Welcome to the 8 Types of Pole Barn Repair & Renovation Needs. Our goal is to provide you with insights and answers to every building repair or renovation that can be done. From storm damage to building additions, we’ve got a solution for you.

Knowing which direction to take may seem daunting, especially if you don’t know where to begin. That’s where finding the right post frame builder will make a world of difference.

From start to finish, we’ve got the resources to help you achieve your goal. You’ll be repairing and renovating your pole barn with confidence in no time.

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Should I Take My Pole Barn Damage Seriously?

Some pole barn damage may be a bigger deal than others. Regardless, they all should be taken seriously. Even the minimal ones can become a bigger issue down the road.

If a tree falls on your post frame building, the most obvious solution is to call your insurance agent. But what about pole barn rust?
Should that be taken care of as soon as possible?

The answer is yes! All building damages is worthy of calling and scheduling a Repair & Renovation Specialist to take a closer look.

What Are the Most Common Pole Barn Repairs?

Below, we'll detail the different types of damage that could happen to any pole barn and offer insight into how you should go about those building repairs.

1) Weather Damage

As a post frame builder in the Midwest, we know firsthand that Mother Nature can be unpredictable. The day-to-day predictions are ever-changing.

Weather damage comes in many forms, so we'll look deeper into the various storm damages that could happen to your post frame building.

Straight-line Winds

Wind Damage

Unless you planted windbreaks around your post frame building, it’s exposed to air movement from every direction. Blustery, strong winds can come without warning and rack anything in its path.

How this damage may affect your pole barn:

  • Loss of metal roofing panels
  • Sliding doors knocked off track
  • Large debris can fall on your building
  • Interior belongings exposed to the elements

Possible repairs needed to fix the damage:

Fallen Tree

 

Fallen Trees

Moreover, those wind gusts can uproot a tree and land on your pole barn. Even large limbs can cause significant damage.

How this damage may affect your pole barn:

  • A small or large hole in the metal roof or sidewalls
  • Collapsed roof, or worse, the entire structure

When the metal roofing panels are harmed, the pole barn interior is susceptible to damage as well. This opening could lead to moisture, rust, and mold growth if not taken care of immediately.

Possible repairs needed to fix the damage:

  • New metal roofing panels
  • New trusses
  • New purlins
  • New columns
  • New girts
  • New steel siding

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HailHail

Another common weather occurrence is hail. A vicious pop-up storm could cause a decent amount of building repairs.

How this damage may affect your pole barn:

Hail causes micro-damage to the paint on your metal roof and siding. Tiny chips can grow over time, leading to pole barn rust. Then, you’ll have a decaying exterior and more repair work than you initially thought. 

By taking care of hail damage right away, you can prevent further damage from happening.

Possible repairs needed to fix the damage:

  • New metal roofing panels
  • New steel siding with a fresh coat of paint
  • New windows

 

Lightning

Weather DamageYour chances of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 3,000. There’s still a good chance that your post frame building may be the recipient of a lightning bolt, especially if it’s out in the middle of an open area.

How this damage may affect your pole barn:

  • A charred hole in the metal roof or steel siding
  • Melted roof panels or steel siding
  • Fire damage caused by lightning making contact with an object

If a fire were to break out, all of your stored belongings are in harm's way. These items include farm equipment, vehicles, tools, and personal property. 

Possible repairs needed to fix the damage:

  • New metal roofing panels
  • New steel siding
  • Total building repair (fire)

 

Flooding

Flooding occurs after long periods of abnormally large amounts of rain. You could see excess water if your post frame building is located in a flood zone.

The real damage happens when the floodwater sits for too long. When the water has nowhere to go, it’ll wreak havoc on the ground until it evaporates.

How this damage may affect your pole barn:

  • Buckling or cracking foundation
  • Rotten posts
  • Mold growth
  • Destruction to machinery, vehicles, or furniture

Possible repairs needed to fix the damage:

 

Tornado

Storm Damage-1A tornado can pop up at any time, so you’re never really prepared for one. They bring on high winds, heavy rainfall/lightning, and hail. These instances can place a great deal of stress on your post frame building.

