would be another alternative. I understand doing concrete on a slope is a "art" and needs to be done right or you'll have real issues. Another advantage of concrete is that you can control the surface texture easily in the finishing process. As noted, the big downside is cost.

                Cobble stones are cute, but are tough to keep clean. You'll use a lot of water and wear out pressure washers on a regular basis.

                Rubber "pavers" as seen in Keenland and places like that are real money.

                Sometimes you'll get the "asphalt is a fire hazard" argument. IMO that's not a real consideration. I once looked up the temperature at which asphalt will start to burn. It's several hundred degrees Farenheit above the ignition point of wood. So if you're asphalt catches fire it's becuase the wooden structure above it burned to raise the asphalt's temperature. Any horses in the barn during this process are long since dead.

                G.
                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Tell me more about this asphalt. Cost? Thickness? Prep?

                  Where would one go to locate conveyor belts?!

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                  • #10
                    It's been a while, but ours is 4" deep and ran about $3000 six years ago. It was done by a local paving company, using the same equipment used to pave a driveway.

                    G.

                    P.S. The barn aisle is 14' x 136'.
                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                    • #11
                      Doesn't asphalt get soft in the heat? I remember when it got really hot, we could put make handprints or foot prints.
                      What do those of you who live in hot areas experience with asphalt?
                      save lives...spay/neuter/geld

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Guilherme, was 4" what was recommended, or is that what you wanted?

                        I am not super worried about the heat, since we are in NE PA.

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                        • #13
                          If you have the space, consider putting gravel down over the big rocks (you don't say how big - bigger than a softball?) and crusher-run - here it's called stonedust - on top of that. You'll end up adding about 5-6" to the floor - 2-3" of gravel and 2" cursherun on top of that.
                          when first laid the crusher-run feels like sand, but it compacts quickly but still percolates.

                          My aisle is only12X36 so I can't quote cost, but once the crusher-run packs down you can pretty much treat it like concrete - sweep and even hose it clean.

                          It drains great and my horses still leave very shallow imprints in it after 5 years, so I believe it has some cushion for them.

                          The only problem I have with it is tunneling in the stalls (I used the same base there too) that leads to a small shallow depression in front of each stall.
                          I just shovel fresh stone into those, but it's looking like a never-ending battle.
                          *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

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            I mean BIG rocks - entire width of aisleway. I could get modified stone to level the worst of the dips and do stonedust over that....Do you need to compact it?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fivehorses View Post
                              Doesn't asphalt get soft in the heat? I remember when it got really hot, we could put make handprints or foot prints.
                              What do those of you who live in hot areas experience with asphalt?
                              No. It's under the cover of the barn roof and does not get direct Sun. It's also the same quality we use in main drive and it handles semis all through the year without difficulty. We often get 90+ degree days during the Dog Days of Summer (like now) and have never had any "softening issues."

                              As to depth, it was determined in part by the prior configuration of the barn aisle and the design of the stall fronts. It has proven adequate to handle any traffic we've run through (including 7500 pound dually pickups and a John Deer JD6210 tractor.

                              G.
                              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Hm. Well the only things that go down our aisle are horses, people and the occasional quad....

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Personal Champ View Post
                                  I mean BIG rocks - entire width of aisleway. I could get modified stone to level the worst of the dips and do stonedust over that....Do you need to compact it?
                                  YIKES!
                                  Those are some BF Rocks!
                                  Are they remanants of some earlier concrete foundation?

                                  The stonedust can be compacted but I chose not to.
                                  It has settled nicely level in my aisle and behind the stalls where I put it for ease of cleaning.
                                  Dang horses never wipe their feet going in & out....
                                  *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

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                                  • #18
                                    We did our concrete in sections. DH used pressure treated 2x4's to create a roughly 4x6 section, put in the base, and then laid the concrete. Worked out great, because it allowed us to still move horses around while the work was being done, and it also was a whole lot easier to do 2-3 sections at a time! Concrete is 4" thick.

                                    Since you have a slope, doing it in levels may work for you. Our slope was very slight, so we just sloped it gradually from one end of the other.

                                    But I now have my entire aisle and storage area, plus the porch overhang and a12x36 foot section in front of that all in concrete. The section in front of the overhang is a great wash area.
                                    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                                    Witherun Farm
                                    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Yeah, I think the rocks are some sort of flooring remenant from years gone by.... At least I hope so, lol.

                                      Interesting about doing the concrete in sections...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I like the idea of asphalt. We have concrete and the stress crack showed up right away plus you have to put a liquid on it to cure it or it will just be dusty all the time. If asphalt is cheaper, go that way.

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