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April 16, 2014

Protecting Pole Barns from Severe Storms

Depending on where you live, your pole barn can at risk for a number of natural hazards. Nor'easters, hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards are just a few weather conditions that could end up taking a heavy toll on a pole barn. If you use your post frame building as living quarters, a storefront or field office it is crucial that you protect your building when bad weather is heading in.

From reinforcing the roof in the winter to preparing a post frame building for floods and wind in the summer, there are several actions you can take to make your post frame building better prepared.

If you live up north and experience heavy snow fall during the winter your primary concern will be the roof. Snow accumulation can be rapid during some storms and this will create significant stress on the roof. When too much snow piles up it is possible that a weak roof will collapse under the weight. As winter approaches it is recommended that you reinforce the pole barn roof by using a "X" frame to support the "A" frame. This can be achieved by placing two diagonal pieces of wood between the trusses.

If your pole barn building has a gutter system, prepare for spring and summer rain storms by performing a thorough cleaning. Leaves and debris can easily get stuck in a gutter channel and this will lead to clogs when heavy rain falls. Once a clog happens, water will start to back up and the flow over the top of the gutter. This water can start to creep up under the roof shingles and eventually start to leak through the ceiling. Be prepared for heavy rain by ensuring your pole barn gutters are clean.

Other tips to consider when bad weather threatens your pole barn are to cut off the power and water valves and circuits. During bad storms these systems can be damaged by lightning and flooding and to avoid costly repairs and replacements, switch it off prior to the storm starting. Another suggestion is to have insurance on your post frame building. In some cases the pole barn will be covered under your homeowner's policy but that is not always the case. To avoid losing your pole barn completely to a damaging storm, contact your local insurance representative and review your coverage.



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