Tag Archives: tyvek

DIY Kits? Fiberglass Insulation, and Free Quotes

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Are these DIY kits or do you guys do labor too? PATRICK in LOCKPORT

DEAR PATRICK: Hansen Pole Buildings provides complete custom designed and engineered post frame building kit packages which are aimed towards the average individual who can and will read instructions in English to successfully erect themselves.

In the event you are not so inclined, we can assist you in finding several builders in your area who have the interest in assembly of the building for you.

 

Insulating WallsDEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can I use fiberglass insulation in the walls of a pole barn? BOB in DUNBAR

DEAR BOB: Certainly you can use fiberglass wall insulation for post frame buildings. The question is, how?

To do so, you should have building wrap (think Tyvek) between the siding and any wall framing. If your building was not engineered in this fashion, closed cell spray foam insulation can be applied to the inside of the siding, then unfaced fiberglass insulation can be installed with a clear visqueen vapor barrier on the inside.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking for a metal pole storage for our pool plumbing pipe. We are just starting to gather information and prices. We want a building to be 25′ deep x 75′ long x 12′ high. We want the doors on it to be sliding doors. CARMICHAEL in WOODSTOCK

About Hansen BuildingsDEAR CARMICHAEL: Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. In most cases, the quickest way to get the information you are looking for is to call (866)200-9657 and ask to speak to a Building Designer. You can get a relative price by visiting http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/pole-barn-prices/ where you can further customize a building based upon some standard and cost effective dimensions.

In most cases, buildings with widths which are multiples of six and lengths which are multiples of 12 will result in the best value for your investment.

If either security or convenience are at question, you may wish to consider sectional steel overhead doors, rather than sliding doors.

 

How to Insulate My Post Frame Garage

How to Insulate

I fear “how to insulate my post frame (fill in the blank)” is going to be my most answered topic for the next decade. Energy efficiency is the “hot” topic right now and sadly there are more folks trying to solve what they already have, than there were those who planned for it correctly in the beginning.

Reader ERIC in FENELTON writes:

“Hello, I am wondering what the best and most cost effective way to insulate my post frame garage would be. I recently erected a 32’x48’post frame garage with glulam posts on 8’ centers, girts and purlins on 2’ Center’s, trusses on 4’ centers with 1’ overhangs with center soffit and ridge vent. Walls and roof are steel with double bubble between purlins and roof steel and tyvek between hurts and the wall steel. I will be building a wall to separate one of the bays as a metal shop for welding and fabricating. This will be the only bay that is heated and is 32’x21’. I am on a budget but my biggest concern is moisture. I installed the tyvek and double bubble hoping to positively effect the problem but am still hesitant to put fiberglass in the
walls but spray foam is out of my price range. I have seen some people cut 1 1/2” foam board to fit between the wall girts and either stop there or then frame traditional walls between the posts and add R13-R19 faced insulation. Is this an adequate way to insulate and will the foamboard keep moisture from the fiberglass? I will definitely be framing between posts and then covering with painted OSB regardless of the insulation method I choose. Also, I was leaning toward using fiberglass batts in the ceiling and then using the white liner steel under the trusses. They are 2×6 top and bottom cord trusses and rated for a ceiling. Fiberglass in the ceiling gives me the same moisture
concerns however. So I guess my question is, now that you know about my building, what is the best abs most cost effective way to insulate the portion of the building and avoid moisture? Spray foam is out of the question due to costs. I have been doing a ton of research but get different answers everywhere I go. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru
As long as the Tyvek is well sealed, you will not be gaining moisture from the outside on the walls. What you need to create is a dry wall cavity. Completely fill the wall with unfaced fiberglass (you might consider using BIBs http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/bibs/)
and cover the interior of the wall with a well sealed vapor barrier (clear visqueen will do nicely). Cutting foam board is an exercise in
futility unless you can figure out how to completely seal it, if you
stop at this point.

