Last week I wrote about our aging production facilities. This past week I was at a production site that had generally excellent maintenance. The slats were 16 years old and showed only moderate erosion at the edges of the feed saver mats. There was limited ceiling liner rusting around ceiling inlets, all curtains were in good repair, etc.
However, one structural item that wasn’t thought about was the metal lateral bracing straps. They had been replaced in some of the facilities, but then forgotten about. In several of the barns, this strapping was totally rusted so there was no lateral bracing along the length of the barn. In strong gusting winds there was a significant chance of major structural damage to the facility due to this bracing failure. Even where these straps had been replaced there was evidence of new corrosion of the straps.
As you prepare your maintenance check lists, I suggest you consider adding evaluations of such items as the lateral bracing, especially in curtain barns where there is no sidewall steel sheeting to add structural strength.