Why your pole building may start to drip at certain times of the year
During a drastic difference in temperature between the inside and the outside of a pole building, many people begin to notice that their buildings begin to “drip.”
While this might seem unsettling, it’s actually completely normal; here’s why your pole building may start to drip during certain times of the year.
Pole Buildings Drip Due to Condensation
When warm, moist air comes into contact with a cooler surface, or when cold air comes into contact with a much warmer surface, beads of condensation emerge. This happens because the air is forced to hit its dew point very rapidly. Basically, when the outside air temperature is significantly warmer or cooler than the interior of your pole building, the difference in temperature causes condensation to form inside the building—the same thing happens during winter when you take a hot shower and the mirror in your bathroom fogs up.
If enough condensation builds up in your building, then it will begin to drip. This doesn’t mean that you have sprung a leak or that there is anything wrong with your building.
Can A Pole Barn Drip Be Avoided?
The short answer is yes. There are several different methods you can use to completely eliminate condensation in your building:
Use a high R-value insulation with vapor barrier.
If you choose to insulate your building with insulation that is rated R-19 or above, as well as a vapor barrier, then you can avoid condensation in your building. This is the most cost-effective option.
Opt for spray foam insulation.
This type of insulation is far more effective than traditional fiberglass insulation at preventing condensation in pole buildings on its own. It’s also a very compact way to avoid dripping. The downside to this option is that spray foam insulation is much more expensive than ordinary insulation.
Insulate and create a vented attic.
If you’re building a barndominium, then you may want to enclose your living space and separate it from the remaining area with insulation and a vapor barrier; this creates a vented attic like you would see in an ordinary house. This is the best option if you’re constructing a pole barn home, but it’s also the most expensive of these three possibilities.
Include radiant barrier on the roof.
Adding a radiant barrier to your roof won’t insulate your building per se (because it doesn’t actually have any thermal resistance, so it doesn’t have an R-value), which means it won’t prevent condensation from forming. Still, it will keep the condensation that accumulates in your building from dripping on anything you may have inside. The radiant barrier only costs around $0.90 per square foot, so it’s the most economical way to decrease dripping.
Check for proper site preparation.
One of the reasons that pad prep is so important is that it ensures your pole building will achieve adequate drainage. The building site should be at least 6” taller than any area within 8 to 10 feet of the structure so that moisture naturally moves away from the building.
Combined with ventilation measures, site preparation can go a long way toward minimizing the amount of condensation you notice in your pole building.
Is There Any Reason to Worry About A Pole Building Drip?
There’s no reason to be concerned if your pole building is dripping—condensation won’t damage the structure or reduce how long your pole building lasts. However, it’s understandable if you want to invest in one or more of the measures above to drastically reduce or completely eliminate dripping. Whether you opt for an enclosed horse barn or a run-in shed, the fact is that you’ll probably notice dripping at some point.
Now that you have a better understanding of why dripping occurs in pole buildings and how it can be prevented, contact us to work on a building of your own!