For your ceiling – there is a good chance you will experience
condensation on the underside of the steel ceiling liner panels. With
your vented eave and ridge, blown in fiberglass is probably the best
answer. If you do not have raised heel trusses, you should probably look
at spray foaming the first couple of feet of the ceiling area in order
to reduce heat loss from not being able to gain full thickness of the
fiberglass.

Wrapped the Wrong Way, Services, and Ceiling Liners

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I bought a home that has a newer pole barn (40×56, laminated 6″x6″ posts 8′ o.c…. 12′ walls) and the entire barn is wrapped with bubble wrap between the metal and perlins / girts. Would it be acceptable to frame 2×4 walls, and place bat insulation in the stud spaces? I ask because the concern I have is having a vapor barrier (bubble wrap) on the outside of the wall rather than on the inside, as with standard construction. Wall construction would be like this; interior sheeting (drywall, plywood, and ribbed interior metal), paper backed fiberglass insulation between framed wall set between posts flush to the inside, bubble wrap, metal exterior sheeting. Thanks for any advice, as I can’t get a straight answer from local contractors. Sincerely, TRENT in LEXINGTON

DEAR TRENT: I will give you the straight answer, because I have no skin in the game. All I care about is you get the best possible building for your investment.

The answer is you need to either get the bubble wrap out of your walls, or poke numerous holes in it so moisture does not become trapped in the insulation cavity. Personally, I would remove the wall steel, one wall at a time. Pull out the radiant barrier, replace it with Tyvek or a similar performing building wrap, then put the siding back on. While it sounds daunting, it should actually go fairly quickly. I’d use BIBs insulation in the walls with a six ml clear visqueen vapor barrier on the inside of the framing.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, this question seemed kind of answered in your FAQ, but I wanted to take a moment and ask anyways, as your website really seems to convey desire to work with the customer as well as a care for quality.  I’ve loved reading the Questions to the Guru!

Without getting into too much detail, I have acres of Loblolly Pine that I will be building an Event Center Barn out of. I’ve got a miller who’s working at some really great rates.

Ask The Pole Barn GuruI’m looking for an engineer to put all my thoughts on the barn together and stamp em so I can get going on the permit process.

Do you all provide JUST the engineering service, I wouldn’t be buying any material from you all, but I would of course supply all the information on the materials I’d like to use, look of it, etc.

If you all don’t, do you think one of your engineers might be interested in privately contracting it?

Again, I ask only because you all seem like a great organization.

Thanks for your time! JACOB in OJA

DEAR JACOB: Thank you very much for reaching out to us. Top quality is a high priority to us.

We and our engineers do not provide just engineering services, due to the inability to control the quality of materials which go into the completed project.

A concern about your choice of building materials – your Loblolly Pine should be both dried to a moisture content of 19% or less and be grade stamped in order to be used in an engineered building. You are probably ahead of the game to sell your timber and purchase the lumber with the proceeds of the sale.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, when installing tin to the ceiling in a pole barn. Do you want to run the full length of the building? Or should you run left to right with your sheets of tin? The building is 60×120. RYAN in WYOMING

gymnasiumDEAR RYAN: It will depend upon how you are supporting the liner panels. In our typical buildings, with double trusses spaced usually every 12 feet, we place joists every four feet between the truss bottom chords and run the steel the width of the building. If your trusses are spaced every four feet, you could safely attach the steel to the bottom of them and run the length of the building. I have heard of cases where trusses have been spaced every eight to 10 feet and people have attached the liner length of the building to the bottom of the trusses with no other framing supports. Personally I feel the deflection of the steel between trusses would be unsightly.


 

How to Make a Post Frame House Tighter

“How to Make a Post Frame Building Air Tighter”

One of our clients who is currently constructing his building recently wrote:  “Chapter 21 Wall Steel page 142 indicates, “Install sidewall steel perpendicular to base trim (plumb), holding wall steel up 1/4” from level base trim surface.” With the ¼” gap there would be openings for bugs and outside air to penetration behind the raised sections of the wall steel. Should the G-Ribs be used behind the wall metal at the base?”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:
The 1/4″ hold up mentioned in the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Construction Guide is to keep the bottom factory cut edge of the siding from being in contact with a surface (the base trim) which might catch water and cause the cut edge to rust over time.

