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Energy Efficiency | Repairs & Renovations

Can You Spray Foam an Existing Pole Barn?

August 23rd, 2021 | 6 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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Do you have an existing post frame building that you're looking to upgrade? Perhaps you're tired of a cold and drafty work environment, and you're looking to add insulation for added comfort and energy savings. 

Whatever situation you find yourself in, we want to make sure that you understand the importance of energy efficiency for your pole barn. Sure, there are several ways to defend your pole building from heat loss, but our customers have highly asked about spray foam insulation.

Will this be the best solution for you? It all depends on what type of treatment you're looking for and how much you're willing to spend.

In this article, we will explain the benefits and preferred installation treatment of spray foam insulation.




Who Installs Spray Foam Insulation?

Sprayfoam_InsulationSprayed polyurethane foam (SPF) has become a popular but more expensive alternative to fiberglass batts in recent years. SPF fills and seals all exposed areas and cracks within the structure, giving you greater protection from air drafts and moisture. 

Due to the chemicals and equipment involved, a professional spray-foam contractor should be hired for the job. Therefore, FBi Buildings does not install spray foam insulation, but our Project Sales Consultants can provide recommendations for contractors in their service area. 

However, if your wall needs to be replaced, this material can be challenging to remove due to its glue-like characteristics. That's why we recommend having building wrap (e.g., Tyvek®) installed on your steel before adding spray foam. 

Additionally, some spray foam products haven't been tested for steel use. In fact, cellulose insulation can cause steel corrosion due to its ingredients (e.g., fire retardant chemicals).

Consequently, some metal suppliers won't provide warranty coverage if SPF is used. So don't forget to check with your pole barn builder before making a final decision.

If you've inherited a pole barn on a property you just purchased, double-check the type of steel that is on your building (if possible) before getting your building sprayed.

Installed price ranges from $3.50 to $5.50 per square foot of the wall.

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings

What Type of Spray Foam Insulation Do I Need?

Spray Foam Installation_Updated WebSpray foam insulation is an insulation and air barrier material that seals walls, floors, and ceiling cavities against air movement. It can be sprayed into an open cavity, like attics, crawl spaces, and rim joists in new construction. 

It can also be used in existing homes, commercial buildings, and pole barns. As long as the cavities are open and there is access, the spray foam can be applied.

When insulating a pole barn, either closed-cell or open-cell spray foam can be used. However, due to the different characteristics of the two, we recommend using closed-cell spray foam on any walls that will be left exposed and open-cell spray foam for ceilings

How is Spray Foam Insulation Installed?

Once you've determined what type of insulation you'll need, any items inside your existing pole barn must be moved to the center of the structure and away from the walls before the installation. Then, you can cover the items with tarps or remove them from your pole building entirely for added protection. 

Once everything has been moved away from the walls, the spray foam crew will tape heavy-duty plastic over any windows and doors. This helps ensure that the spray foam stays between the studs of the wall and doesn't come in contact with other building features.

Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is used when working with spray foam insulation. The last step is for the crew to "suit up" and begin spraying the insulation.

Spray foam is a very dense material that can also be supplemented with bat insulation. FBi typically recommends an R-6 value for every one inch. 

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Will You Spray Foam Your Pole Barn?

Stichnoth_Cold StorageAs you have learned, spray foam isn't cheap, but it does create a tight air seal, and the savings on your monthly energy bill can't be beaten. Not to mention, if you're working in your farm shop or garage in the cold winter months, your comfort level will be top-notch. 

If you want to learn more about the benefits of pole barn insulation, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Pole Barn Insulation.

This guide will help you select a suitable insulating material and heating system. With our expertise, you'll enjoy the money-saving benefits of your new or existing post frame building.

Ultimately, how you choose to insulate your pole barn is up to you. Our goal as one of the top post frame builders in the Midwest is to recommend heating solutions that'll help you get the most out of your space.





How to Insulate a Pole Barn

What is Spray Foam Insulation?


Do you have more questions that aren’t 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’re ready to get a price, click here to request a quote, and a member of our Customer Engagement team will determine the next steps of your project.