If you’re a horse owner, you understand how important it is to keep your equine family safe and healthy. You make sure their running grounds are clear from harmful objects, you provide them with shelter from harsh weather conditions, and when they are sick or injured, you get them checked by a vet. But have you ever given much thought to the possibility that the one place you believe to keep them safe at all times could be the most harmful – your barn? Throughout history, wood has always been the choice material for constructing barns and other agricultural buildings. But have you really taken the time to consider what threats are hidden within the walls of your wooden barn? Is your barn really safe? We’ve provided some information below regarding a few of the threats hiding away in your barn.
It Only Takes One Spark
When compared to those made of other building materials such as steel or concrete, wooden barns are far more susceptible to fires. A quick-spreading fire that is not addressed can easily take a barn down within a matter of minutes, wiping its contents out. Most everything that is stored in a barn is flammable, from baling twine, to blankets, to riding gear, to hay, to the wooden frame itself. With one little spark, your horse’s home can be up in flames in seconds. Spiderwebs and dust can also contribute to the spread of a fire; while they may not be flammable, they can carry the flames to whatever they are attached to. You can always treat your agricultural buildings with a chemical to help withstand fires, but this would be done at the risk of exposing your horses to harsh chemicals.
Wood Can Contain Harmful Chemicals
As a horse owner, you’ve probably caught them chewing on wood from time to time. This is a big no-no! Over-confinement, boredom, and dietary insufficiencies can all be causes of this strange behavior, but it isn’t a healthy habit. Pressure-treated wood can contain certain levels of arsenic and other harmful chemicals, and if consumed, these chemicals can cause long-lasting health problems. And if consumed, other harmful items such as nails, staples, and in some cases, insects, can also cause issues; internal bleeding, diseases, nervous system problems, and others.
There’s a chance you’ve also caught your horse throwing a “fit”, kicking their stalls and bucking to get out. This kind of behavior is usually caused from being left alone for long periods of time. As a result, they could kick through their stall or through one of the structure’s walls, not only causing damage to the barn itself, but also causing harm to their hoofs and legs. If left untreated, splinters can become imbedded, leaving your horse in pain.
Mold and Mildew Problems
When wood is left exposed to harsh weather conditions, such as excessive amounts of rain, moisture problems such as mold and mildew can become a problem. Horses that live in moldy areas can begin to experience health problems such as respiratory system and immune system breakdowns. And if left in the right conditions, mold can continue to grow, soon reaching your hay and other feed. Certain molds such Stachybotrys, also known as black mold, can lead to tragic events when left untreated.
be fooled though; while the mold or mildew may just be in the wood, it can spread quickly to your feed and hay. If consumed, sickness can occur much faster.
Most every wooden structure requires regular maintenance and an excessive amount of upkeep. Not only will this eventually cost you quite a bit of money, but it will take away time you could be spending with family, friends, and your horses. From replacing damaged wood, to staining and painting, you will constantly have work to do with a wooden barn.
Wooden Barns vs. Steel Barns
If you’ve taken most every building material into consideration for your barn, you’ve probably seen many people comparing wood to steel. In more ways than one, steel is the best material for agricultural structures. While a traditional stick build can be a sturdy means of protection, they aren’t a healthy, reliable home for your equine and other animals. Not only is the construction time for wooden buildings much longer than steel, but their overall costs is far more. Unlike wood, steel barns are not susceptible to rot, mold, mildew, warping, or water damage. And during manufacturing, the paint is infused in the metal, preventing the possibility of fading, chipping, or cracking paint. Our metal barns and other structures also undergo a galvanization process during manufacturing; this provides an additional layer of protection against weather elements and everyday wear and tear.
Here at Metal Garage Central, we understand how important your equine family and their health is to you, which is why we offer a cost-effective, safe, and secure alternative to wooden barns; a steel barn. Steel barns will not only keep your animals safe from harm, but they are not susceptible to mold, mildew, rot, or fires. Let us help you keep your beloved animals safe and give us a call today at (980) 321-9898 to speak with one of our friendly building specialists. We can’t wait to help make your dream a reality.