Most people accept their accessory buildings of any type (whether stick frame, post frame or otherwise) are going to have a certain level of interior visits from smaller insects. Here in the Midwest – I can’t say I know of anyone who has a home which is not currently invaded by flies and Asian beetles.

Some steps to make your building closer to air/bug tight….(or certainly tighter)

Best solution – wrap your framed building with building wrap (think Tyvek) making sure it is sealed at the bottom and top as well as all joints and door/window openings. This is a good practice in the event you or some future owner/user of your new building should ever want to insulate the walls.

You could order more inside (skinny) adhesive backed foam closures and place them at the bottom edge of all of the wall steel (including above any door openings). As the top edge of the steel does not fit tight into the trim at the top of the wall, inside closures could also be placed there. Your building does not have endwall overhangs and the inside closures are designed to be installed straight across the steel panels. For the endwalls (where sealing involves going with the run of the roof line) – Emseal® Self Expanding Sealant Tape Closures (http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/03/emseal-self-expanding-sealant-tape-closures/) could be placed either between the endwall steel and the flange of the corner/rake trims, or between the top of the steel panels and the underlying framing.

My brother used cans of spray foam insulation to seal the high ribs of the steel on his post frame garage – filling all of the voids from the inside.

No building is ever going to be completely airtight, however steps can be taken to reduce the portals for critters to crawl in.

Should Poly Plastic Barrier be Used on Interior of Walls and Ceiling?

Reader JUSTIN in MONROE writes: “Hello. Hopefully an easily answered question? I have built a 52×30 post frame, steel siding and roof. Walls have Tyvek between steel and girts. Roof is steel directly on purlins with no barrier of any kind. It has a concrete slab and I plan to periodically heat it during winter months. I’d like to insulate but not sure of best method with my situation and climate. I plan to use R-19 for walls and possibly ceiling. Or blow in for ceiling. Also I have 50% soffit ventilation with 18″ overhang as well as 40 ft of ridge vent. Should I use poly plastic on interior of walls and ceiling? I’m concerned I will create a moisture problem. I’m open to doing things whichever way is best. Things are always easier and cheaper to do it correctly the first time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks”

Dear Justin,

housewrapI agree things are always best when done correctly the first time around. While it is not always less of an investment, when the long term problems arise and things have to be corrected, it makes it nearly not as fun and cheap becomes expensive. Usually in a quick hurry.

If the roof trusses are not designed for at least a five pounds per square foot bottom chord dead load, you are sunk on adding a ceiling without an engineered truss repair. This would be the place to start, as it will dictate the solution.

I will approach the building as if it is my own and from where it is now.

On the floor – I am hoping you have a vapor barrier beneath the concrete slab. If not, use a high quality sealer on top of the floor.

A penetrating concrete floor sealer is likely the best bet to protect and maintain a concrete floor. These concrete floor sealers penetrate deep into the concrete’s pores coming into contact with the alkali and calcium ions, forming a gel.

This gel expands filling the pores and hairline cracks inside the concrete, turning the concrete into a solid mass. This process will prevent moisture and vapor migration up through the concrete floor, as well as down into it.

Look for a penetrating concrete floor sealer which is water based and says silicate penetrating solution on the specifications. These sealers can be applied with a pump up sprayer.

On the Walls-you did good with the Tyvek. Kudos! If your building has girts flat on the outside of the columns, you can add another set to the inside of the columns. If you have 6×6 columns, your post frame building will now have an 8.5 inches thick insulation cavity. I would use BIBs (read about BIBs here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/bibs/) for my wall insulation, and would have a deep enough cavity to get around R-35. There does need to be a vapor barrier on the inside (heated) side of the wall, under the gypsum wallboard.

