0000 5 Easy Ways to Winterize Your Pole Barn
5 Easy Ways to Winterize Your Pole Barn
Courtney Moore

By: Courtney Moore on November 16th, 2020

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5 Easy Ways to Winterize Your Pole Barn

Building Maintenance  |  Posts  |  Structural Integrity  |  Energy Efficiency

It’s official! Colder temperatures are among us, and long gone are the days of warmth and light. Winter is right around the corner...no matter how hard we try to ignore it. 

Here in the Midwest, we’re no stranger to ample amounts of snowfall, ice accumulation, and blustery winds.

When the chill makes its appearance, we take several precautions to prepare for its brutal arrival.

For instance, we stock our vehicles with snow scrapers, blankets, an extra set of clothing, and miniature survival kits. You never know when you might get stranded alongside the road.

We prune our landscaping around the house, clear the gutters, and check our furnace before it goes to work for the next few months.

Winterizing your post frame building is just as crucial as your house. While it’s easy to overlook these steps, we strongly encourage you to prepare your pole barn before it gets too cold.

Prepping your building for winter can prevent issues when the earth starts to thaw. Remember, it’s always easier to take preventative measures than spend your money on future building repairs.

This article details five easy ways you can get your post frame building ready for winter.

5 Easy Ways to Winterize Your Pole Barn

Barn Landscaping

1) Inspect Trees and Prune Pole Barn Landscaping

Did you know that landscaping can reduce your heating and cooling costs?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, landscaping for energy efficiency provides, on average, enough savings to return an initial investment in less than 8 years. That’s impressive!

We recommend reading our “3 Energy-Efficient Landscaping Tips for Your Pole Barn” blog for more information.

However, forgetting to prune shrubbery and trees can pose a threat to your post frame building.

For instance, high winds can cause overgrown branches to scrape against your steel siding.

These scratches allow water molecules (or moisture) to gain access through the chipped paint.

This infiltration is the first stage of corrosion. Rust causes the metal to expand, which places a great deal of stress on the pole barn. Meanwhile, the steel sheet is weakened, becoming brittle and flaky.

Plus, ice and snow can weigh tree branches down. Some limbs may not be able to withstand the load; thus, snapping and landing on your metal roof. Now you’re left with a gaping hole in the roofing system, or worse, with broken/bowing trusses.

Strong winds can also push neglected landscaping into your windows, which could cause broken glass.

Overall, pruning your pole barn landscaping can spare yourself a headache and save money when springtime rolls around.

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings

Gutters

2) Clean Clogged Gutters of Debris

You clean the gutters on your house, so why wouldn’t you do the same to your post frame building?

Gutters can collect broken twigs, fallen leaves, pine needles, fine sediment, and other miscellaneous debris throughout the year. 

This buildup will clog your gutter system, preventing it from doing its job properly. Problems can arise when rainwater or melted ice/snow has nowhere to go. Excess water will find its way onto the roof and wreak havoc. Then...drip, drip, drip!

Again, pooling water can cause rust, especially along the fasteners, weakening their effectiveness.

Not to mention, what happens to the excess water when the temperature falls below freezing? It’ll turn into ice and cause further damage to your gutters (e.g., holes and subsequent leaks). 

If ice dams are heavy enough, they can cause your gutters to break and fall off your post frame building.

 

3) Double Check Building Seals & Insulation

Is your pole barn well-insulated? Do you plan on insulating and finishing your pole barn interior before winter

If so, fall is the perfect time to inspect or prepare your post frame building for insulation. It’s the primary defense against heat loss through the building envelope.

Upfront costs may seem daunting, but insulating your pole barn is an investment on its own. Your monthly operating costs will decrease considerably based on the insulation’s R-value.

Are you wondering which type of insulation is right for you? Download our FREEUltimate Guide to Pole Barn Insulation” for more information.

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BA Fan

Don’t forget to check the seals around your doors and windows. Broken seals can lead to cold, seeping air.

Grab a ladder or lift and examine your eave lites and ridge vents for cracks or holes. If you notice any signs of damage, be sure to contact your Repair & Renovation Specialist for further assessment and an estimate.

Once your post frame building is insulated and tightly sealed, the structure must have adequate ventilation

During the summer months, you can prop the doors and crack the windows open. But what are you supposed to do in the winter?

Eave, ridge, and sidewall ventilation play a crucial role in regulating air circulation within your pole barn.

Mechanical ventilation can be used when natural ventilation isn’t enough. In this case, you’ll want to consider installing:

  • Ceiling fans
  • Portable fans
  • Larger, installed fan units
  • A combination of the above

Are you looking for a reliable fan manufacturer? We recommend reading our “Top Pole Barn Fan Companies: 4 Installation Advantages” blog.

Ventilation maintains a healthy airflow, so you don’t experience any respiratory or sanitation issues.

Pole Barn Condensation Tips_Blog CTA

Plumbing

4) Inspect Electrical Wires & Plumbing Pipes

Trust us; the last thing you want to deal with when the weather turns cold is faulty electrical wires and frozen (or burst) pipes.

First things first, you want to make sure your preferred heating system is serviced and ready to go. No one wants to work in a cold farm shop or garage because of faulty wires and ductwork.

You’ll need to assess the lighting situation in your post frame building. Check for burnt light bulbs and consider replacing them with LEDs for greater efficiency. 

The days are getting darker earlier, and you’ll be thankful for having bright lights when you need to spend late nights out in the pole barn.

Furthermore, monitoring your plumbing system during cold weather is critical. Freezing pipes have the potential to burst, leaving you with a bigger leak (and headache) than you bargained for.

As long as your post frame building is adequately heated, you should not have a problem with frozen pipes. Moreover, we recommend letting cold water drip from the faucets.

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Dent

5) Don't Delay Repairing Building Damages

It’s easy to adopt the mindset of “I’ll get to it later when I have time.” 

Next thing you know, your children (or grandchildren) keep you busy with school and extracurricular activities. Work demands your undivided attention. 

The seasons come and go. Yet, your pole barn damages are still there. Sure, the weather may be mild, but we all know Midwestern winters are unpredictable. All it takes is one storm to worsen matters.

Stop putting your repair work on the back burner. Contact your post frame builder so their Repair & Renovation crews can restore your structure to its former glory.

By taking the time to make some calls, you can rest easy knowing that your pole barn will be repaired and ready to go for winter.

Pole Barn Repair Quote_FBi Buildings

Are You Ready to Winterize Your Post Frame Building?

Fall is coming to an end, and now is the perfect opportunity to winterize your pole barn. 

It’s time to take advantage of the “warmer” temperatures before they dip, and you much rather stay bundled up inside.

Before you go into hibernation mode, you should download our FREE “5 Easy Ways to Winterize Your Pole Barn” checklist.

When the brutal chill makes its appearance, you’ll be thankful you didn’t procrastinate on getting your post frame building prepped for winter. 

Plus, who doesn’t love to check things off your to-do list? Plus, you’re building with confidence – an even better feeling.

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings


Do you have more questions about pole barn winterization 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’re 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 post frame project.

About Courtney Moore

After working in the banking industry for 5 years after college, Courtney realized she needed a change and decided to pursue a new career path. Growing up she has always been creative and enjoyed writing, taking pictures, or painting. Now as the Marketing Content Creator for FBi Buildings, she gets to utilize her creative abilities in her everyday work. In her free time, you can find Courtney at home reading a book, partaking in any and all outdoor activities, or traveling and photographing her adventures. Courtney resides in Northwest Indiana with Lacey, her red tick coonhound.