Avoid Building Collapse, Consider Insurance

LeeAnne Bulman, AgriView

GILMANTON, Wis. – Excessive snow and blowing wind create a nasty combination – a danger that caused a record number of farm buildings to collapse this past winter. Weather events can’t be controlled so farmers need to do what they can to prevent damage.

That starts with building design, says Aaron Halberg, resident professional engineer at Halberg Engineering.

“We should avoid all possible loss,” he said at a presentation sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Extension in Buffalo County

Carl Duley, UW-extension agent, said collapsed buildings aren’t a new issue but buildings are becoming bigger, which puts more stress on construction materials. This past winter collapsed buildings in west-central Wisconsin had more than $12 million in damage. That included poultry sheds, machine sheds, livestock barns and grain bins that ranged from one to 50 years old. Damaged buildings continued to drop throughout the spring.

Once snow piles up, wind can change the depth and density of snow on a roof. Rain on the snow can increase the weight by 5 pounds per square foot for every inch. Ice dams can form along the edge, holding snow back from sliding off the roof. Something as small as screw heads showing through a roof is enough to hold snow on a roof.

Wisconsin has no binding building code for post-frame buildings, although standards do exist. Halberg referred to ASCE 7, a minimum-design load, as a source for building design – with the caveat that codes are a minimum. A project may need greater design loads. Factors such as building use, the presence of animals or humans, and siting need to be considered

Halberg recommends dealing with people who have been in the business for a while – those with a good design reputation and warranty on the work. He warns that the cheapest building might be just that – cheap.

“When I see a collapse, it’s usually one or two details that were missed,” he said.

Duley gave an example.

”Steel isn’t steel isn’t steel,” he said.

If a builder downgrades the steel, connectors can rust. That results in less building integrity.

Design should start with load considerations, Halberg said, and then trusses, trusses to posts, overall connection and bracing. Every link in the chain is important. Designers should consider what happens when doors are open or closed as well as extra dead weight such as solar panels or insulation.


Grand Marshals of the Durant Funfest Parade – Debbie and Al Hewitt

Congratulations Debbie and Al!

Countryside’s own Debbie Hewitt and her husband Al have been selected as Grand Marshals for Durand’s 2019 FunFest Parade!

Debbie has been with Countryside Cooperative for 26 years, dedicating her time to ensure a great customer experience at the Durand Ace Hardware store.

Debbie is a valued employee here at Countryside. She has been at the current store location since it was constructed shortly after her employment began and is a lifelong resident of Durand.

Debbie is highly respected and recognizable by customers and encourages people to stop in and visit her! Stop by to see Debbie and congratulate her on this honorable title!

Congratulations Debbie, we appreciate all that you do!

Spring 2019 Edition – Countryside Compass

The Spring 2019 issue of the Countryside Compass is now available online!

Check out the stories covered in this edition:

  • Learning how to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable
  • AgSolver – analyzing profitability on your acres
  • How economic times are driving credit policy enforcement
  • Important tax benefits
  • Changes in the Grain Division
  • Lengthening your usefulness of feed bins
  • Spotlight on the Heck Dairy in Mondovi
  • What sets Countryside apart from others
  • What to look for with LP tank tilt this spring
  • Countryside’s commitment to Drive to Feed Kids
  • HVAC spring tune up
  • Countryside’s Internship Program and partnership with Chippewa Valley Technical College

Countryside Cooperative Spring 2019 Compass

Try Your Air Conditioner BEFORE Temperatures Rise

Brian Bauer, HVAC Technician

You might think the outside air temperature hasn’t gotten high enough to turn on your air conditioner. That’s a mistake. Turn it on and try it out. Don’t wait for the first 80-90 degree day to test your cooling system. When it gets that warm, you want to already know it works.

By turning it on early, you’ll find out if your Freon is low because you didn’t clean the coil last fall or because your valves leak.

At the end of the winter, you should change your filter and clean the air conditioner coils inside and outside. Your Countryside Cooperative HVAC serviceman can help.

We’ll put gauges on the A/C and make sure the Freon level is adequate. We’ll make sure the outside unit is clean—it’s usually the backside that gets dirty, because it’s never seen.

Then, we’ll go inside and check the tube from the coil to the drain, to make sure it hasn’t plugged.

We’ll also check belts and oil motors because you want them to work all summer long—especially during the hottest days.

If your A/C is getting old and inefficient, we can price out a new air conditioner for you. The industry has made great strides. Twenty years ago, the highest Seer rating you could find was 5-8. Now, the minimum we can install is a Seer 13. It’s cheaper on your electric bill and, if you sell your property, it will improve the value.

We sell Comfortmaker® and Guardian® air conditioning systems. These are our premium and our economy lines. But we can order parts for and service almost any make and model of air conditioner. Usually, we have the part your A/C needs right on our truck.

We also sell electric and gas, standard and on-demand water heaters. If your present water heater has sprung a leak or if the motor goes out, you’re better off (economically) to change your water heater.

To tune up or repair your air conditioner, or to price out a new one, call 715-672-8503 and ask for the HVAC department.

Receive Our Newsletter

and stay informed on news, events and special offers.