Roof– the underside of the roof steel needs to be isolated from any warm moist air which would enter the attic. Use closed cell spray foam directly sprayed directly onto the underside of the roof steel. Assuming your building’s roof trusses are strong enough to support a ceiling, blown in insulation is going to be your most economical. Hopefully you (or your builder) had the foresight to order roof trusses with a raised heel so the insulation will remain full thickness from wall to wall. If not you may want to have closed cell spray foam insulation on the “cold” side of the ceiling in the area with a couple of feet from the sidewalls. Make sure to allow a provision for air in the overhangs to not be blocked from venting the attic.

Do not put a vapor barrier between the trusses and the ceiling. You want the warm moist air inside your building to be able to rise into the attic and be vented out through the ridge. And if you are going to insulate your ceiling, R-19 is really not near enough. At a minimum I’d think about R-38 or 45 blown in.

Thank you for allowing me to share some insight into insulation.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Dear Guru: What Type of Insulation?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good morning, Mike … I have a question for you.

I’m trying to decide between a 30×40 barn and a 60×40 barn. It would have a gambrel roof with a loft. 16′ wide sliding door in the center of the short ends.

All other things being equal, what is the cost difference between 30×40 and 60×40?

Or is there a size that’s more economical?

Thanks, Mike T. in Kershaw, SC

DEAR MIKE T.: Having to design the loft to support hay weight is not so much of a challenge as it is expensive. For sake of discussion the comparison was done a full loft, however it may be more practical to only have the loft in the center.

There is an economy of scale with pole buildings. For practical purposes, the price per square foot is going to decrease as the building footprint increases (until clearspans become very wide). I’ve also never had a client tell me their new building is “just too big”!

In your particular case, you could double the size of the building, while increasing the investment by only about 2/3.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Renovating our pole building arena is an undertaking.  We were quoted $70k (which included windows to replace the plastic) so we are doing it ourselves. I expect materials to run about $25k in the end.  The company that sold me the metal ceiling panels based out of Kentucky told me that people in his area do it all the time and that the best way to go is with blown insulation, as fiberglass batting is a lot more time consuming to install.  I decided against spray foam because it is toxic to begin with and then they put fire retardants in the mix which is even more toxic.  Plus it is expensive.

What will happen if we don’t have a “thermal break” on the underside of the metal roof? There will be a lot of condensation falling on the blown insulation?  We have a roof vent which I guess is correctly installed because we never have water coming in even during the most violent and heavy of rain storms. Isn’t this vent enough to prevent condensation?

If a herd of animals lived in the building, then I would worry about condensation, but there will be maximum 2-4 live beings in there at one time.   Removing the roof to install a reflective radiant barrier is not an option.  How about covering the underside with “Tyvek” the stuff houses are wrapped in?  Are you saying the blown insulation on the ceiling will not do its job without this thermal break on the roof, or is it the condensation you are concerned about?   What does the reflective radiant barrier need to reflect?  Cold coming from outside, or heat coming from outside?

We have blown insulation in our 14 year old house.  I guess it is newspaper.  It works a charm.  We’re on a hill and it can blow out there and we’re cozy inside.  One can buy cellulose from Lowe’s or Home Depot and they lend you a machine to install it.   I was worried that wind from the roof vent would blow it around.  I was also worried critters would nest in it, although we have covered such access with 1/2″ wire mesh.  Nonetheless, critters are very resourceful about getting into things.  I was worried that if it got wet it would get moldy.  My daughter is very sensitive to mold.  Best thing is it stays dry….and like I said, we never had rain come through that vent, although when the conditions were right, we’d get a bit of snow blown in.  We have a lot of snow now, and no snow in the arena.  So it has to be special conditions. I thought of covering the blown insulation with tarps to protect it from wind or moisture.  Is that a good or bad idea?

