Mitigate damp seeping into WI barn?

hagoesch

Chirping
Mar 11, 2020
86
93
91
Southeastern WI
Hello from snowy southeastern Wisconsin!

Our coop is functionally a chicken wire-walled "room" built into the corner of a pole barn. The barn itself has the vertical support beams sunk into cement pier bases but instead of a concrete slab floor we chose to go directly onto compacted crushed limestone. Despite my best efforts to keep moisture and drafts out by covering the edges of one of the two roll-up doors and the big Dutch door in the middle with moving blankets, cardboard, plywood, whatever I can find (don't worry, there is plenty of ventilation still at the top of both of these and the second roll-up door), the generally higher humidity and added snowfall here in WI causes the external moisture to creep along the floor several feet inside. I think it's because wet wants to find dry and travels under the walls through the limestone. The hygrometer in the coop reads a relative humidity level generally on par with the outside, and the temp in there is also about the same, maybe one or two degrees warmer. (Coop floor is covered with 3-4" fine sand then several inches, probably up to around 8 or so now, of pine shavings for deep littering.)

I understand this will be the case in an uninsulated, unheated barn without a dehumidifier, but is there anything I can do to possibly mitigate the spread of that cold dampness?

Oh, a few photos attached of the moisture line below! (Disregard the rag-tag clutter I used for the barriers... the barn was completed late this autumn and we didn't get a chance to finish a lot of stuff yet.)

Thanks in advance!
Heather

1607877778933.png
1607877815901.png
 
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Dusty Chicken

Songster
11 Years
May 3, 2010
90
142
151
NW Washington
My Coop
My Coop
I added stall mats to my dirt floor coop to keep the dust down but have noticed that it seems to also be acting as a vapor barrier. I put down pine shavings on top to keep it cleaner. So far I am really happy with them.
 
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hayley3

Crowing
14 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,072
1,956
446
Southern Indiana
Hello from snowy southeastern Wisconsin!

Our coop is functionally a chicken wire-walled "room" built into the corner of a pole barn. The barn itself has the vertical support beams sunk into cement pier bases but instead of a concrete slab floor we chose to go directly onto compacted crushed limestone. Despite my best efforts to keep moisture and drafts out by covering the edges of one of the two roll-up doors and the big Dutch door in the middle with moving blankets, cardboard, plywood, whatever I can find (don't worry, there is plenty of ventilation still at the top of both of these and the second roll-up door), the generally higher humidity and added snowfall here in WI causes the external moisture to creep along the floor several feet inside. I think it's because wet wants to find dry and travels under the walls through the limestone. The hygrometer in the coop reads a relative humidity level generally on par with the outside, and the temp in there is also about the same, maybe one or two degrees warmer. (Coop floor is covered with 3-4" fine sand then several inches, probably up to around 8 or so now, of pine shavings for deep littering.)

I understand this will be the case in an uninsulated, unheated barn without a dehumidifier, but is there anything I can do to possibly mitigate the spread of that cold dampness?

Oh, a few photos attached of the moisture line below! (Disregard the rag-tag clutter I used for the barriers... the barn was completed late this autumn and we didn't get a chance to finish a lot of stuff yet.)

Thanks in advance!
Heather

View attachment 2447869 View attachment 2447870

So the pictures show sand but now they have 8 inches of pine shavings on top of the sand? I don't really see any moisture but straw or pine shavings would keep them off the damp floor.
I didn't realize it was snowing anywhere...thank goodness it's not snowing here...:celebrate
I'm sorry you are dealing with snow. :hugs
 

hagoesch

Chirping
Mar 11, 2020
86
93
91
Southeastern WI
I added stall mats to my dirt floor coop to keep the dust down but have noticed that it seems to also be acting as a vapor barrier. I put down pine shavings on top to keep it cleaner. So far I am really happy with them.

Thanks, Dusty Chicken! My uncle suggested stall mats as well. I will have to investigate those. CHEERS, Heather
 

hagoesch

Chirping
Mar 11, 2020
86
93
91
Southeastern WI
So the pictures show sand but now they have 8 inches of pine shavings on top of the sand? I don't really see any moisture but straw or pine shavings would keep them off the damp floor.
I didn't realize it was snowing anywhere...thank goodness it's not snowing here...:celebrate
I'm sorry you are dealing with snow. :hugs

Hi Hayley! The photos actually show the floor of the barn, which is a fine crushed limestone. Inside the coop (not pictured) is the base layer of sand following by the pine shavings. I can't tell if the moisture is still seeping in under all of that, but I can clearly see the moisture lines (though the photos aren't really a great visual) elsewhere in the barn... So I guess my question should've been more along the lines of how do I keep the moisture from the rest of the barn, as that increases the humidity everywhere inside, including the coop. Does that make sense? Thanks, Heather
 

hagoesch

Chirping
Mar 11, 2020
86
93
91
Southeastern WI
What's outside in those areas?
If humidity is same outside as inside I'd not worry about it.

Hi aart! The humidity inside is about 90%; inside the coop it was low 70s last I checked. Though optimally it'd be below 70, I'm actually quite happy that it's not creeping higher. During the snowstorm yesterday it was in the upper 80s. If you mean what is physically outside of those areas, there is nothing but more crushed limestone. If you mean weather-wise, there's about 2-4" of heavy wet snow and a temperature of 24* F. Thanks :)
 

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