How this damage may affect your pole barn:

  • Metal roofing panels or steel siding ripped off/disfigured
  • Collapsed tree or other debris on top of your building
  • Broken windows
  • Flood and subsequent water damage

Possible repairs needed to fix the damage:

  • New metal roofing panels
  • New steel siding
  • New trusses
  • New windows
  • New columns

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2) Accidental Damage

Accidental damage is self-explanatory. It’s an unfortunate mishap that you didn’t foresee happening to your post frame building. 

No matter how cautious you are, accidents are a part of being human. Let’s take a look at mishaps that could happen to your pole barn. You might even relate to some incidents.

 

Dented SidingRunning into the Steel Siding

For example, you weren’t paying attention and backed into the side of your post frame building. As you inspect the damage, you notice a large dent in the steel siding. It’ll definitely need to be replaced.

How this damage may affect your pole barn:

  • The metal panel can uplift and expose the sidewall girts
  • Interior finishes can be exposed to outside elements
  • Chipped paint colors and subsequent rust
  • Unwanted animals or rodents can access your building

If any laminated posts or girts are damaged, you now have a structural issue that needs to be addressed. All it takes is one weak link to compromise the structural integrity of your pole barn.

Possible repairs needed to fix the damage:

  • Replace steel siding with a fresh coat of paint
  • Replace sidewall girts
  • Replace columns

In this situation, we recommend incorporating wainscoting into your building design. It provides easier, less expensive maintenance. 

When steel siding is damaged, it’s usually in the lower portion. Replacing a 3-foot tall panel is cheaper than a full 16-foot panel.

Damaged DoorBacking into a Door

Or, you could back into the overhead or sliding door because you forgot to open it first. Now there’s a dent in the door, and it won’t open or close.

How this damage may affect your pole barn:

  • Doors are knocked off the track
  • Doors can’t open or close properly

Possible repairs needed to fix the damage:

3) Fire Damage

Fire DamageUnfortunately, fires are one of those disasters we can’t control. Fires can be caused by faulty wiring, lightning bolts, or when your neighbors shoot fireworks off. It can spread fast if not caught right away.

How this damage may affect your pole barn:

  • Melted roofing panels and steel siding
  • Entire building loss and stored belongings

Possible repairs needed to fix the damage:

  • New metal roofing panels
  • New steel siding
  • New building from the ground up

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4) Aging Damage

It’s no surprise that the older your post frame building gets, the more repairs it’ll need. While we wish these structures would maintain their original condition, that’s just not reality.

You can do multiple things to extend your building’s life cycle, but eventually, you’ll notice aging signs. Your pole barn sits outside 24/7/365, trying to endure all of Mother Nature’s curveballs. Some form of damage is inevitable, albeit later down the road.

Here are some wear and tear examples your post frame building might experience:

Rotten ColumnRotted or Termite-Infested Columns

Rot flourishes with moisture, oxygen, and darkness. This fungus is every termite’s dream home. Most of the microbial action takes place within 6’’ of the surface. There are different ways to prevent rot, but eventually, your wooden posts will fall victim to it.

Some post frame builders use laminated columns, which have greater longevity than solid posts. Each layer of lumber is completely permeated with wood preservative and kiln-dried. This treatment prevents rot and termite damage.

Ask your pole barn builder if they offer a more sustainable solution, such as Perma-Columns®. These precast concrete columns represent the evolution of post frame construction. They’re sized to fit any laminated or solid posts. No wood goes into the ground, meaning your chances of insects and decay are very slim.

Building Leaks

As much as we hate to admit it, leaks can happen. 

Your steel roof may be leaking around the skylights. Maybe you don’t have the proper building features (e.g., gutters and downspouts) to redirect water. Even if you have these components, they’re subject to wear and tear as time goes on.

Building leaks need to be addressed right away. Otherwise, you’ll have your hands full with more repairs. Again, excess moisture causes rust. Broken gutters and downspouts can lead to standing water, damaging your post frame structure, and any items stored inside.

RustRust

Pole barn rust occurs when water molecules gain access through microscopic gaps in the metal panels. As a result, the steel sheet is weakened; thus, becoming brittle and flaky.

Rust is inevitable, but there are a few preventative measures you can take to postpone corrosion:

Once the damage is done, you’ll need to ask your post frame builder about repair and renovation options.

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5) Design Load Damage

Lastly, your post frame building can experience damage if not properly designed to withstand anticipated loads. 

Snow Load

Your pole barn builder and their engineering team should emphasize the following structural loads:

Snow Load

Snow load is the downward force on the structure’s roof caused by an accumulation of snow and ice. 