BTW, we have no intention of heating the arena.  The goal is to have it warmer in there than outside….hopefully a little above freezing.

I guess for the walls we will use fiberglass.  The plastic panels will be replaced with double glazed “picture” windows (they don’t open) and will run the length of about 2/3 of the arena at 2′ high.

A trainer we met from Maine said he insulated his riding arena and it really helped keep out the cold.

I’m wondering what will happen in summer.  Will it keep out the heat, or trap it?

It’s great communicating with someone who knows what they are talking about.  I’d be happy to compensate you for your expertise.

P.S.  Here’s a fiberglass story.  The owner of a horse boarded at our farm had a plumbing leak in her basement.  The plumber came and fixed the leak and left.  Several weeks later she developed itching sores all over her body.  She woke up one morning with arms so swollen she could not bend them and a face twice the size of normal.  She went to the ER and they told her a dust allergy, so she threw out all drapes and mattresses, etc. and cleaned the carpet and whole place.  However, it didn’t help and she landed in the ER again.  Meanwhile they found out that the plumber had pulled away fiberglass insulation from the broken pipe, and because of the leak it was all wet.  He didn’t remove the wet fiberglass and so mold developed, and with the furnace down there blowing hot air (with the mold) all over the living space it made her VERY sick.  She moved out immediately and had to take a lot of nasty drugs, and she is still not well.  Plus, inhaled fiberglass is a known carcinogen, as you probably know.

A GREAT thing to insulate with is wool.  But who can afford it?  They do make wool “bats” for the purpose though.  CINDY

 DEAR CINDY: Without the thermal break under the roof steel, there will be condensation on the underside of the roof steel, which will result in rain upon the attic insulation. Ventilation alone may cure some, but not all of the condensation problems.

The major source of the warm moist air rising is the ground under your building (evapotranspiration). According to www.ScienceDirect.com the average value of the moisture evaporation with uncovered ground is 0.33 to 0.53 gallons per hour per square foot. For a fairly typical 60 by 120 foot riding arena, this could be between 57 and 90 thousand gallons per day!!

Housewraps like Tyvek are not vapor barriers – they are designed to allow moisture to pass through.

Reflective radiant barriers just happens to be a very cost effective thermal break. The aluminum facing on the exterior reflects radiant heat in the summer, keeping the building cooler.

Insulating your building will keep it cooler in the summer, there is no question there. As to the effectiveness for keeping things warmer inside, without a heat source the air inside will be at or near the temperature on the outside.

And thank you very kindly for your offer of compensation. I do my best to provide quality information for the good of the industry as a whole. If you feel I have been of service, please feel free to share the link to this blog with others.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Vertical Flush Walls

There is a builder in my neck of the woods who advertises as “the only company around that offers…Vertical Flush Walls, for your pole building, shop or garage, which allows you to sheetrock inside your building without having to re-frame the inside!”

In the photo with this article, wall girts have been placed “barn” style flat on the outsides of the columns, where they would have failed in bending (read why they fail on their own here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/03/girts/).

vertical flush wallsTo me, vertical flush walls look like a stick framed stud wall has been built on the inside, which supports the wall girts and does exactly what it purports to do.

However there is an easier, faster and less expensive method, which provides for an insulation cavity deeper than the adding a second wall inside of the first, bookshelf style wall girts: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/09/commercial-girts-what-are-they/

In an typical 12 wide bay of this building, with a 14 foot high eave, to commercially girt a bay and be totally gypsum wallboard framed ready, it would require six 12 foot 2×8 for wall girts, a 12’ pressure treated 2×4, and 4 2x4x12 for blocking and backing. Total Board footage of lumber – 136.

As farmed in the photo shown, materials required are a 12’ pressure treated 2×6, seven 2x6x14 studs and a 2x6x12 top plate. Wall girts are six 12 foot long 2×6. Total board footage – 194, or 42% more lumber. Besides not making economic sense, the concrete slab is also required to be installed, in order to place the vertical stud wall.

