In our continued efforts to educate pole barn owners, we will answer how to insulate an existing pole barn, what the three most common insulation materials used are, as well as the pros and cons, installation process, and cost for each.
Foam Board Pole Barn Insulation
Foam boards are rigid panels of foam insulation that can be used to insulate the exposed walls of pole barns. This material is offered in a variety of thickness, lengths, and facings to better fit the project.
Some brands of foam board insulation have a white foil vapor barrier on each side that works to keep water from leaking into the walls of the pole barn, keeping any mold from deteriorating the structure.
Pros and cons of Foam Board Pole Barn Insulation
Rigid foam board insulation is made to be water resistant, so it will help limit moisture buildup and mildew growth in the pole barn. The material can be installed either by a contractor or experienced handyman.
The downside of the material is the joints between sheets must be taped or caulked to prevent air flow into the pole barn. The foam board sheets must also be custom cut to fit the areas of the pole barn that need to be insulated. This must be done correctly or it could end up costing the homeowner more money in the end.
Foam Board Pole Barn Insulation Installation Process
The foam boards must be custom cut to properly fit the walls of the pole barn. Cutting the material can be a long process to ensure it is cut correctly.
To ensure there is no air leakage, the area between sheets must be caulked or taped to prevent air flow into the pole barn.
Foam Board Pole Barn Insulation Cost
The cost to insulate a pole barn with foam board varies depending on the size of the structure. Thickness and the brand of foam board are also factors in determining cost.
For the experienced handyman, there is also the cost of materials, including knives for cutting, tape or caulk, and other fastening materials. There would be an entire separate list of charges for a pole barn owner who decided to hire a contractor.
The material is a traditional form of insulation used in pole barns because it is inexpensive, lightweight, and can be installed as a DIY project or by an experienced contractor.
Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Pole Barn Insulation
Fiberglass insulation is inexpensive when it comes to insulating pole barns compared to other materials.
While the material can slow the transfer of hot and cold air by trapping some of it, fiberglass does not create an air barrier.
Fiberglass does little to reinforce the structure of the pole barn, according to The Pole Barn Company. It also does not stop moisture from getting into the structure, thus promoting the growth of mold and mildew.
Fiberglass Pole Barn Insulation Installation Process
The fiberglass material must be cut to perfectly fit the wall cavities and ceiling of the pole barn.
When installing fiberglass, the pole barn owner should wear protective gear including long-sleeved shirts, pants, gloves, goggles, and masks. The particulates in the fiberglass that come into contact with skin can cause rashes, irritation, and itching. If the material is inhaled, it can cause coughing, nosebleeds, and other respiratory issues.
Another factor is if the owner plans to insulate the pole barn themselves or hire an experienced contractor. If the owner plans to make it a DIY project, then there is also the cost of materials that need to be factored in. Also, if the insulation isn’t cut correctly the first time, the owner may have to spend extra money to buy more material.
Spray Foam Pole Barn Insulation
Spray foam insulation is an insulation and air barrier that will seal the pole barn walls and ceiling against air movement.
When insulating a pole barn either closed cell or open cell spray foam can be used. In the majority of cases closed cell spray foam is used on walls that will be left exposed and open cell spray foam will be used on the ceiling.
Pros and Cons of Spray Foam Pole Barn Insulation
Closed cell spray foam is a much more durable insulation material for exposed pole barn walls. Spray foam also creates an air seal that will help to make the structure weather conditioned while having the ability to regulate the temperature and humidity levels.
Spray foam insulation would have to be installed by a contractor as it is too complex a job in the pole barn. The material also is more expensive compared to the other most commonly used options.
Spray Foam Pole Barn Insulation Installation Process
Any items inside the pole barn must be moved to the center of the structure and away from the walls before the installation.
Once crews ensure everything has been moved accordingly, they will then tape plastic over any windows or doors.
Next the crews will suit up and begin spray foam on the walls and ceiling.
Closed cell spray foam tends to be a more expensive material when compared to open cell, so that is something to consider when planning for your project.
Choosing the Best Pole Barn Insulation
It’s time now to decide which insulation material will be the best fit for your pole barn insulation needs. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of spray foam insulation, check out our learning center.
If you’ve made your decision and would like to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at 866-900-3626, or fill out the form on our website.
Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from the The Society of Professional Journalists - Detroit Chapter and the Michigan Press Association.
As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation.
When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.