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Before you agree to any building purchase, please consider that there will be most likely be building or site permit requirements.

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How to Prevent Condensation in Your Pole Barn

Condensation in a building can cause problems, including wet insulation, leaks, and rot. If you have built a pole barn on your property, you will need to protect it from damage that can be caused by moisture.

Relative humidity is the percentage of moisture in the air compared to the amount of moisture it can hold at that temperature. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Condensation forms when warm, moist air comes in contact with a cold surface and can no longer hold as much moisture. Condensation is more of a problem in areas where the temperature frequently falls to 35 degrees Fahrenheit or lower for long periods of time. In order to control condensation in your pole barn, you will need a vapor barrier, insulation, and proper ventilation.

A vapor barrier can keep vapor from penetrating a building. It is installed on the warm side of the insulation, which is generally the inside, except in hot climates. The facing material of a vapor barrier is rated with a scale called "perm." The lower the perm value, the better the vapor barrier facing.

Vapor pressure drives water vapor through a vapor barrier and varies with temperature and humidity. If the vapor pressure gets too high in your pole barn, the vapor barrier will no longer be able to keep moisture out.

The amount of ventilation needed for your pole barn will depend on how it is used. If you are using your pole barn to house livestock, you will need to install exhaust-type ventilation. If you are using your pole barn to store equipment or tools, you can probably use vented soffits and ridges. Many soffit vents alternate solid and vented pieces that provide much less air flow than fully vented soffits. Econo-vent ridge vents allow much less airflow than other ridge vents.

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