The Best Way to Insulate a Pole Barn

Increasing durability, sustainability and overall comfortability should be a top priority in any building envelope. Pole barns are no different and can achieve the same insulation performance as an everyday home. By insulating a non-insulated building the use is completely changed. A proper insulation system can transform an old farm building into a high-quality, multi-functioning shop environment.

Some things to consider when insulating a pole barn include: air-ventilation; condensation issues and the specific thicknesses and types of roofing and wall insulation materials. There most common options for insulation are fiberglass blankets and spray foam. The spray foam is great for sealing air leaks but is more costly and unattractive, making fiberglass blankets the best option on the market today.

Fiberglass Insulation Benefits:

  • High R-Value
    • Fiberglass blankets have varying thicknesses
  • Energy Savings
    • Provides barrier against extreme temperatures, resulting in less use of the heating/cooling system
  • Attractive & Bright Polypropylene Exterior
    • Fiberglass blankets are finished elegantly for a clean, crisp look
  • Controls Moisture & Condensation
    • A healthier, dryer environment is achieved, prolonging the buildings lifespan
  • Easy Install
    • Fiberglass blankets come rolled with simple install instructions
  • Pest-Protection
    • Insulation covers and seals exposed areas preventing critters of all sorts from entering

When installing insulation, or working any construction project for that matter, remember – safety first!

  • Never use a ladder
  • Wear Appropriate clothing
    • Dusk Mask
    • Eye Wear
    • Long sleeves and pants
  • Use Proper Equipment
    • Lifts
    • Scaffolding
  • Patience and Attention to detail
    • Take your time
    • Use assistance
  • Do not take short cuts
    • Do not use cheap glues
    • Do not use underperforming or inferior insulation materials
    • Use an adequate amount of banding, but don’t skimp
Pole Barn Insulation Kit
Pole Barn Insulation Kits

Pole Barns have multiple areas that require insulation. Each of these areas can be insulated in different ways as well. The following are a few common options:

  • Following the Roof Pitch

    – This allows for wood trusses to be exposed and the thickness of the insulation is dependent upon the placement of the purlins. (Purlins are the boards placed on top of the rafter running the length of the building.) The insulation can be installed between the purlins if they are installed on an edge, or under the purlin if installed flat. The cavity depth and air space to be filled helps determine R-Value options.

  • Underside of the Trusses

    – This choice offers the owner the ability to have a flat ceiling which fills in the space between the rafters. Steel banding placed 30” apart holds in fiberglass insulation blankets that fit between the trusses and are secured to the bottom cord of the trusses. It is crucial to achieve ventilation above the fiberglass blankets, much as you would a home attic, to prevent condensation. Condensation can form on the warm air side of a metal panel cooled by outside air.

  • Above the Roof Trusses

    – This choice comes with new construction or a roof replacement. The fiberglass insulation used in this method can be as high as R-13 (insulation thickness on single-layer systems range from R-7 to R-30). Here, the insulation is placed between the inner purlin supported by the truss and the outside metal panel.

  • Walls

    -When considering insulation for the walls of your pole barn, it is important to know the depths of your posts as well as the distance between them. Pre-cut fiberglass blankets can be acquired to fit between the post dimensions. As you increase your ‘R’ rating, you will drastically improve interior comfort.

By choosing to insulate your pole barn, you can readily convert a cold storage area into a temperature-ambient environment with minimal downtime for insulation; typically only requiring a few days for installation. Top suppliers will aid in at any and all steps of the process. They are also excellent resources for the top of the line materials. Furthermore, utilizing a professional and seasoned supplier will help you achieve a clean and finished appearance for the interior of your pole barn.