Engineers use snow loads to estimate the overall support a roof needs to withstand snowfall in your region.

Factors that affect wind load include exposure, temperature, importance, ground snow load, and roof slope/shape.

Wind Load

The term “wind load” refers to the internal and external wind pressure placed on a structure, which is measured in pounds per square foot (psf). 

There are three types of wind force, all of which have adverse structural effects on your post frame building:

  • Shear Load: Horizontal forces that cause racking of the walls (i.e., tilting).
  • Uplift Load: Wind flows under (or over) a roof that pushes (or pulls) upward.
  • Lateral Load: Horizontal pressure on the walls that could make a pole barn slide off the foundation or overturn.

Factors that affect wind load include basic wind speed, exposure, topography, building height, building shape, and gaps/leaks.

Shear Load

Diaphragm-1

Again, shear load is described as a horizontal force that can cause racking of the walls, affecting the original building shape. If you live in an area prone to high winds and earthquakes, shear load is critical to your building’s longevity.

How can a pole barn be designed to resist these loads? It’s all about your diaphragm design.

A diaphragm is defined as a flat structural component that acts like a deep, narrow beam. It’s usually applied to floors and roofs.

A shear wall, however, is just a vertical diaphragm. They provide support for the floor and roof diaphragms transmitting forces into the foundation.

These design loads are based on information obtained from the American Society of Civil Engineers Standard (ASCE 7). This publication helps engineers determine load requirements essential to their practice.
 
If not properly calculated, your post frame building could see bowing components, such as steel siding and wooden trusses. Extreme cases may experience building collapse.
 
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How Do You File & Settle a Pole Barn Insurance Claim?

Pole barn insurance claims may sound intimidating. However, it’s something that needs to be done if you want to repair your pole barn without breaking the bank.

We can’t guarantee that there won’t be headaches, but our goal is to inform you of the steps involved when repairing your pole barn damage.

Insurance AgentStep 1: Notify Your Insurance Agent

First and foremost, you’ll need to document the property damage. Pull out your cell phone and take photos of your post frame building. Note as many details of the incident (if possible).

Then, your provider will ask for your policy number and any documentation. They’ll explain your insurance coverage options based on the policy you pay for throughout the year. 

Also, the claims department will assign a claims number and adjuster to your case. This person is responsible for assessing the damage and calculating a repair estimate.

Step 2: Call Your Pole Barn Builder (“The Experts”)

Furthermore, your insurance agent may suggest requesting quotes from different construction companies. Please note that this extra work isn’t a requirement on your part.

Instead, we recommend working with someone you’re most comfortable with, such as your pole barn builder. No one knows post frame construction better than them.

Plus, you don’t have to waste your valuable time gathering competitive bids your insurance agent won’t use.

Don’t have a preferred builder? We compiled a list of 7 tips to help you hire the right pole barn repair team.

When you’re ready, pick up the phone and explain your unfortunate situation to the experts. They’ll be more than happy to help you with your problem.

Step 3: Schedule a Repair Assessment with Your Pole Barn Builder

After contacting your post frame builder, they’ll send a Repair & Renovation Specialist to your property for assessment. This initial visit should occur within 24 to 48 hours (schedule permitting). 

These professionals go through your pole barn damage with a fine-tooth comb, so to speak. Then, they’ll draft a work order detailing the project scope and cost.

CheckStep 4: Connect with your Insurance Claims Adjuster

Meanwhile, your claims adjuster will conduct their own assessment. They’ll evaluate the post frame building, and take their own pictures of the property damage.

Also, the claims adjuster may ask about pre-existing damage, routine maintenance, or other safety measures implemented to reduce risk.

Using their best judgment, they'll write-up an appraisal and share it with your insurance company. From there, the insurer will determine if the building damage is covered or not.

In some cases, you may disagree with the claims adjuster’s ruling. Consequently, the insurance company’s payout is significantly lower than you expected.

If you’d like, your pole barn builder can work with the claims adjuster directly. They’ll bring a high level of post frame knowledge and repair experience to the table.

Furthermore, your preferred builder will inform the claims adjuster of the situation and costs associated with restoring the pole barn to its original state.

Not to mention, the claims process can be time-intensive. So why not let your post frame builder take this burden off your shoulders?