Whilst it is wonderful for the builder to have added this interior “liner” wall in, there is something the builder missed, which is pretty important in buildings which will be insulated and climate controlled – building wrap (read more about building wrap here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/11/house-wrap/).

Great sounding marketing ploy, but in reality, just not very effective.

Dear Guru: Is Toe Nailing a Good Idea?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, The bottom of my 2 x 8 skirt board is about 2 inches into the ground.  Is it OK to measure 10 feet from the top of the skirt board since it is so low?

As long as the steel siding is long enough I would like to do this. If I measure from the bottom of the skirt board and add my 3  1/2  inch. of cement  then my ceiling is lower. I can add another skirt board on top of the one that is there. I can add dirt up against the outsides so it looks  OK

I hope to work on this in the morning so please answer as soon as possible.

SITTING IN SALEM

 DEAR SITTING: You could do as you suggest (measuring the 10′ from the top of the 2×8 skirt board), as long as you add another 2×8 skirt board on top of the one you have installed, then fill up to the top of the lower 2×8 skirt board before pouring your concrete floor.

All of the steel for the siding is pre-cut to fit based upon a 0 point being the bottom of the 2×8 skirt board. There is no way to increase your interior height without ordering new wall steel or adding wainscot – either of which will prove to be a significant expense to pick up a few inches of height.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a pole barn that I am insulating. I am using rigid foam on ceiling between truss chords, covered with steel. Walls are 4×6 poles with 2×4 purlins on outside, sided with steel. I am adding 2×6 vertical studs on 24″ centers between poles, and stapling craft-backed roll f-glass insulation to studs, then covering wall with OSB. Should I consider stapling tar paper or other barrier to inside of purlins before adding the studs and insulation? There will be an air gap between the f-glass insulation and the outer steel, and moisture can get in via corrugations in the steel siding, top and bottom. Thanks! BUILDING IN BELLEVILLE

 DEAR BUILDING: You should place a housewrap (think Tyvek) ideally between the wall girts and the siding, but if not there, on the inside of the wall girts.

You can read more about housewrap here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/11/house-wrap/
Here are some hints as to how to minimize the cost of your framing to support the insulation, and reduce transference of cold/heat from the contact of 2×6 vertical studs with the exterior horizontal girts.

  1. Start by placing a pressure treated 2×4 on top of the slab, flush to the inside of the columns (this board will end up between the posts, as will subsequent ones).
  2. Cut 2×4 blocks to 22-7/16″ and nail one to the each post directly above the treated 2×4.
  3. Cut a 2×4 to fit between the posts, and place like a bookshelf on top of the blocks. Repeat this process throughout the building.For best energy efficiency, make sure to completely seal the facing of the insulation batts on the inside of the wall.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I purchased my Hansen Pole Building some time ago. I’m just now getting around to drywall, but have always been stumped with one part of the construction. How are you supposed to attach the drywall “L” top plate? (I have the commercial girt setup). There just isn’t anything to attach the top plates unless I’m toe nailing it to the posts which doesn’t seem correct to me. The girts were attached to girt blocks, but the “L” top plate doesn’t have anything like that. Like I said…this one has stumped me for some time and now that I’m getting around to drywall I need to get the top plate installed.

Thank you very much, HARRIED IN HARRISVILLE

DEAR HARRIED: The distance from center to center of your wall columns is 12’. Conservatively, the “L” supports a maximum of 12 square feet (1/2 of the distance to the first ceiling joist, which is at 24 inches on center). 5/8” gypsum wallboard weighs 2.31 pounds per square foot. This makes the weight supported by the “L” of just under 28 pounds.

The 2005 NDS® (National Design Specification® for Wood Construction published by the American Forest & Paper Association) addresses toe nailing connections in “Design Aid No. 2”. To keep the design conservative, we will use the lowest Specific Gravity value of the commonly used framing lumbers (G=0.42 for Spruce-Pine-Fir). With the specified 10d common nail (3 inch length x 0.148 inch diameter), the lateral design value for a toe-nailed connection is 83 pounds per nail.

