What's new

Insulating pole barn

bgaidan

Red Skull Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Member Number
2322
Messages
2,984
My new to me shop was kind of half-assed insulated by the PO. He made an attempt, but didn't really know what he was doing.

Not sure why he chose to use EPS foam sheets, but that's what he did. I have concerns about flammability and durability as EPS tends to break down from light if not encapsulated. There are already placed where the foam has started to yellow.


The other issues is that it really makes it difficult to hang anything on the walls. I supposed on the outside walls I could leave it there, run some wood purlins and cover it with wood or metal panels.


20201217_200700.jpg

20210107_214144.jpg


On top of that, he kind of shoehorned the cut off wall in there. There's a man door and the smaller garage door to the conditioned side of the shop. There really wasn't room between the two for a wall, but he did it any way. The rails for the door are right up against the wall and cut in to the foam.
20200811_122015.jpg


I think my plan is going to be to move the man door over one bay so it's between the two larger doors on the unconditioned side. I'm hoping I can salvage the tine from side to side so I don't have to source more and risk it not matching.

20200811_122238.jpg



This is the unconditioned side of the cut off wall. It's just floor to ceiling (15'+) 2x4 studs only supported at the top and floor, no intermediate bracing or anything. They're also on 24" centers, with 2" foam panels stuck between them and then another 2" over the outside on the conditioned side.

My plan would be to to completely take this wall down, move it over a foot or two (after relocating the man door) to give the garage door a little more breathing room. And of course, rebuild it and insulate it properly. I don't see any reason why fiberglass batts wouldn't be more appropriate than the foam here.
20200811_122216.jpg




So the question is - how hack is this? Should I try to salvage the foam or am I better off just tearing it all out and doing it another/right way?
 
When I built my house a couple years ago I had a company that build kits to your plans that use their "Pacific SmartWall Technology". The walls were pre-built in sections with EPS insulation.
I would leave yours in place adding purlins, plywood (or OSB) and or metal to cover. Could even add another layer of EPS between your purlins to add to the R value. You should add a vapour barrier over the EPS before covering though since the EPS is permeable to water vapour over time. Thought I would not have to on my build but I was informed otherwise by the inspector and the company that built the walls.
 
When I built my house a couple years ago I had a company that build kits to your plans that use their "Pacific SmartWall Technology". The walls were pre-built in sections with EPS insulation.
I would leave yours in place adding purlins, plywood (or OSB) and or metal to cover. Could even add another layer of EPS between your purlins to add to the R value. You should add a vapour barrier over the EPS before covering though since the EPS is permeable to water vapour over time. Thought I would not have to on my build but I was informed otherwise by the inspector and the company that built the walls.

That's essentially what I am doing...

Reclaimed sheets with fiber-mesh coating (it's what was available on CL)... Some sections got plywood over the top... the rest is getting rough-cut .625"x8" white oak planks, when i get around to milling the logs into boards... seems taped with aluminum tape and/or spray foam. Boards on top.

20201227_212133090_iOS (2).jpg
 
When I built my house a couple years ago I had a company that build kits to your plans that use their "Pacific SmartWall Technology". The walls were pre-built in sections with EPS insulation.
I would leave yours in place adding purlins, plywood (or OSB) and or metal to cover. Could even add another layer of EPS between your purlins to add to the R value. You should add a vapour barrier over the EPS before covering though since the EPS is permeable to water vapour over time. Thought I would not have to on my build but I was informed otherwise by the inspector and the company that built the walls.

Given the price of plywood lately, I'm betting surplus corrugated metal is going to be cheaper.

The outside walls do have that heavy string reinforced plastic sheeting that I assume works as a barrier. Not sure if I'd want to have it on both sies.
 
That's essentially what I am doing...

Reclaimed sheets with fiber-mesh coating (it's what was available on CL)... Some sections got plywood over the top... the rest is getting rough-cut .625"x8" white oak planks, when i get around to milling the logs into boards... seems taped with aluminum tape and/or spray foam. Boards on top.


What's your plywood nailed to?
 
What's your plywood nailed to?

on the left side of that pic, 3" screws through the ply/insulation into the purlins. I framed out around the service door and doubled up on the foam... screwed right to the new framing. Did it that way to "cover" the two shorter 6x6' posts around the door itself... cleaner this way.
 
on the left side of that pic, 3" screws through the ply/insulation into the purlins. I framed out around the service door and doubled up on the foam... screwed right to the new framing. Did it that way to "cover" the two shorter 6x6' posts around the door itself... cleaner this way.

So you're sandwiching the foam under the plywood? I was thinking I'd have to put purlins inside too and mount the sheeting to that.
 
So you're sandwiching the foam under the plywood? I was thinking I'd have to put purlins inside too and mount the sheeting to that.

Correct.

and I’m planning to do the same with the oak...

so From outside-in: steel > foil wrap > purlin/1.5” air pocket > 1.5” foam > wood facade.

I thought about adding more framing, but the price point didn’t make sense to me. Then again, I’ll probably end up spending just as much in screws... :homer:
 
The outside walls do have that heavy string reinforced plastic sheeting that I assume works as a barrier. Not sure if I'd want to have it on both sies.


