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I am interested in a good way to insulate exterior walls of a pole barn in Zone 5a

zz57 | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

I have insulated in between the horizontal 2×6 purlins with 1 1/2 bead board with all joints taped and sealed to framing with can foam insulation. I am considering either fasting another layer of 2 inch pink board with all joints taped and sealed to framing with foam insulation, or having it sprayed with 2 inches of closed cell insulation. I also be framing 2×4 walls around the inside perimeter of the building with no other insulation in the walls with 24 inches of blowing cellulose in the ceilings.


  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    First of all, can you tell us your name?

    I notice that you didn't ask any questions. Perhaps you are all set. But in case you want advice, here's the advice: The biggest problem when insulating a pole barn is establishing a good air barrier. Problem areas include the seam between the floor and the wall (tough to seal if the floor is concrete, and impossible to seal if the floor is dirt) and the seams between the poles and the areas between the poles.

    As the frame expands and contracts with changes in humidity, temperature, and loading (before and after a snowstorm, for example), cracks open up.

    If the pole barn includes exterior sheathing -- most don't -- air sealing would be easier.

    If you want to cut down on air leakage, you might want to spend a few hundred dollars for European air sealing tapes sold by Small Planet Workshop or 475 High Performance Building Supply.

    Of the options you list, installing 2 inches of closed-cell spray foam would probably provide a better air seal in the long run.

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