Placing two toe-nails through each end of the vertical member of the “L” would allow the “L” to support up to 332 pounds, many times the needed design requirements.

If you are uncomfortable with toe nailing the “L”, you could cut a notch out of the top “flat” part of the “L” 1-1/2 inches deep, to fit it tightly to the face of the column above the ceiling line. Two 10d common nails could be driven through the remaining portion of the “flat” of the “L” into the column, in addition to toe nailing them.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Tyvek Thermawrap R5.0 Review

As my long time readers know, I am a proponent of having a high quality housewrap between framing (or sheathing) and siding for any pole building which will be climate controlled.

Therma WrapI also try to keep abreast of new products and innovations. Here is one which sounds good, but may not deliver.

After two years of research and development, DuPont announced the launch of what it calls an industry first: insulating housewrap.

“This is arguably the most important introduction in our product group in a long time,” says Jim Ash, new business development manager for DuPont. “It’s taking us into the insulation business, which is a big strategic push for us, and hopefully the first of many.”

In its construction, Tyvek Thermawrap R5.0 comprises the maker’s long-standing Tyvek housewrap bonded to an insulation blanket. The combination has allowed DuPont to enter into the continuous insulation category – an area which is getting increased attention thanks to requirements by the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code which went into effect October 18, 2013. Up to now, the category comprised mainly rigid foam panels for exterior insulation. Thermawrap R5.0 provides builders with another alternative to insulating pole buildings from the outside. The goal is to offer a net effective R-value of R-5.

It may seem counterintuitive to put padded insulation in a situation where contact with moisture is almost a certainty. Ash says not to worry.

“We all know it’s not a question of if, but when, walls will get wet,” says Ash. “Thermawrap R5.0 is as permeable as housewrap, which hits on the product’s No. 1 value proposition: it can dry from the inside or the outside. It breathes moisture vapor.”

DuPont says the Tyvek on the outside of the blanket works just as it would if it was installed on its own by keeping air and bulk water out of walls, but also serving as a breathable barrier allowing moisture vapor to escape to the outside. In addition, in cases where wall sheathing (typically plywood or OSB – oriented strand board) DuPont says the blanket increases the temperature of the sheathing, which decreases the chance for interstitial wall condensation in heating climates. “This reduces the likelihood of getting moisture vapor inside the walls,” Ash says.

For installation, Thermawrap 5.0 doesn’t require any unusual materials. Designed to be installed like housewrap with cap staples or cap nails (DuPont recommends its minimum 3/4-inch Tyvek brand fasteners), the rolls feature an uninsulated flap along the bottom edge which overlaps the course below to further prevent moisture penetration. Cutting the material, however is slightly different. Ash says shears, rotary cutters, or even a carpet knife work well for cutting and trimming Thermawrap R5.0.

Worried about compressing the material beneath siding? Thermawrap R5.0 measures 1.5 inches thick and DuPont says it will introduce Insulated Battens in mid-2014 to provide a stable base for the installation of fiber cement, wood lap siding, manufactured stone veneer, and stucco. The battens, however, are not needed behind vinyl siding, brick, or stone. This author’s take is – I am not seeing how it is the listed installation would not crush the insulation. Installers will, however, want to use 2×4 wood buck bump-outs around windows and doors so the openings are on the same plane as the blanket material.

Thermawrap R5.0’s benefits will come at a premium. DuPont says the total installed cost (including materials and labor) will run 15% to 20% higher than the total installed cost of a premium housewrap plus 1-inch exterior rigid foam insulation. The company expects Thermawrap R5.0’s thermal benefits, along with Class A fire rating and other benefits as mentioned will make the new material an attractive proposition to the industry.

The insulation blanket is made of proprietary fibers, including 20% pre-consumer recycled Tyvek. The product is available in 4-by-40-foot rolls. Each roll weighs approximately 26 pounds and Ash estimates about 20 rolls would outfit the average home.

