America was built on farming and ranching, with many families getting their start in this country by their ancestors working the land. However, with margins getting tighter and challenges increasing by the day, there has arguably never been a more difficult time to keep this noble tradition alive than now. To prevent losses and stay competitive in the current landscape, it is critical that farmers leverage modern innovations to the fullest. This includes when constructing their buildings and operational facilities. Keep reading to discover 6 of the most weather resistant building materials for farm buildings.
Weather Resistant Paint
Nothing says farm building quite like the classic red barn on the edge of acres of pasture. To ensure that this look--or whatever color your outbuildings may be--remains stunning for years to come, be sure to coat the siding with moisture resistant paint. Using a unique blend of resins, additives, solvents, and pigments, weather resistant paint will preserve the longevity of your barns and other farm buildings by preventing rot, mildew, and mold formation in the siding due to water absorption.
Fiber Cement Board and Batten Siding
Although regularly painting farm buildings is a great way to ensure their structural integrity and keep their aesthetics pristine for years to come, the fact remains that it requires some work to stay up-to-date with the applications. It is usually recommended that wood and masonry products be painted, treated, or sealed at least every other year to help ensure their ongoing insulative quality. If your farm features many buildings, this can be quite the task.
Therefore, it may be worthwhile to upgrade your siding choice to inorganic fiber cement. Fiber cement is fabricated from a mixture of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, giving the siding a strong, durable finish that is not damaged by fire, heavy impact, or moisture. In addition, it can be manufactured in a number of attractive designs to match the appearance of natural wood products. For example, the board and batten look took hold on American farms in the middle of the 19th century as a way to prevent air and moisture from infiltrating cracks in barn wood planks, and this classic siding style is one of the flagship products in many fiber cement lines.
Although insulation is a top priority in homes, it may get overlooked in outbuildings. However, dairy and grain farms must ensure that their interiors remain at a stable temperature to prevent spoilage. And given the record heat waves that were decimating livestock herds throughout the summer, barns and cattle sheds would do well to have quality insulation to create a refuge for their herds.
With increased focus from the public on guaranteeing that no harmful products contaminate its food, it is important to choose a healthy insulation option that will not give off toxins. Some of the most effective materials in this regard are cork, fiberglass, and sheep wool.
Whether it be animals tracking debris inside, machinery coming and going, or simply the weather doing its thing during a typical work day, the floors of farm buildings will take their share of punishment. To give the floors the best chance of survival and lowering maintenance requirements, it is a good idea to choose epoxy painted concrete floors in lieu of traditional options such as gravel, dirt, or livestock mats. Epoxy paint will adhere to the concrete, making it resistant to moisture, grease, scuffing, and chemicals. This makes epoxy painted concrete an ideal choice to protect a farm building’s floors and make them resistant to damage and staining from rigorous use.
Air Control Systems
It is no secret that rising costs of fuel, water, rent, labor, and many other factors essential to the profession are putting farmers under unprecedented financial strain. As a result, it is more important than ever that farmers protect their crops, inventory, supplies, and other precious assets from loss. As mentioned earlier, farm buildings are increasingly incorporating insulation to help reduce drastic temperature swings in the facility. In addition, more advanced buildings are using climate and air quality controls to guarantee all farm assets are stored in ideal conditions. This may include HVAC systems to control temperature, humidifiers and dehumidifiers to keep air moisture at the appropriate levels, backdraft dampers to prevent air from moving in the wrong direction, and air scrubbers to remove any toxins from the air.
The benefits of metal roofs are many for a farm building. Not only is it a set-it-and-forget it roofing option that requires little maintenance over its lifetime, but the primary complaint against metal roofs for residential homes--they are a bit noisy--is not as significant a concern in farm buildings. Metal roofs offer the highest fire and impact resistance on the market. In addition, metal is also a highly reflective material that will not absorb as many of the sun’s rays as will products such as asphalt, meaning that it will not release as much heat from the roof into the building on extremely warm days.
6 Weather Resistant Building Materials for Farm Buildings
As margins continue to tighten in the farming industry, it is important that farmers build the most cutting-edge facilities to protect their assets. By selecting weather resistant paint, fiber cement siding, high quality insulation, concrete sealants, air control systems, and metal roofs, farmers can guarantee that their buildings are of the highest quality and prepared to thrive in the most severe conditions.