Steel buildings have overtaken the popularity of pole barns on the American agricultural scene because of the many advantages offered by these metal structures. Yesterday’s post talked about the unfavorable performance of wood, the main material used in pole barns. Other major considerations that made farmers shift their attention to steel buildings are discussed below.
Exposure to the elements and wear and tear cause pole barn foundation members to shift. These components need regular straightening, which is done about every six years, requiring farmers to shell out thousands of dollars for their maintenance. On the other hand, steel buildings require minimum maintenance because steel is very easy to clean and will not warp, crack, split, or rot. Besides, the steel building finishes used today are also impervious to dulling, marring, or rust.
Another very important point to consider is the safety of livestock housed in pole barns. Since pole barns are made of pressure treated wood poles using copper sulfate, they are unsanitary and can be poisonous to livestock, unlike steel buildings, which are made of steel that is very safe, non-poisonous, and does not support rotting and disease. Compared to wood, steel will not splinter or crack and is kick and bite proof.
A major disadvantage of pole barns is that they are combustible, making their insurance premiums higher by 25% when compared to those of similar sized steel buildings. In contrast, steel buildings are highly resistant to fire because they are made of non-combustible materials. Since pole barns have low resistance to fire, they are deemed unsafe for occupancy. For this reason, some communities and localities in the country do not permit their installation.
(to be continued)