Turkey farming is changing. For many farmers who have been growing for years, they are finding that while their turkey barns are structurally sound, but their buildings themselves are energy obsolete. But what if you want to continue to grow turkeys for another 5 - 10 years ? The answer is the AG Sealants Platform, which has been providing agricultural spray sealants and agricultural spray foams since 2005. The Ag-tite platform includes the patented AireBarrier White and AireBarrier Black, which will stop air and moisture from coming into the barn and will give the building the agseal and durability to keep saving money for year's to come.
More and more farmers are looking at turkey energy retrofits as a way to inexpensively allow their brooder houses to maintain energy efficiency and improve the ventilation. With the Ag-Tite sealant technology, the walls of the houses can be rebuilt, which blocks the air and water from getting into the building. Also, because the walls are sealed up, they do not leak air which improves the ventilation capabilities of the house, improving the bird performance and feed ratios.
In the context of mechanically-ventilated houses, this means that you bring in fresh air only through planned inlets and expel exhaust air only through planned outlets or fans. In the vast majority of mechanically-ventilated turkey houses, during brooding or mild weather ventilation, fresh air is brought in through ceiling or sidewall inlets.
Sealant Technologies has been working on developing a portable, flexible delivery system for two component systems that can help seal your buildings to improve ventilation system efficiency. The Spray Foam Hybrid Platform allows anyone to inexpensively tighten and seal building envelopes of all kinds. The Spray Foam Hybrid can apply most two component polyurethane chemicals.
A good test of your house tightness is to latch shut all inlets and openings, turn on one 48-inch fan (or two 36-inch fans), and watch your pressure sensor. While a reasonably tight older house may give 0.15 inches of static pressure, a new house with solid side walls may read as high as 0.33 inches. Obviously, a less tight house may read only 0.03 – 0.04 inches, indicating that a large portion of the fresh air is coming in through cracks.
While many cracks can be located with the naked eye, smoke can be used to not only identify small cracks but also to visualize airflow. While my experience has been limited to ‘smoke bombs’ and larger, though portable smoke or fog machines, places such as Party City sell ‘fog machines’ for much less than $100. Once these cracks are identified, they should be sealed with caulk, foam or weather-stripping. Substantial air leaks can occur through the sides of curtains and installing curtain flaps and boots can minimize these leaks.
Tunnel inlets should be tight and insulated. Back-drafting through fan shutters (that are not in use) also cause large air leaks; consider covering shutters not in use with foam boards or fan covers. Tightening the house not only reduces heating cost during winter and brooding but it also improves ventilation effectiveness during summer. Payback on time and money spent on tightening the house is very rapid.