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Pole Barn Maintenance: 4 Tips You Need to Know

August 26th, 2019 | 9 min. read

Angie Dobson

Angie Dobson

Angie graduated from Indiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Prior to joining the FBi team, Angie was a kitchen and bath sales consultant in Lafayette, IN. In 2012, she started with FBi as the Inside Sales/Marketing Assistant. Today she holds the role of Sr. Marketing and Inside Sales Manager. Angie grew up in a farming community and has always enjoyed helping her family on the farm. A past 10-year 4-H Member, her passion for livestock pursued her to take a career in the agriculture field. She and her husband live in Northwest Indiana with their two daughters. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor leisure activities and spending time with friends and family.

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Once your pole barn project is complete, it’s probably a relief. You spent months (or maybe years) designing the perfect post-frame building. Every detail was thoroughly considered, right down to the type of weathervane installed on your cupola.

Considering the number of hours that went into your pole barn, you must keep it in excellent condition after construction. 

Over time, age and weather can take their toll on any structure, regardless of the post-frame builder. As a result, it may look different from what it did 40 years ago. And if it does, well, you must be doing something right!

No matter the type of pole barn, here are four maintenance tips you must know to keep your post-frame building in the best shape possible.

Pole Barn Repair Quote_FBi Buildings

Why Is Pole Barn Maintenance Crucial?

Pole Barn SummerIt’s no surprise that taking good care of our belongings is essential to extending their useful life.

Would you purchase a brand-new vehicle without changing the oil or rotating the tires? No. Would you hire professional landscapers to design the landscaping around your stick-built home and let weeds overtake it? We’d hope not.

While no post-frame building lasts forever, you can add decades to its lifetime with the proper care.

You’re probably thinking, “My pole barn was built to last.” Of course, every post-frame builder wants their product to withstand the test of time, but only routine maintenance will accomplish that wish.

Let’s think of this analogy…

If you find a hole in your favorite blue jeans and do nothing about it, what happens to the hole? It gets bigger and bigger over time.

The same analogy can be applied to post-frame construction. Your small problem (e.g., metal roofing leak) will multiply and cause other structural damages (e.g., rotted roof purlins). Regular pole barn maintenance will help you avoid these building repairs.

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4 Pole Barn Maintenance Tips You Need to Know

1) Watch for Metal Roofing Leaks

Pole Barn Metal Roof LeakArguably, the most annoying pole barn repair is a leaky metal roof. They can be tricky to spot if you aren’t climbing on top of your post-frame building.

If you’re afraid of building heights, you can find metal roofing leaks by walking your pole barn interior during a storm. While the tiniest leaks can be hard to find, they show you where the moisture damage will be. Again, a small problem, like a leak, can become a major one.

Checking for metal roofing leaks will keep you ahead of air quality issues. Continuous exposure to mold can lead to illnesses among humans and animals. Spores can also grow and discolor belongings stored in your post-frame building.

2) Check Your Exterior Metal Panels

Pole Barn Kits_SteelWe know Mother Nature is unpredictable, especially if you live in the Midwest like us. The high winds and pop-up storms with hail can take a toll on your post-frame building.

If you want to reduce the damage to your exterior metal panels, we recommend a site near natural windbreaks (e.g., hills and trees).

Do you need help with your building location? Our Project Sales Consultants (PSCs) can review your site preparation plan before excavation.

Mowing near your pole barn poses a threat to your exterior metal panels. Your lawnmower can kick up pebbles and rocks, leaving minor dents that add up over time. 

We recommend installing wainscoting on your post-frame building. Not only does this building material increase aesthetics, but it’s easy to replace when damaged.

Watch this video to see how our pole barn steel holds up against hail, rocks, and other projectiles that may cause damage.

3) Remove Debris From Pole Barn Gutters & Roof

Snow Load 1The winter months can be hard on your post-frame building. Our in-house structural engineers try to calculate your pole barn snow load accurately, but some winters can bring more snowfall than expected.

The best way to deal with heavy snow is to remove it from your metal roof before it causes bowing trusses. A roof rake removes snow and prevents ice dams along your pole barn gutters. Moreover, we encourage you to install snow guards on your metal roof. 

This building feature ensures that ice and snow aren’t building up along the eaves and gutters. While ice and snow will melt, the extra weight can detach the gutter from the fastener and post-frame building. 

Water cannot flow properly to downspouts if your gutters are damaged. Unfortunately, water will find a new place to go – causing rotted columns, fascia boards, door headers, and trusses.

Weakened building components can jeopardize the structural integrity of your post-frame building. The sooner you remove accumulated ice and snow, the less pole barn damage you may have (equals cost savings).

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4) Inspect Pole Barn Doors & Windows

Pole Barn Kits_WindowBy now, you should understand the complexity of designing a post-frame building. We’ve already discussed multiple building features and upgrades in the sections above. From metal roofing and siding materials to laminated posts and Perma-Columns.

Lastly, most pole barns have doors or windows in various styles and sizes. Typically, basic farm buildings have sliding doors and walk doors. While custom hobby shops have overhead doors with window grids.

Both pole barn doors and windows show aging signs over time. And when they start to show aging signs, their energy efficiency declines. A typical example of aging doors and windows is a leaky seal.

Weatherstrips are constantly subjected to cold and hot temperatures. If the seals break down, air will escape your post-frame building. Not to mention, you’ll be sticker-shocked when you open your energy bill.

Furthermore, we encourage customers to fix their pole barn sliding doors. Sometimes, your barn door gets caught and needs adjusting. Luckily, this building repair is relatively easy, so easy that we created a short YouTube tutorial.

Are You Ready to Start Your Pole Barn Maintenance?

Like all good things in life, there comes a time when something needs a little TLC. Your pole barn is no exception.

We’ll do our best to ensure your post-frame building lasts, but we know that routine maintenance is crucial. If you don’t prioritize upkeep now, you’ll pay for it later with pole barn repairs and renovations.

Do you need help maintaining your post-frame building? Our 7+ and growing Repair & Renovation construction crews will restore your pole barn to its original condition. Best of all, it doesn't matter who built the post-frame building.

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Do you have more questions about pole barn maintenance that are not covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact FBi Buildings at 800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you are ready to get a price, click here to request a quote, and a member of our customer engagement team will help you determine the next steps of your project.