Pulling in the experts to collaborate with your claims adjuster gives you the control you deserve, and quite frankly, the protection you paid for.

Remember, once you settle the claim, the insurer’s payout is final. No take-backs. In other words, “you get what you get, and you don’t get upset.”

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Step 5: Schedule the Repair & Renovation Crew

When the insurance claim is settled, your agent will cut you a check for building repairs. 

Depending on your insurer and the agreed amount, it may take a couple of business days (or longer) to hit your bank account. 

Once you receive the sum, you can contact your post frame builder to start the repair process.

You’ll sign the finalized work order and make the first deposit. A copy will be forwarded to your insurance company for their records.

Repair Crew

Next, you’ll be introduced to your Project Manager (PM). This person is responsible for facilitating project scheduling, building changes, payments, and answering any questions throughout the repair process.

As part of their duties, your Project Manager will assign a Repair & Renovation crew to your pole barn. This specialized team of workers is crucial to the timely completion of your repair project.

It’s important to note that not all post frame builders have construction crews dedicated solely to repairs. 

Most likely, your damaged pole barn will take a backseat to new construction projects that need to stay on schedule. Your urgency may be met with, “We’ll get to your post frame building in a couple of weeks.” It can be very frustrating, to say the least.

Will My Pole Barn Warranty Cover These Damages?

WarrantyAs you select a post frame builder, you’ll want to make sure they offer a pole barn warranty. While we’d like to think our building is invincible, that isn’t the case. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan if/when something goes wrong.

A warranty is the written guarantee by manufacturers to purchasers promising to repair or replace defective products/services within a specified period. All warranties are limited, and there no two are the same.

With that being said, you don’t want to skim through them. Double-check all coverages, conditions, and exclusions before you sign any contract.

What Are the Most Common Pole Barn Renovations?

Sometimes, all your pole barn needs is a little TLC. If your post frame building appears to be in good structural condition, why not fix it up? 

The following renovation ideas can be a cost-effective solution for extending your structure’s life cycle and getting the most out of it.

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After1) Cosmetic Upgrades/Exterior Finishes

There are two cosmetic actions that will have your post frame building looking brand new: re-roofing and re-skinning.

Perhaps you have an old, rickety, wooden pole barn on the family farm. Your grandfather owned it, so there’s sentimental value there. You’d hate to tear it down.

Instead of demolishing it, why not restore the structure to its former glory? You can get a new life out of the deal with the memories still intact.

Re-roofing and re-skinning can add 40+ years to your building’s life and add much-needed curb appeal. Not to mention, they’re cheaper than building brand new.

If you really want character, you can upgrade the windows with shutters and add cupolas topped by weathervanes. 

Even a pole barn porch creates a warm space that makes others feel welcome. Include comfortable furniture for a great place to talk with friends or curl up with a good book.

 

Addition2) Building Additions

If you’re running out of space, then a pole barn addition or connection is right for you. Adding square footage to an existing building proves to be a practical choice.

It’s crucial that you understand the ways an addition or connection can affect the structural engineering of your post frame building.

More specifically, lean-tos and new openings need special consideration because they can overload current building components. The existing structure will need to hold new or redistributed weight.

 

3) Interior Finishes

Next, you can add interior finishes to your pole barn for a completed look. Examples include drywall, plywood, steel, and OSB.

Also, it’s the perfect time to pour that concrete floor you’ve been saving up for. Your wall coverings and flooring choices will depend on the building use.

Interior-1

Do you need more interior space? A deck system, or loft, is a great way to gain more room. It can be used as storage space to free up room in your house or stick-built garage. Before you get too excited, you’ll need to ask your post frame builder if the structure can handle extra design loads.

If you find yourself spending a lot of time in your post frame building, you may want to consider installing insulation. 

This material, paired with a reliable HVAC system, will keep your pole barn cool and warm in the blistering summer months and frigid winters, respectively. Not only will it make this space more comfortable, but also help you save money on energy bills.

Are You Ready to Repair or Renovate Your Pole Barn?

Now that you have a better idea of pole barn repairs and renovations, are you ready to get started? We understand it’s a lot of information to process, but our team of dedicated repair experts is here to help every step of the way.

Whether you’re interested in replacing damaged components or giving your post frame building a complete makeover, please call us a call at (800) 552-2981.

Just remember to always build or repair with confidence.

 

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