With the long and frigid days upon us, it’s important to start winterizing your barns and stables. Winterizing these structures is crucial to both the well being of your animals and outdoor equipment. It may seem daunting but it’s sure to pay off.
Here are 5 steps to ensure you and your barn are ready for the winter.
This task may seem a bit out of place but it’s a crucial step in ensuring your livestock is as comfortable as possible, while being cooped up all winter. Start by removing old birds nests and cobwebs, from inside the barn. Dust and debris tend to settle in the barn during the warmer months, as doors and windows tend to remain open. Note, while cleaning it’s important to inspect all corners of your structure to ensure you are aware of any needed repairs.
After the inside of the barn is clean, be sure to inspect the outside of your barn. Ensure pathways are clear of debris and unnecessary compost piles. Eavestroughs should also be cleaned to prevent leaks. Note, while inspecting the outside of your barn, remove any branches that may become dangerous under a heavy load of snow.
Repairing your barn or stable is essential to the longevity of the building. Minor repairs that are done properly and often, save both time and money. Carefully inspect the roof, doors, windows and railings. These are the most important aspect of your barn, specifically for livestock. If any cracks or holes are spotted be sure to address them. If needed, contact a professional.
Ventilation and Insulation
Ventilation is needed in the summer to ensure your livestock aren’t overheating but it can cause serious problems to come to winter. Be sure all vents are closed to keep the heat in and the snow out. While closing the ventilation check for any spots that could use a little extra insulation. Caulking windows and adding draft guards can be an easy and cost-effective way to ensure the heat stays inside the barn.
Having access to liquid water is essential for livestock. The winter months can cause pipes to burst if they aren’t insulated properly. Water mains bursting has the potential to cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Consider wrapping your water tanks and pipes. Note, water heaters should be checked and monitored regularly – even after the initial inspection.
Every stable and barn is unique to its owner and occupants. Ensure you are stocked up on all the essentials, whatever those may be. This will save you unnecessary stress if a big storm decides to hit while you’re low on supplies.
The winter months can be long and cold but wintering your barns and stables makes them far less stressful. Prevention is key, so get a jump on winterizing your stables for the winter.