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Barn Blog

July 9, 2015

Best Materials for Insulating Your Pole Barn: The Pros & Cons

Insulating your pole barn can help save on energy costs by keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Though pole barns used to house animals may not need insulation, insulation will most likely be necessary in pole barns used for more personal reasons. So what is the best material? There are many options out there and each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Spray Foam Insulation: Though spray foam is one of the most effective materials for insulation, it is also one of the most expensive options and is extremely flammable if not covered with a thermal or fire-resistant barrier. While fiberglass works like a wool sweater and lets some air leak through, foam insulation acts more like a windbreaker and is substantially more efficient than traditional fiberglass batts. It’s effectiveness as a solid barrier from outside air makes foam a prime choice for insulation, but professional installation is required. The added cost of hiring a professional may push you over budget, but it is also important to consider how the longevity of the material may save you money in the long run: spray foam can last over 80 years while fiberglass needs to be replaced every 25 years and only if the material stays dry.

Fiberglass Insulation: Fiberglass has been the traditional material for insulation because it is lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to install without professional help. Fiberglass costs about $0.40 per square foot, and foam can cost up to $1.50 per board foot. While foam acts as a solid barrier from the outer elements, fiberglass slows the transfer of hot and cold air by trapping it within its nooks and crannies. Fiberglass also does little to help the structure of the building or to block moisture—foam stops moisture, pollen, and dust from coming through and adds strength to your pole barn’s structure. Nonetheless, if you are looking for an affordable, DIY insulation project, then fiberglass may be the best material.

Cellulose: If you have a passion for eco-friendly living, cellulose insulation may be the right choice for you. Cellulose is 85% recycled paper, making it much more "green" than foam or fiberglass. The installation of cellulose is also more affordable than foam with costs averaging at $0.60 per square feet, and many studies show that cellulose reduces sound reverberation and transmission more that foam insulation. Because cellulose is made out of renewable materials, is more effective than fiberglass, and is more affordable than foam, it could be the best insulation material for your pole barn.

For information on pole barn kits, contact The Pole Barn Company today at 844-213-0034.

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