How Should I Insulate My Pole Barn Ceiling?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by trailrider383, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,455
    Location:
    NP, ID
    Winter is finally here and I need a project to relieve the boredom. I have a 30 x 40 pole barn with nothing on the ceiling for insulation. I need help on figuring out the proper way to insulate it.

    I have read about different ways to do it and I can't make up my mind what to do. I would prefer something easy to install. I am thinking about some kind of foam board. But then I start reading about vapor barriers, etc. I don't need a real high R value, just something to keep it a little cooler in the summer and to hold the heat in a little longer in the winter when I fire up the 110,000 btu space heater (kerosene torpedo heater.)

    What I do now is go out and crack a window and fire up the space heater for 10 or 15 minutes til the temp comes up to around 50 and shut it off til I get cold. Sometimes I will let it run and cycle off the thermostat if I'm going to be out there a long time. But not usually, because it is so loud. One thing you should know if you haven't used one of these heaters is they introduce a lot of moisture into the air which then condenses on the metal roof and drips.

    This is what I have to work with:

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,489
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    That is a lot of space, maybe install a drop ceiling with foam panels? It shouldn'e add too much weight and should add a few Rs. Might also quiet it down a bit for when you are working with equipment.
    #2
  3. troidus

    troidus Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16,764
    I'd have a contractor spray it with A-B foam. Do the walls, too.
    #3
  4. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,455
    Location:
    NP, ID
    I can't do a drop ceiling because I have lights hanging 6" below the rafters. And an I beam for a hoist is up there also. Here is another view:

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. troidus

    troidus Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16,764
    I still think spray foam is your best bet. It's self-supporting and rot-proof, as long as you keep UV light away. If you're going to weld in there, you might need a portable barrier around your project.
    #5
  6. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Central CT
    I used this "TekFoil" product on the walls and ceiling of my garage, I don't see why it wouldn't work in your barn.
    http://www.teksupply.com/farm/suppli...nsulation.html
    Staples up quick & easy, is virtually fireproof (I tried on a sample:d) and keeps the heat in (in the winter) and the sun's heat out (in the summer).
    The interior of the garage is way brighter, the lighting is much more effective.

    I liked it so much, I used it behind the sheetrock on an addition to my house.

    A similar product is available at Home Depot.
    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...1&distance_1=5
    #6
  7. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,455
    Location:
    NP, ID

    Which one did you use? That link shows about four different types.
    #7
  8. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Lexington, IL
    If you didn't do the foil/insulation when you put the roof on then the best bet is spray foam followed by normal insulation with a ceiling hanging off the bottom of your trusses. I had to spec that in the design on mine though so if you didn't then I'd go foam. Ymmv

    Have a good one,
    Dave
    #8
  9. darenative

    darenative Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    211
    Have it sprayed with 2 part foam. BTDT, money well spent.
    #9
  10. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,455
    Location:
    NP, ID
    What did it cost?
    #10
  11. Laconic

    Laconic Anodyne

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    18,844
    Location:
    Recalculating...
    Closed-cell spray foam, about 1" should do what you need it to do. It's flammable, so you would want to sheath the walls with drywall or metal.

    It acts as a vapor barrier, so if you ever wanted to increase your R-value you can go with regular fiberglass batt right over it.

    A vented heater would be a good investment, too.

    We used foam in the house we built a couple years ago and have been very happy with the results.
    #11
  12. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,455
    Location:
    NP, ID
    The walls are already insulated and sheetrocked. Thanks for the info.
    #12
  13. dave186

    dave186 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    194
    Location:
    Idaho
    I have a friend that does spray foam. I dont know much of anything about it but could pass along his number if your interested, Im not far from you.
    #13
  14. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,455
    Location:
    NP, ID
    That would be helpful. Thanks.
    #14
  15. RonkoRider

    RonkoRider Wrong Island, NY

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,603
    Location:
    Middle of Suburban Hell- Long Island, NY
    Forgive my ignorance, do you use this in place of insulation or in conjunction with it?
    #15
  16. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago
    If the roof didn't look so nice and brand spanking new I would be thinking about pulling it, insulating outside and reapplying roof!
    #16
  17. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Central CT
    In the garage, I used the foil/bubble bubble/foil stapled to the studs and bottom of the roof trusses with no other insulation. In the addition, I used the same wrap stapled on the studs and bottom of the roof joists over fiberglass batt insulation that I slashed the kraft paper (so as not to have 2 vapor barriers.

    I also used the foil/bubble bubble/white poly under the concrete slab. It seems to work at least as well as the 2" of blue foam under the slab in the rest of the house.
    #17
  18. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,455
    Location:
    NP, ID
    Thanks for the info. You wouldn't consider posting up a pic of what it looks like on the ceiling would you? :D
    #18
  19. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,743
    Location:
    Barrie Ont
    I just came from Homedepot and a 4x50ft roll is 130 bucks. They only had 1 kind but different sizes. It could be pretty expensive,. They also had 4x8 sheets of Styrofoam stuff with foil on one side for 12 bucks a sheet. I think I'd rather use the hard sheets vice the roll, or the best option would be spray foam, depending on cost.

    Let us know what you decide.
    #19
  20. RTCHIEF

    RTCHIEF Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    327
    How is your roof ventilated?
    #20