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We have a very simple 4 stall barn with hay and equipment area. The barn has a 12 foot center aisle and is open (no doors) on both ends. We have a metal roof. We currently have fans in each stall and one in the center aisle. The fan in the center aisle has a misti-mate attached. We only have two horses, but one is getting old and has Cushings. He has a hard time with the heat.

We were thinking about trying to mount garage door insulation kits on the inside of the barn roof? Advertisements for the kits indicate that the product can cut down on the heat entering the structure. Do you think this may be worth a try? Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Before doing that I would look up some agricultural bulletins on barn cooling. I am sure they are out there. Basically you need both roof insulation and increased airflow. Installing a roof vent with a fan is an idea.

Your post doesn't mention what kind of summer climate you have -- how hot, how humid, if it cools at night much. Those parameters matter in design.

Lastly, simply standing out under shade trees might be more comfortable than being in a hot barn, if there was sufficient fly protection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hot barn

Thank you. We will look into both of these suggestions. We live in the South. In July our heat index got up to 106.
 

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Shade over the roof, insulation under the roof and ventilation. You do not want closed you want open and you want maximum air flow. Shutting the barn would be like turning the oven on and hitting the bake, broil or fry setting.


Not a now solution but some quick growing trees that lose their leaves in winter (when you want that sun for heat) and planted strategically to throw shade over the roof in summer. Fans that pull air in from the cool end and send it out the warmer end. You don't mention stall windows or doors that are along an outside wall that can be opened but that increases air flow, particularly air flow over the horse.



Not that you can do anything now but the taller the roof and the better ventilated (roof ridge, clerestory that is open or fans up top) the cooler it will be. Heat rises and you want that heat to rise well above the area you are in and then exit.



Adding insulation to the roof will cut down on heat transfer from the outside as well.



In the winter you don't need so much protection from cold as you do from wind or cold wet. You still want ventilation so that air can move but you don't want to be moving it along like with a fan. So in the south doors would help as they can block cold winds and help retain some small degree of heat.



If you put deciduous trees, once they lose their leaves then the sun can warm the roof and that helps.


ETA Sorry I read that as garage doors not garage door insulation. I agree with the prior post. You want to talk to your county extension agent and also do your own research into cooling an existing agricultural structure in your area.



Depending on height of ceiling cutting an opening at either in and installing fans to pull cooler air in and push warmer air out may be your best route. Greenhouses systems would give you an idea of what you may want to consider. They have to keep those cool enough not to bake tender plants so have several design systems specifically to cool.
 

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You have roof rafters @ 12' high?
Consider putting a "loft" floor appearance to the barn with thin plywood and add insulation to it to reduce the heat penetrating from the metal roof but you will need to leave the barn as open as possible and use good ventilating fans for air movement.
Or put in a real loft if your rafters will hold the weight so you can use for storage of things not affected by intense heat...

If you live in the south then you commonly see homes with metal roofs...
The roof is air-spaced above the actual wood of the homes structure for air-flow and movement and heat loss help.
There is a layer of wood, attached insulation then space then the metal roofing....my neighbors attic is cool compared to mine that is a conventional shingled roof.
When we have to replace our roof it will be with a metal one done correctly....

Instead of looking into having to attach conventional appearing insulation, not simple to do 12' ++ in the air, consider having a company come in and spray on insulation as they offer on new metal building construction today...
Just realize that it doesn't create "cool" like you think...
Hot is hot.
I agree trees strategically placed and available are sometimes far cooler with the breezes they catch and make than anything we "humans" can provide.
Having those fans installed on the roof that look like a chefs hat that pull heat off and out of may be one of the best things you can do though in a already constructed barn setting.

Also consider making a outdoor shelter with misting fans for the horse{s} to stand near may be even better a solution.
Shade, cooling mist and fans to move the stagnant air flow....feels good.

Yup, I live in Florida so get heat & intense humidity and trying to give some relief to our animals.
Our heat index is way over 100* by mid-morning....
We commonly are well into triple digit heat indexes by 10AM through October.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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I just came in from my husbands garage...
He has those insulation things in his metal garage door...
16' wide door and I lifted it by hand/arm power not the electric door opener...
Heavy, heavy, heavy.... :frown_color:

Consider what you are referring to doing and how you plan to secure it since it fits in channels of the door not the flat of a roof...
Personally, think you need to find a different approach to heat abatement as the weight is not going to be tolerated by your roof structure unless you do some serious beefing up of the underpinnings first.
Think it took 2 kits to do a standard 16' door that is only 6' - 7' high, whatever is standard height...you refer to a roof needing both sides of a peak done top to the eave line..

Huge expense...
:runninghorse2:...
 

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I looked into insulating my barn and it would require a huge investment, as cupolas would need to be added to the roof, and insulation added.

Instead, i added stall chains so the stall doors can remain open. I added two fans in the second stall, a drum fan in the first stall, another drum fan in the aisle, and one fan in the tack room.

I thought of trying a squirrel cage blower and attaching that to a duct system to pull hot air from the ceiling. Perhaps i will add that this winter. You could either decide to blow fresh air in, or pull hot air out. Not sure which would be superior.

But if the air is 96 degrees outside, it is still going to be 96 degrees inside, just shady.

If your barn has soffits you can remove those as they were designed for houses and clog with dust. So all they do is block airflow and keep the birds out.

They have elastomeric coatings for the roof. I think my roof is too pitched for that but it could work on flatter surfaces. Again not easy to apply as it requires walking on the roof.
 

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A quick and inexpensive fix we did at a barn I was riding for, bought soaker hoses and attached them to the peak. The slow water flow cooled the metal roof dropping the temp in the barn enough to make it tolerable along with the fans.
It would get over 100* during the day plus the humidity from the delta coming up the canyon.

If anything it would be a cheap fix until you decide to do something permanent.
 

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I work maintenance and construction at a Clydesdale farm. I did a ton of research into this very topic. The ideal thing to do would be keep the barn as it is and construct a pavilion style shelter nearby for your horses. It is relatively cheap to do and provides shade, wide open sides and freedom of choice for your horses.
Only the horse itself knows how hot it is and what protection it needs, so options for the horse are the best. If at all possible, provide the horse with the choice of the barn, a pavilion or lean-to, and shade trees.
But my ultimate recommendation is to build a pavilion style shelter.
 

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I am in southern Middle Temnessee; I have also been privy to obnoxious Loisuiana-style heat/humidity/dewpoints:(

My barn is 24 X 40 and 13' at the peak. There are two 10' doors on slide tracks that stay open.

I had insulation put on the ceiling when the barn was built and it helps a lot. Looking back, I wish I would have spent the money for big air vents at the peaks, like some dairy barns have.

I am down to two horses, 24 & 25, one insulin resistant. I have to keep them separated.

Each horse has one of those 10' slide doors to get into their own ends of the barn. One horse actually goes where the hay is stacked.

The horses have two 36" barrel fans and one 42" barrel fan aimed at them and the hay. I have the fans on heavy duty outdoor timers.

There has only been one day this summer they decided life under the trees, with the flies, was better than how stifling how it was in the barn.

If you haven't clipped your cushings horse, clip him. It's not too late in our southern season. He will grow that hair back quickly.

If you can find a way to give the horses a couple of barrel fans and place them where the horses can get all the air flow, it will help a lot, plus all the air from those big barrel fans will keep the deer and horse flies off them.

It's not an ideal solution, but it's been working for me for several years. Those three fans have only upped my summer electric bill by about $30/month. Since they also keep my hay from getting ruined with all the humidity, $30 extra is better than replacing hay:)
 
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