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Do you have a pole barn that you’re planning to turn into a workshop, hence the need for insulation? We researched this question for you, and we’re here to bring you the answer on how to insulate a pole barn.
Follow the four simple steps below to insulate the walls of your pole barn:
- Measure the thickness of the girt and install foam boards horizontally between the girts.
- Once all foam boards are in place, install studs behind the girt (opposite the external cladding).
- Install fiberglass batt in the cavities between the studs.
- Install the inside wall covering on top of the fiberglass batt.
The steps above are simplified for those who are looking for ideas on how to insulate a pole barn. If you need the detailed steps, all the way to the installation of insulation for the roof, then all you have to do is read the rest of this article. We have all the detailed steps in the sections below. Read on!
How to insulate a pole barn?
Let’s talk about the steps above in more detail. We will start with the equipment that you will need then we will move on to the steps to insulate the wall of your pole barn.
Next, we will talk about how to insulate the roof of the pole barn. And finally, we’ll wrap things up by talking about how to insulate a sliding barn door.
Materials that you will need
Let’s start by going through the things that you will need to protect yourself during the entire installation process.
Most of the insulation that we will use produces dust that can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory organs. So, don’t take the protective gear for granted.
The following equipment will protect you from any dust that will come from the construction materials and the insulation.
- Sweatshirt or any long-sleeved shirt
- Eye protection
- Face mask
Measuring and trimming materials
The equipment below will be used for measuring and cutting the insulation materials to be used. It includes items that you will use to fasten the insulation.
- Measuring tape
- Cardboard cutter
The Yeahome heavy-duty 4-in-1 staple gun for woodcrafts and carpentry is a great choice Check it out on Amazon.
The items below are the insulation materials that you will need to insulate your pole barn.
Please keep in mind that the fiberglass batt produces dust that is an irritant. Thus, minimize its movement and never shake it if you don’t need to.
- Foam boards
- Fiberglass batt
- Baffle rafter vents
- Polyethylene tape
- Can of spray foam
- Brush seal strip
- Silicon caulk
Try this 10-ounce cartridge of the Gorilla White 100% Silicone Sealant Caulk. Check it out on Amazon.
Steps for insulating the walls of a pole barn
Here are the detailed steps to insulate the walls of the pole barn. Begin only after you’ve equipped yourself with the protective gear that we listed in a previous section.
- Use the can spray foam to seal the gaps in the windows and doors in your pole barn. Also, check the electrical sockets and switches for any holes as they enter the pole barn and seal them too.
- Measure the thickness of your girt using a measuring tape. When measuring the width of the foam boards, keep in mind that girts are horizontally installed, and include the area behind the corner posts.
- Trim the foam boards based on these measurements using the cardboard cutter.
- Install foam boards horizontally between the girts starting from the corner post. Insert the foam board into the space behind the corner post and work your way towards the opposite end of the foam board.
- Keep repeating the steps above until you have filled the cavities between the girts of all the walls on your barn.
- Once you’ve filled all the spaces between the girts, install the vertical studs. You can use a thickness that will match the thickness of the insulation that you need to meet your target R-value.
- When you install the vertical studs, leave a half-inch to an inch of space between the girt and the studs. This space will be filled with insulation, too, for creating an insulating barrier between the girt and the studs. There will be heat transfer between the stud and the girt if they are in contact.
- Measure the distance between the studs using your measuring tape.
- Trim the fiberglass batt based on your measurements and install it into the space between the studs. Install the fiberglass batt from the bottom of the walls up to the double top plate.
- Keep repeating steps 8 & 9 until you have installed the fiberglass batt on all the walls. Make sure not to leave any empty spaces between the studs. If there are spaces that are too small for the fiberglass batt to go, use the can spray foam to fill those spaces.
- Install the inside wall covering on top of the fiberglass batt.
Steps to insulate the roof of the pole barn
Measure the distance between the rafters and then purchase baffle rafter vents that have widths that match this distance. If there are no baffle rafter vents that match the distance between your rafters, pick the closest one. If you must pick between a smaller width and a larger width, choose the one with a larger width.
- Measure the distance vertically from the wall plate to the roof deck.
- Get one of the baffle rafter vents and measure an inch and a half to two inches from one end. Trim both sides of the width of the baffle rafter vent to allow it to make a 90-degree angle.
- Measure the vertical distance from the wall plate to the roof deck from the end with the first fold. Trim both sides of the width. This is to make a second fold that follows the angle that the roof makes with the wall.
- Position the bottom fold of the baffle rafter vent to the wall plate and fasten it using the staplegun.
- Align the second fold to the bottom of the roof deck and use the staple gun to secure it into place.
- Follow steps one to four until you have installed baffle rafter vents on all the bottom parts of the rafters. This is to isolate the eaves vent or soffit vent from the insulation material that you will install later for the roof. The eaves vent should allow air circulation to continue even after you install the insulation.
- Install the next layer of baffle rafter vents to overlap the first layer. Fasten it in place using the staplegun.
- Use polyethylene tape to seal the gap between the overlapping baffle rafter vents. This will create an airtight seal between the overlapping baffle rafter vents.
- Repeat steps six and seven until you have installed baffle rafter vents on all the spaces between the rafters.
- Install a layer of baffle rafter vent to connect the two sides of baffle rafter vents over the ridge board of the ceiling. This will create a sealed airflow chamber for circulating air from the eaves vent or soffit vents to the ridge vents.
- Once you’re done installing the air circulation chamber between the rafters, trim the fiberglass batt based on the distance between the rafters.
- Install the fiberglass batt between the rafters with the paper side facing the inside of the barn. Use the staple gun to fasten the flaps of the fiberglass batt onto the rafters. Repeat these steps until you have filled all the cavities between the rafters with fiberglass batt insulation and have properly fastened them with the staplegun.
- Trim the fiberglass batt so that it can fit into the gap from the fiberglass batt of the wall and the fiberglass batt of the ceiling. This is to create an insulation seal from the walls all the way to the roof.
- At this point, you can install an OSB or CDX layer to add support to the fiberglass batt, or you can leave it as it is. However, keep in mind that the flaps that we fastened to the rafters are only made of paper, and they can get ripped eventually from supporting the weight of the fiberglass batt.
How to insulate a sliding barn door?
Now that we’re done with insulating the walls and the roof of your pole barn, the logical next step is to insulate the barn doors, right? It is fortunate, then, that we have the steps how to do it right here.
- Adjust the trolly of the sliding barn door so that the door will be closer to the wall.
- Install a frame on the door that is thick enough to hold insulation. The thickness should match the insulation that you plan to install. This is usually based on the R-value that you are trying to get.
- Seal the edges of the frame with silicone caulk. This will help create an airtight seal.
- Fill the cavity inside the frame with fiberglass batt. The edges of the fiberglass batt should fit snugly on the inner edges of the frame to create a tight seal.
- Cover the frame cavity with an OSB or CDX layer. Seal the edges with a fiberglass caulk after installation.
- Fasten a brush seal strip on the edges of the wall where the barn door rests while closed. The brush seal strip should be positioned where it will create a seal on the edges of the barn door against the outside temperatures.
- Seal the edges of the brush seal strip with silicone caulk where it makes contact with the wall.
The roof and walls of a pole barn can easily be insulated. And the addition of door insulation will make the pole barn more habitable.
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