Glulam (glue-laminated timber) is an engineered wood product used for structural construction applications. Wagner Metal Supply uses glue-laminated timber sourced from Titian Timbers for beams and columns to construct our pole barn kits. Glue-laminated timber provides extra strength, weather protection, and extended longevity for structures. Not all pole barn kits are created quite the same. Some pole barn constructions use traditional timber for their beams and columns. Traditional timber can do the job, so why do we use glue-laminated beams? Here is why!
Glulam vs Traditional Timber: Ply Separation
- Glue-laminated timber has no ply separation at all! The unique bonding technique that is used to create glue-laminated timber sets the material apart from the rest. Glulam beams and columns are finger-jointed and glued with Loctite® Purbond GT™ Glue. What exactly does it mean if the timber is finger-jointed? Finger-jointing is the method of creating comb-like cuts into pieces of timber to interlock with one another. Once the complimentary profile joints are connected, they are glued together to secure the lumber. This method of connecting the timber is inseparable. There are no nails used; therefore, it reduces the chance of the wood rotting prematurely.
- Nailed columns and beams are at a higher risk for ply separation. As a nail enters the timber, this alone is exposing the interior of the timer to the elements. In the beginning, it may not seem like much of a problem. As the frame of the building naturally ages, the construction built with nailed beams and columns may develop increasing ply separation as it ages. Glue-laminated timber allows the opportunity to connect the timber without penetrating the surface of the wood.
Glulam vs Traditional Timber: Wood Rot
- Post-frame construction is created by framing the building, raising the structure, inserting the posts directly into the ground. Post-frame buildings don’t pour concrete for a foundation like traditional stick-built constructions. Knowing the post is going directly into the ground, it’s crucial to use timber that is treated. Using treated timber—such as glue-laminated timber—will protect the pole barn from experiencing excess moisture in the beams and columns. When timber is non-resistant to moisture, insects can take over, and the wood will deteriorate and rot at a much quicker rate. Because the ultimate foundational support of a post-frame building comes from posts going directly into the ground, we need to ensure the timber will last! Laminated columns will support the longevity of your pole barn for a lifetime!
Glulam vs Traditional Timber: Resistant to Nature
- Contractors know all too well how frustrating it is to find beams and columns that are consistent in size and shape. Nothing is more frustrating than having to sort through the timber to find the ones that aren’t warped and twisted. With glue-laminated timber, there’s no need to worry about that inconvenience! Glue-laminated timber is an engineered wood product that is built to have stronger integrity than solid wood posts. Inconsistent weather will naturally cause authentic wood to warp and twist. The finger-jointed and glue-laminated timber deliver ultimate stability. Glue-laminated posts are much for predictable for contractors than your typical solid posts. The accuracy of these engineered wood products will save contractors time, money, and frustration in the long run!