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How Much Does It Cost to Repair Rotted Pole Barn Columns?

March 8th, 2021 | 8 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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Rot. This dreaded pole barn repair will happen, especially if your post-frame building was constructed in the 1970s or 1980s. 

Not to be confused with improper pole barn maintenance, rot is a fungus that flourishes with darkness, moisture, and oxygen.

For example, do you know someone who owns a cold storage building for their farm equipment? Or a tool shed for storing a lawnmower and off-road vehicles?

There's nothing special about these post-frame buildings, meaning over-the-top or fancy. They're simple pole barns with no bells and whistles, just electricity for basic functionality. However, they have two things in common: a dirt floor and wooden columns.

Over time, the microbial action from rot takes place within 6" of the surface. When the solid post shows visible decay, it can damage your pole barn's structural integrity.

Fun Fact: In the 1970s, wooden columns were soaked in creosote. This chemical made the solid post unsusceptible to rot but harmed the environment and water table.

Then, the post-frame construction industry transitioned to 6x6 treated posts. Unfortunately, the creosote didn't soak through, creating rot issues. Eventually, the use of creosote stopped because of environmental problems.

This article discusses the costs of repairing a rotted pole barn column and how you can protect your wooden posts.


Which Factors Influence the Cost of Repairing Rotted Pole Barn Columns?

Pole Barn Spalling ConcreteAs mentioned above, each post-frame builder (and pole barn conditions) are different. At FBi Buildings, our starting price is a minimum of $500 per pole (with at least six poles).

You're probably wondering why it costs $500 to repair a rotted pole barn column. Ultimately, the type of pole barn flooring will influence the cost of repairing your wooden posts.

For instance, are your pole barn columns embedded in a dirt, gravel, or concrete foundation? If you have a concrete floor, the repair costs will be higher. Our Repair & Renovation construction crews must cut the concrete around the wooden posts. 

An alternative solution is screwing brackets on either side of the pole to the concrete floor. If brackets are used to secure the pole barn columns, proper structural integrity measures will be in place to ensure load paths are being transferred to the foundation.

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A building material and equipment cost is associated with this pole barn repair. For example, FBi Buildings will use the following tools to replace your rotted posts:

  • Wooden Stubs: 3-ply 6" long stubs placed 4' in the ground or close to the existing footing. Sakrete or concrete is used to secure the wooden stubs.

  • Hardware: The brackets or screw fasteners used to secure the wooden stubs.

  • Repair & Renovation Construction Crew: The field employees will complete the pole barn repair.
    • Depending on your building design, will exterior or interior steel need to be removed?
    • The construction crew will inspect your post-frame building for truss damage. Rotted columns can cause sagging trusses.
  • Tools: The instruments used to repair the rotted pole barn column (e.g., concrete cutter, drill, hand auger, hole jacks, and level.

  •  Equipment: The machinery needed to remove the existing floor from the wooden post.

Pole Barn Repair Quote_FBi Buildings

What Should Your Pole Barn Column Warranty Cover?

Rotted Pole Barn Columns_BlogBefore you request a quote, you should check if your pole barn warranty covers rotted columns.

First, a warranty is the written guarantee by manufacturers to purchases promising to repair or replace defective products/services within a certain period.

Editor's Note: There is no standard pole barn warranty in the post-frame construction industry. You don't want to skim through these documents.

Before you purchase a new post-frame building, you must answer the following questions:

  • Which building components are covered by the warranty?
  • Which building components are not covered by the warranty?
  • How quickly can your post-frame building respond to your warranty claim?

We can't speak for other post-frame builders, but FBi Buildings offers a lifetime warranty on pole barn columns. Unless you're operating a commercial business, then the coverage is limited to 40 years.

Furthermore, we'll repair or replace the pressure-treated section of any laminated post whose failure is caused by decay or insect damage – free of charge.

We'll supply replacement material for any 4x6 solid post for ten years post-completion date whose failure is caused by decay or insect damage. Common examples include interior lofts and exterior porches.

Editor's Note: We can't transfer the pole barn warranty if you weren't the original purchaser of the post-frame building.

Pole Barn Repairs & Renovations Photos

How Can You Prevent Rotted Pole Barn Columns?

We can't sit here and promise that your pole barn columns will never rot. However, the likelihood of that happening is extremely low.

For instance, FBi Buildings uses (3) 2x6 pieces of laminated wood to form a solid, impenetrable post. Each column is treated with 0.80 lb./cu. Ft. of Chromated Cooper Aresentate (CCA) wood preservative. That's 33 percent more than the industry standard, which you'll find at local hardware stores and lumberyards.

Perma_Column_2Another option is to consider upgrading your laminated posts to Perma-Columns. This precast concrete column eliminates insect damage, decay, and rotting because no wood goes into the ground.

FBi Buildings has been using the sustainable solution for 20+ years and can attest to its extraordinary strength. The benefits of Perma-Columns are:

  • Made from 10,000 PSI precast concrete with steel reinforcement
  • Includes 60,000 PSI rebar with a 1/4" steel bracket for connecting to the laminated post
  • Built-in steel uplift anchors

Overall, Perma-Columns guarantee a lifetime of durability. As a result, you'll avoid thousands of dollars in repair costs.

Do You Have Rotted Pole Barn Columns That Need to be Repaired?

As one of the top post-frame builders in the Midwest, it's our job to get you thinking about your pole barn column options. Then, it's up to you to decide the right balance between strength and repair costs.

To read more about the other building components that affect your pole barn, download our FREE "Structural Integrity in Post-Frame Construction" guidebook. 

In the end, you'll have a better understanding of how the building materials used to repair your pole barn columns affect the longevity of your post-frame building.

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Do you have more questions about rotted pole barn columns 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 project.