Maintaining a horse barn is not difficult as long as you don't neglect completing repairs and addressing unexpected issues as quickly as possible. Tips for keeping horse barns in great shape include:
Keeping Out Pests
Stable and house flies breed where organic, moist materials accumulate, especially in stalls, around water sources and feed troughs. Making sure stalls are kept clean and dry, hanging sticky ribbons and using equine-safe larvicides, space sprays, and baits can help keep the fly population from exploding. Stop rodents from entering horse barns by sealing all holes with screen wire, copper gauze or steel wool until holes can be permanently plugged with a durable, rodent-proof material. Also, close small openings around electric cables, pipes, and augurs with cement mortar. Of course, one of the best methods for reducing rodents is to let a few cats roaming around your horse barn!
Eliminating the Risk of a Barn Fire
Don't let anyone smoke or discard cigarettes around or in a horse barn. Avoid parking vehicles and tractors near barns. Backfires and heat from engines can easily spark flames in seconds. Inspect electrical wiring at least once every two weeks. Rodents love to chew on and fray wires, causing an immediate fire hazard. Finally, make sure hay is completely dry before you store it. Moist hay is known to combust spontaneously.
Check the Roof Twice a Year
With a pair of binoculars, scan the roof outside following rows and flashing. Pay attention to eaves, intersecting walls, and ridges where flashing or roofing is likely to fail. Some roof types can be patched while others, like wood shingles, must be totally replaced. Slate roofs can last over hundred years but you will need to replace missing or broken slates every few years. If your horse barn has metal roofing, paint the roof to stop rust from developing. Less sturdy than metal or slate asphalt roofing lasts about 15 to 20 years. Missing shingles or small holes can be repaired but once an asphalt horse barn roof starts leaking, you should replace the whole roof.