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The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
Winter Maintenance Tips for Barns
Tips from the
New Hampshire Preservation Alliance

Do you have an old barn?  It's lasted this long ... make sure you know how  to
preserve it for many generations to come.  Winter can be rough on old
Here are some tips from the NH Preservation alliance on maintaining your old

1. Inclement weather is the best time to inspect your barn for leaks.  Moisture is
usually the cause of all structural problems in a barn.  Conduct a thorough visual
inspection of the interior of the barn.  Check for dampness or evidence of
moisture in the rafters, sheathing, along the interior of the outside walls, and at
the base of vertical support posts.  Identify and note each location, either with a
drawing or photograph, so repairs can be focused on those areas when warm
weather returns in the spring.

2. Maintain good ventilation inside the barn by opening louvers in attic vents
and leaving a few windows open just a small amount.

3. Keep the floors clean of debris to prevent buildup of moisture in the

4. Rake heavily-accumulated snow off lean-tos and shallow pitched roofs (if it
can be reached with an extended rake) to prevent structural failure.
 Use great
caution when doing this since this procedure can be very dangerous!

5. Late winter/early spring is a good time to remove overgrown trees and brush
from the perimeter of the barn.
 This unwanted vegetation holds moisture which
causes rot in the sills and barn siding.  Large overgrown trees cause abrasion to
the barn and roof and siding.

6. Start planning now for summer maintenance! If you intend to hire a contractor
to do repairs, begin contacting qualified barn specialists early before they
become booked for the season.  

If you are in northern New England, you can contact the NH Preservation
Alliance for a list of barn contractors at 603-224-2281.
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...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
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