The outer covering is the Tyveck type? Tyvek house wrap is breathable to let the water out of the wall.
Vapour barrier should be installed on the warm side otherwise.
 
The outer covering is the Tyveck type? Tyvek house wrap is breathable to let the water out of the wall.
Vapour barrier should be installed on the warm side otherwise.

What about builds that use closed cell spray foam directly to the steel?

Mine is
Steel- foil wrap vapor barrier- studs with batt insulation- osb or panel liner
 
So the question is - how hack is this? Should I try to salvage the foam or am I better off just tearing it all out and doing it another/right way?

It's very hack to build a wall like that. It's very hack to use that insulation as a wall covering. It's even more hack to cut the door rails into it instead of building the wall properly.

Do not salvage the foam. Throw that junk away and use batt insulation in the new wall. Check Menards for their batt. The r-19 in rolls was the best bang for the buck when i built my shop. I have about 200 rolls in there waiting for me to frame- wire and plumb my shop:rolleyes:
 
It's very hack to build a wall like that. It's very hack to use that insulation as a wall covering. It's even more hack to cut the door rails into it instead of building the wall properly.

Do not salvage the foam. Throw that junk away and use batt insulation in the new wall. Check Menards for their batt. The r-19 in rolls was the best bang for the buck when i built my shop. I have about 200 rolls in there waiting for me to frame- wire and plumb my shop:rolleyes:
foamboard>>>>>>>fiberglass
for mice alone
 
[486 said:
;n335229]
foamboard>>>>>>>fiberglass
for mice alone

:lmao:You think mice can't chew little runways in the foam board??? I wish i would've taken pictures, but i had a situation where they just made tunnels and runways in the foam board. Plus that foam board he has is the cheapest, lowest r- value board you can find.
 
:lmao:You think mice can't chew little runways in the foam board??? I wish i would've taken pictures, but i had a situation where they just made tunnels and runways in the foam board. Plus that foam board he has is the cheapest, lowest r- value board you can find.

they do if you give them room to chew on the shit
pack it in there and they'll find places with more space like the attic

whereas with the fiberglass they just chew it up and pretty soon half the cavity is uninsulated because it's all chewed up and compacted in the bottom

EPS is similar r value to fiberglass or cellulose
 
Last edited:
I am pretty sure the spray foam insulation also is rated as an air barrier. I asked about having my ceiling sprayed when building my house. It was fine to spray direct onto roof sheathing with zero air gap so no venting was required. Think I also don't need a vapour barrier but not 100% about that.
In the end on my ceiling went with bat insulation.
 
[486 said:
;n335319]

they do if you give them room to chew on the shit
pack it in there and they'll find places with more space like the attic

whereas with the fiberglass they just chew it up and pretty soon half the cavity is uninsulated because it's all chewed up and compacted in the bottom

EPS is similar r value to fiberglass or cellulose

:laughing:I don't think you know what the fuck you're talking about here...eps is the cheapest, lowest r- value insulation you can use. If you give a mouse enough room to get their noise in, they will chew right through that junk with as much ease as burrowing into fiberglass insulation..
And as for r- value, it's not even close to the same, but i guess believe what you want:rolleyes:
Screenshot_20210308-050748_Chrome.jpg
 
I probably won't be tackling this any time in the relatively near future. It's good enough for now and I have many, many other projects to take care of first. I may shoot for next winter so I can use the wood furnace in the uninsulated side to heat the place while I have it torn apart.


I'm hoping I'll stumble across a deal on some tin or corrugated sheets. I think the current plan will be to leave the foam on the ceiling and cover it with tin, and then maybe throw some bats above it. Access is a bitch up there, but it can be done.

I still need to add a bunch of outlets and eventually air so I'll try to get to that first and then work on moving the outside door, the wall and then re-insulating. We'll see where prices are, but batts seem to be the most logical way to go.
 
:laughing:I don't think you know what the fuck you're talking about here...eps is the cheapest, lowest r- value insulation you can use. If you give a mouse enough room to get their noise in, they will chew right through that junk with as much ease as burrowing into fiberglass insulation..
And as for r- value, it's not even close to the same, but i guess believe what you want:rolleyes:
so, what is fiberglass good for if eps is 3.8-4 r/in according to your provided source?
 
[486 said:
;n335815]
so, what is fiberglass good for if eps is 3.8-4 r/in according to your provided source?

I suppose it depends on wall thickness. You're not going to stack 3 layers of 2" eps in a 6" cavity. Would be great r- value, beats batt by r-5. That's a lot more time and a lot more money though. Batt or rolls will go up quicker, easier, and cheaper.
We are talking about someone who already has the eps though, so my way would be money behind to garbage the existing eps. I just don't like eps. It's literally garbage, degrades over time, makes a giant mess, and is just as easy for mice to dig through as glass. If we were talking the pink or blue sheets, my tune would be far different.
 
I suppose it depends on wall thickness. You're not going to stack 3 layers of 2" eps in a 6" cavity.

well, I've been sticking a 2" and a 1.5" into my 2x4 wall cavities
fills it right up tight, you cut it on size and then beat it in there with a hand sledge

they ain't gonna take the time to tunnel a little, drag the chips out, tunnel a little, I doubt they're all that determined
though I'm also running external wiring in EMT because fuck making little highways for the miceys
 
Top Back Refresh