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: https://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: https://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.