Tag Archives: leaking roof

Design for Spray-Foam, Sonotubes, or Proper Fasteners!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My name is Wade, I purchased the design and material from

Hansen for my pole barn this past year. It is a 64×64 Pole Barn. My question is, what’s the best way to insulate with the wall girts being horizontal and at an odd measurement on center? Thanks WADE in HILLSBORO

DEAR WADE: Thank you very much for your investment in a new Hansen Pole Building. If you have an opportunity to do so, I would enjoy seeing photos of your completed building, as it has some unique features which other clients would appreciate seeing.

Insulating buildings, after the fact, is one of the most common questions I get asked about. If we were in the design phase of your project, my advice would have been to place the bookshelf girts at 24 inches on center

(https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/09/commercial-girts-what-are-they/) and use housewrap between the girts and the siding. As we are past this point, my best recommendation is going to be closed cell spray foam (read more about spray foam here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/07/advantages-spray-foam-over-batt-insulation/). It is not inexpensive however it is very effective and can be sprayed directly onto the inside of the wall steel.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking into building a pole barn. In my area up north (Alpena Michigan) the ground is laden with heavy rock. 2 ‘ below the rock is bedrock. How will one set the main post for construction?? Digging this rock out would be near impossible while at the same time keeping things plumb and square! Please help! CHRIS in ALGONAC

DEAR CHRIS: I’ve actually been to Alpena! My first choice is always to dig holes to solid bedrock, probably requiring a backhoe. If the rock is such as to leave you with craters, sonotubes can be used to reduce the amount of concrete backfill required around the columns. If the bedrock is fairly shallow, or not below frost depth, the columns can usually be designed by the building engineer to be rebar pinned to the bedrock to prevent movement.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I recently bought a property and the 20 yr. old pole barn that is leaking inside from the eves on the sides. I have excessive overhang 4.5 inches on one side and 5 inches on the other. According to your sight, it should be 1 1/2 to 1 3/4. How do I repair/fix this problem?

DEAR DALE: Your challenge probably has nothing to do with the distance the roof steel overhangs past the sidewalls. The ideal length (1-1/2 to 1-3/4 inches) is based upon getting the runoff water from the roof directly into a gutter, without having the water just sailing over the top.

If your building is only leaking along the eaves, then it is a function of the original builder having used the industry standard #9 diameter screws. Over time, the cyclical nature of windloads will cause these small diameter screws to act like knives, cutting away at the surrounding steel until slots have formed around the screws – and water then leaks through the slots.

Provided this is indeed the problem, and the slotting is not too excessive, it can be fixed by using #14 diameter screws, which are greater in length than the existing screws. Remove all of the current screws at the eave, place the larger and longer screws back through the same holes and as long as no slots extend past the grommets, you have the job half done.

screwsProbably the roof only has screws on one side of the high ribs along the eave, if so, add another large/long screw at the other side of each high rib. The eaves and ridge are where roof shear forces (from wind) are the greatest. By adding the extra screws, it reduces the lateral force on each of the screws along the eaves.

If the slots are too great to be covered by a new fastener, the solution is to replace the roof steel and install it using the correct screws and with a pattern which will prevent the same problem from happening again in the future.

Dear Pole Barn Guru: How Do I Fix the Insulation Leaks?

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: Five years ago I bought a house and property that included one of your 48’ x 36’ buildings.  For some reason, the brain-dead owner didn’t have it insulated.  The fool even measured the building dimension to the inside of the corner posts rather than the outside.

Anyway, not knowing any better, I hired a contractor that removed all of the metal siding and roof and sandwiched 2” vinyl faced insulation between the sheet metal and the framing.  Unfortunately, I now think this was an expensive mistake.

Since then I’ve experienced some leakage due to loose screws but the biggest problem after quite cold weather has been leakage that is dripping from the purlins at intervals that seem to be spaced where the screws would be.  Needless to say, this makes the shop uncomfortable and nearly useless.

After reading articles on your web-site, it would seem that the problem is condensation between the insulation and the sheet metal and that I should have had your bubble wrap foil insulation installed between the sheet metal and the insulation I had installed.

I’m wondering if adding the foil insulation between the roof and the insulation I had sandwiched between the sheet metal and purlins will cure the problem or am I just totally screwed and have to start over?

Thank you so much for your help. EXASPERATED IN ELMA

DEAR EXASPERATED: It sounds like whoever put the building up was challenged….mostly by not reading the detailed plans and instructions which came with the building.

The “fix” will involve a lot of labor, but not a huge amount of materials.

Remove the roof and the vinyl faced insulation. Throw away the vinyl faced insulation.

Order enough A1V insulation to do the roof (www.buyreflectiveinsulation.com), 1-1/2” powder coated diaphragm screws to replace all the ones on the roof now, new ridge caps and vented ridge closure strips.

When you go to reroof – cut the first panel in ½ with the cut edge towards the endwall. The other ½ of the first panel will finish the roof at the other end. This will shift all of the screw holes by 4-1/2” so holes which have been elongated by being taken out and put back in will not be reused.

Make sure to use the adhesive tab to fully seal each strip of insulation to the next, as it is installed.

The vented ridge caps will allow warm moist air from inside your building to have a place to escape. If you have a concrete floor in the building, use a good sealant on top of it as well.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How can I get the most room and best use of the loft of a monitor barn…Need standing room and a 16 wide aisle down the center of the building. CAROL IN MANDAN

DEAR CAROL: You must have been thinking about this very hard, as I just this morning wrote an article on lofts and headroom.

For a monitor barn, plan the eave height in the raised center around this – add the height of the tallest door in the lowest level. Add one foot if the door is sliding, two feet for an overhead (this will give room for the door tracks, as well as the floor thickness). Add eight feet for loft headroom (code requires a minimum of 7’6”) and a foot for the roof system and any concrete slab on the lower level.

Example – 12 foot tall sliding door + one foot + eight feet + one foot equals 22 foot for eave height.

Be mindful to allow space for stairs. A hole the width of the stairs and at least 10 feet long is going to needed.