When it comes to building a pole barn, one important question to consider is whether or not to use house wrap.
House wrap is a protective layer that is installed between the metal siding of the building and the wood framing.
It helps protect against water damage, air leakage, and the elements.
But is it necessary for a pole barn?
Whether or not you should house wrap a pole barn depends on a few factors, including the climate you live in, the type of siding you plan to use, and your budget.
In general, house wrapping is a good idea for pole barns in wet climates, as it can help to prevent moisture damage to the walls.
It can also be helpful in climates with extreme temperature swings, as it can help to keep the walls insulated and prevent condensation.
Benefits of Wrapping a Pole Barn
Wrapping a pole barn with house wrap can provide several benefits, including:
Protection against water damage
House wrap can help prevent water infiltration, which can cause damage to the building's structure and contents over time.
House wrap can help prolong the lifespan of a pole barn by keeping moisture out.
Reduced air leakage
Properly installed house wraps can help reduce air leakage, improving energy efficiency and lowering heating and cooling costs.
By creating a tighter building envelope, house wrap can also help improve indoor air quality.
Improved insulation performance
House wrap can help preserve the R-value of insulation by preventing air movement through the walls.
This can help improve the overall insulation performance of a pole barn.
Protection against the elements
House wrap can help protect a pole barn from wind, rain, and other weather conditions.
Without house wrap, a pole barn can be more vulnerable to long-term damage from the elements.
Also read: Does House Wrap Stop Wind?
Reduced risk of mold and mildew
By preventing moisture infiltration, house wrap can help reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth inside the pole barn.
This can help improve indoor air quality and prevent damage to the building's contents.
In very cold climates, house wrap provides added insulation value to help retain heat inside the pole barn.
It helps keep the interior cooler in extremely hot climates by blocking radiant heat gain. The improved air sealing also enhances HVAC efficiency in temperature extremes.
How to Choose the Right House Wrap
The type of house wrap you choose should depend on where you live and the climate conditions in your area.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right house wrap for your pole barn:
Most synthetic house wraps are made from polyolefin, a common class of plastic.
Two fundamentally different ways of making house wraps are woven and non-woven.
Woven house wraps use long threads running the length and width of the wrap, resembling cheesecloth.
Non-woven house wraps use shorter fibers set in a random pattern, much like Oriented Strand Board (OSB) panels.
Both types of house wraps are effective, but non-woven house wraps are more tear-resistant and offer better water resistance.
House wraps come in different levels of permeability, which refers to the amount of water vapor that can pass through the material.
A more permeable house wrap allows for better moisture management and can help prevent mold and rot.
However, a less permeable house wrap may be necessary to provide optimal protection in areas with high wind or rain.
In wet climates, choose a wrap with a high water resistance rating, like a non-permeable polyethylene film.
In dry climates, a more permeable house wrap is acceptable, like a polypropylene micro-perforated fabric.
3. UV Resistance
If your pole barn will be exposed to sunlight, it's crucial to choose a house wrap that is UV resistant.
UV rays can break down the material over time, reducing its effectiveness.
4. Code Compliance
Check with your local building codes to ensure that the house wrap you choose meets the requirements for your area.
Some codes specify the minimum level of water resistance or permeability a house wrap must have.
Potential Drawbacks of House Wrap
While house wrap can provide many benefits for a pole barn, there are also some potential drawbacks.
One of the main concerns with using house wrap on a pole barn is the potential for moisture buildup.
If the wrap is not installed correctly or if there are any gaps or tears in the material, moisture can become trapped between the wrap and the siding, leading to rot, mold, and other issues.
It is important to ensure that the wrap is installed correctly and that any gaps or tears are repaired promptly to prevent moisture buildup.
The added cost is another potential drawback of using house wrap on a pole barn.
While house wrap is relatively inexpensive, it can add up quickly if you are building a large pole barn or if you are using a high-quality wrap.
Rigid foam insulation panels are one alternative to house wraps for pole barns. They provide insulation and a protective layer against moisture. However, foam boards are more expensive and difficult to install.
Proper House Wrap Installation (An Overview)
- Start at the bottom and overlap layers by at least 6 inches
- Tape all seams and edges with manufacturer-recommended tape
- Cut openings for windows and doors and tape around them
- Install exterior siding over the wrap as soon as possible
Caring for Your Pole Barn House Wrap
Inspect the wrap annually for any tears, gaps, or damage and repair them promptly.
Re-taping edges and seams may also be needed over time as adhesives deteriorate. Keep the wrap clear of dirt, leaves, and other debris.
Signs of moisture issues:
Without a house wrap, be on the lookout for moisture signs like mold, stained siding, peeling paint or rust spots.
These indicate water infiltration past the exterior walls.
Making the Right House Wrap Choice for Your Pole Barn
It is essential to weigh the cost of the wrap against the potential benefits to determine if it is worth the investment for your specific needs.
In addition, some people may prefer the look of a pole barn without house wrap.
The wrap can create a more uniform appearance, which may not be desirable for those who prefer a more rustic or natural look.
It is important to consider your personal preferences and the overall aesthetic of your property when deciding whether or not to use house wrap on your pole barn.
When choosing a house wrap for a pole barn, it is important to consider factors such as breathability, water resistance, and UV resistance.
Pole barn owners can ensure their building remains protected and energy-efficient for years by investing in quality house wrap and proper installation.
Also read: Can You Staple House Wrap?