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Pole Barn Kits: Warming Up to Energy Efficiency and Insulation

What do you think of when you hear the term "pole barn kits"? When most people think of pole barns kits, they think of the smell of hay and friendly horses to pat ... and also of the blazing oven-like heat of old-fashioned pole barns in summer and the chill warmth-sapping shade of the barn in winter! However, modern pole barn kits are a far cry from what most of us might remember from childhood ... and insulation techniques are to credit for that! Here we explore the methods and best practices you can use in insulating your pole barn kit.

Does your pole barn need insulation?

Every pole barn is 'nicer' when it is insulated. But not every pole barn 'requires' insulation. For example, if your pole barn is used as a carport, a machinery storage shed, a riding arena or a warehouse, there will be little need for insulation.

However, if people or animals will be spending extended periods of time in your finished pole barn package, insulation is wise. If you'll be using your pole barn for any of the following purposes, read on:
* A house
* An office
* A retail store
* An animal barn (though you may not need to put as much effort or precision into insulating an animal barn - most of them have pretty good inbuilt insulation!)
* Storage for organic materials, like grain

Reflective insulation for pole barn kits

While insulation against colder temperatures is important for humans, it is insulation against hotter temperatures that is vital for livestock and organic materials. Cows, sheep and horses don't have the same cooling mechanisms we do ... they depend on the ability to be able to move around, find a breeze or some standing water!

Reflective insulation is a fantastic way to guard against heat stress, especially if you live in a southern state where cool temperatures aren't as much of a problem. They're easy to install:
* Measure the wall area of your pole barn, excluding the poles
* Choose between Foil-Foam-Foil (more expensive, more efficient) or Foil-Bubble-Foil (cheaper, less efficient) insulation
* Cut the insulation into panels
* Staple, nail or glue the insulation in place, depending on the material your pole barn kit is made from

Other pole barn package insulation methods

You can also use a variety of other methods to insulate your pole barn - these are generally designed for colder climates:
* Spray-on foam products that create both a heat and vapor barrier. However, these can be difficult to remove if you want to switch back to a non-insulated barn in the future. Additionally, birds tend to become obsessive about picking at this insulation ... make sure you keep the door shut and plug up any bird-sized gaps!
* Standard foam-type insulation. This is usually held in place by wires running across the front, and is fairly quick to install and easy to remove. However, you need to remember that moisture-laden air will still contact the cold metal behind your insulation and create indoor rain ... which can cause the insulation to mould. If you choose this option it is preferable to plaster over the insulation.

Finishing off your pole barn insulation

Make sure you use weather strips around any doors to your pole barn, and door snakes at the bottom of the door. Otherwise the effectiveness of the insulation for your pole barn kits will be greatly reduced.

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