Here is the rub when it comes to typical post frame construction, if being applied over wall girts and beneath steel siding, the insulation is going to be crushed down to nothing (basically R-0) every time it crosses a framing member.

In my humble opinion, to get the most bang for the buck, go with a thicker wall cavity to provide for thicker wall insulation, then use a traditional housewrap.

Dear Guru: How Can I Add a Vapor Barrier Now?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a question about insulating my pole barn. I recently had a 32′ x 40′ x 12′ tall building put up by a local builder. I’m doing all the finishing work including electrical. I’m using steel liner panel for the walls and ceiling. The question is that I have already put up the walls and I did NOT put any vapor barrier up first. My plan was/is to blow in fiberglass in the walls but now I’m worried about mold growth and or moisture problems in the walls. I’m in SW Michigan and plan to heat the building. So the question is…Is there any safe way to insulate without taking all the metal down? I could probably drop sheets of Tyvek or plastic down the inside of the wall and then just blow the insulation in??  MEANDERING IN MICHIGAN

 

DEAR MEANDERING: First of all, Tyvek or other housewraps are not vapor barriers. For more information on housewraps see: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/11/house-wrap/

Second, unless you are going to use BIBS insulation, blowing fiberglass into a wall cavity is not probably the best solution, as in time, the insulation will settle. Read more about BIBS here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/11/bibs/

Assuming you have not yet installed the interior steel liner panels, the walls can be insulated with your choice of a variety of products, then place a vapor barrier on the inside and cover with the liner panels. 

 If you’ve already put up the interior steel liners, I’d strongly advise you carefully take them off, and then follow my directions above.  You will be far happier with the result, as mold is not a pretty problem to deal with.  And yes, with steel, you need a vapor barrier.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I HAVE A HANSEN POLE BARN 30′ X 54′. IM ADD A SHED ROOF TO IT. IM HAVING A HARD TIME FIND THE RIGHT METAL FLASHING. TO CONNENT THE SHED ROOF TO THE SIDE WALL. THANK YOU. DETERMINED DAN

DEAR DETERMINED: We can provide any materials needed to add onto a Hansen Pole Building. A concern of ours is people who add onto their buildings, without a proper structural design analysis being performed. In the case of original buildings which were designed by an engineer, adding on to it, without engineering, will absolve the engineer of any liability from the original design. Many building failures are the result of inadequately design additions to existing buildings, some of which cause undue stresses and loads to be imparted upon the existing structure.  I encourage you to call our home office and discuss adding this shed roof, along with getting the right materials to make it water tight.

Dear Guru: Do I Need Vapor Barrier Under Insulation?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it a huge mistake to go without a vapor barrier on the walls?  How about Tyvek on the walls during construction?  I was thinking of doing Tyvek between the metal siding and the purlins to at least get that vapor barrier in there, just in case I decide to put insulation in my walls later when the budget allows.  Thoughts? CONTEMPLATING IN KANSAS CITY

DEAR CONTEMPLATING: If you EVER think you or the person(s) who own your pole building after you, will ever apply insulation to the walls of a building – then placing a quality house wrap between the wall girts and the siding (whether it be steel or any other material) is an excellent idea for a vapor barrier. At time of construction is the one single time in which it will be extremely easy to add.

To learn more about house wrap: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/11/house-wrap/

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU Insulation – I read your warning about the steel skin acting like “unibody” construction, so it should be applied directly to framing. What is a good way to use foil-faced foam board for putting insulation on a roof? I want to avoid using the large rolls of insulation that will sag in 6-8 years? LEARY IN LOUISIANA

DEAR LEARY: I am glad you have been reading and paying attention.  Your new building will be well planned, with pleasing results. I just am seeing no way for foil-faced foam board to be a practical and economical solution for roof insulation. Here is a link to an article I wrote which might give you some further food for thought:

http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/07/insulation-6/

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