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  1. #1

    Default Pole barn problem.....

    Having a problem with condensation in my building which I thought was over once the concrete cured. Hoping someone on here can help with a solution. The building is 30 x 30 insulated with a insulated garage door. Went in yesterday morning an the building was covered in frost being it was cold outside but when I went in I noticed condensation around the inside side of door an on the garage door an also on each side of the ceiling joists on the white blanket insulation from where the insulation is screwed down tight to the joists. The building is not heated but is warmer than outside temps. There also is no ventalation in the building. What can I do? Thanks in advance..

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Dr Dave's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
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    sioux city, ia
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    Oliver 1855, Case 1840, Cub 1550

    Default Re: Pole barn problem.....

    Did you put a vapor barior under your slab? Is the insulation at the ceiling joist or the roof rafters? If the ceiling is insulated add vents for attic space, ridge and eve vents work the best. Also some, now install a vapor barior between tin and roof rafters, along with ceiling insulation.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pole barn problem.....

    Yes I put a vapor barrier under slab. The insulation is at the roof rafters. It is between the rafters an the metal roof. The building is clear span open ceiling.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Covington, GA
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    JD 870

    Default Re: Pole barn problem.....

    Where do you live?

    There are some solar convection current heaters some people use in their barns to warm them up. I have not seen wooden rafters get sweaty but my barn is well ventilated as it is a barn, not a shed/garage. I could see metal rafters getting sweaty.
    Solar space heating -- active and passive solar projects for space heating
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  5. #5
    Veteran Member Dutch445's Avatar
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    Upstate NY
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    JD X585

    Default Re: Pole barn problem.....

    i have a 40x60 that came with the property i bought a year ago, and it is also insulated,
    and the interior is finished in steel siding. i would imagine 16' ceilings.
    it is basically storage for my camper trailer, boat, etc. last winter i noticed a lot
    of condensation on the camper (steel siding) and other items in the barn, and i just
    attributed it to cold temps and humidity. this year i have been running the ceiling
    fans (2) and the last time i was out there i didn't notice any moisture. the windows in
    this barn are far from new, and i know i get some air leaking thru.
    i will look into the heaters though, my barn has awesome southern exposure up on top
    of a hill.
    JD X585 with 45 loader, 3ph, 62C deck, 47SB, 54 blade, Soft Cab. JD F620 with 60". JD HPX gator. JD T23 trimmer
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  6. #6
    Elite Member Zebrafive's Avatar
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    South West MI
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    John Deere 2030, John Deere 6415

    Default Re: Pole barn problem.....

    Do you have an overhang (eaves)? Is the ceiling insulation tight to the roof or did you leave an air space?
    I think you need eave to peak ventilation above the insulation.
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  7. #7
    Platinum Member the old grind's Avatar
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    Mid-Michigan
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    NH T-1520 HST, JD 5210 2WD, Terramite T5C

    Default Re: Pole barn problem.....

    JimRB, thanks for the links. I'm gettin' ideas already ...

    Wraiths your geography has a lot to do with what to expect from local weather variations. (won't insist you tell us where that is...) Warm days after a cold spell can leave barn contents sweating regardless of the floor's contribution. Ventless gas heaters add moisture, if you consider adding one later on. Unvented buildings can be troublesome moisture traps anywhere but the arid Southwest.

    Guys, d'ja ever wonder if a powered gable vent would help if it was controlled by a humidistat but overridden as needed, say when heat is on?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pole barn problem.....

    I thought about putting in a ceiling fan to help keep the air moving but wasn't sure if that would help or not. My building doesn't have any ventalation at all no windows either. What do you think would be better a ceiling fan or gable mounted fan or using a dehumidifier? Hate to go with dehumidifier since in the summer will be working in there with door up an that would be bringing in more humid air. By the way I'm located in s.c. so we do have humidity. So what would be the best fix is what I'm asking cause I don't have a clue. Would moving the air with a fan help or should I go with a gable exhaust fan. If gable fan is the best wouldn't it need a intake vent also thus bringing in fresh air and making the building the same temp as outside?

  9. #9
    Platinum Member the old grind's Avatar
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    NH T-1520 HST, JD 5210 2WD, Terramite T5C

    Default Re: Pole barn problem.....

    Mebbe the powered vent idea would require some control sophistication to turn it on at right times (sorry), but a passive gable vent could also be opened/shuttered from the floor with the right hookup. (Farmtek or somebody?) If your building is pretty air tight you'd need some inlet too, say up a ways on the sunny side and shielded from weather surprises. Dutch445 says the ceiling fan works, and IMO that's a big +1. It's an option, but venting the building somehow is a must most anywhere you live, no? .....

    Condensation above your insulation can be scary. Having it at the flat ceiling vs between upper rafters allows easier venting/inspecting. I've seen insulation so close to the roof deck on a new house that lack of circulation led to condensation and black mold galore on the rafters within two yrs. The entire deck had to be stripped off (sawed out between joists) everything treated with some spray (iffy IMO) stuff and several I-joists replaced. 2x4s were added on top with gaps to vent laterally and increase what little airspace there was between the f'glass and an entirely new deck. btw: this house had a seamless rubber roof the was fully intact and in-floor heat on the main floor and in the basement slab.

    We discussed powerventing up-slope from channels added along the eaves, but ....... we feared that moist outside air might condense under the deck as before. I haven't seen the house in 2ys since the fix. I'd be afraid to and wouldn't bet that another 1 1/2" or was enough space either, but I hope so. I'd have had lower ceilings, say 9' or 10', more roof pitch, and a lot more room to ventilate or circulate above the insulation.

    Sorry, wraiths if I misunderstood exactly where/how your insulation is installed, but the long story came from fearing a repeat of what I'd seen.....
    Last edited by the old grind; 01-24-2013 at 04:16 AM.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
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    Missouri
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    '63 Ford 2000

    Default Re: Pole barn problem.....

    I agree with zebra5- you must have some type of vent for air movement- the inside must breath a little. I have a small12 by 22 metal building that originally had no vents. I did have sweat on the inside of the roof that dripped. After a winter and one summer I started to notice a scum feeling on everything I handled in the building (mildew buildup?). I installed a vent on each end (9 inches by 12 inches) down low and also the same thing up at the top of the gable ends for some air movement. Never had another problem

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