Grain elevator maintenance is paramount to running a profitable agricultural business. Your abilities to move and store grain must never be compromised if you are to meet your goals and satisfy your obligations to your clients.

Naturally, a definitive guide to grain elevator maintenance would fill a textbook. Entire college courses are taught on the subject. In this comprehensive guide we provide an overview of which grain elevator features you must always prioritize repairing, maintaining and otherwise keeping in flawless working order.

Power Transmission

The machinery which actually powers grain transport to the interior of a grain elevator is quite naturally of chief importance. Power transmission designs vary considerably depending on the grain facilities they service, but all contain gearboxes which must receive regular lubrication and inspection to ensure correct functionality. In addition to structural expertise, your grain elevator repair and maintenance team should possess the mechanical acumen it needs to keep your power transmission operating smoothly.

Bucket Elevator

Also known as a grain leg, the bucket elevator comprises buckets which contain and move grain, the belt which carries the buckets, and the machine which powers the belt. Grain facilities typically utilize centrifugal discharge elevators, which fling grain into the discharge spout located at the apex of the elevator. Maintaining the bucket elevator so that it is operating efficiently and flinging grain freely is essential to proper grain elevator maintenance. 

Grain Distributor

Whether your grain elevator is outfitted with a flat back, full round or other type of distributor, that component is essential to dispensing grain to handling and storage systems. The grain distributor is of especial importance to smooth functionality of a multi-bin facility, which is why you must ensure that its tube alignment support, outlets, channels and ring plates are all free of rust and other damage, as well as clean enough to direct grain without risk of contamination.

Bin Sweep

Whether your grain elevator is outfitted with an auger or paddle sweep, that piece of equipment is necessary to completely empty the bin. A malfunctioning bin sweep will permit old grain to accumulate at the base of your elevator, where it can mildew and contaminate future stored grain. Make certain the bin sweep is moving freely, completing its job every time the bin is emptied, and prohibiting old grain from accumulating.

Screening Equipment

Your eventual buyer will not be pleased to find foreign material in the grain they receive from your facility. A sufficiently maintained grain screener and its associated apparatus will not only ensure that your facility delivers pure product to your clients, but also assure that your staff are not needlessly put in harm’s way while they are operating your grain elevator.

Ventilation System

Without responsible maintenance, a grain elevator is capable of accumulating sufficient inflammable dust to explode. Over 600 people were injured during grain elevator explosions from 1976 until 2011, and over 150 lost their lives during the same span of time. 

In addition to regular manual dust removal, application of mineral spray to grain before it enters transit, and following other reasonable dust removal protocols, you must ensure your grain elevator is equipped with an adequate and properly functioning ventilation system.


The actual structure the grain is stored within is essential to grain elevator maintenance as well. The silo must have sufficient coating to prevent erosion and infiltration by water and pests. Whether it is made of metal or concrete, your silo’s roof must receive regular maintenance to ensure it is capable of repelling rain and meltwater. 

If your silo’s insulation evinces any signs of cracking or spalling, then spray foam insulation installation is required to restore an airtight seal. Finally, waterproofing a silo’s foundation with a product like Rub-R-Wall is vital to repelling the moisture which can spoil grain and jeopardize structural integrity.

We omitted several other features which require careful maintenance in order to promote seamless grain elevator functionality. A grain elevator is a complex system, with several separate moving parts that all demand expert attention if they’re to act as reliable components of an efficient whole.

NIJAC Roofing & Insulation of Sioux Falls, SD proudly offers the grain elevator repair and grain elevator maintenance services American agricultural producers need to do their best work. No matter your grain elevator’s type, location or materials it stores, we have the experience and the equipment required to keep it in its finest condition. If you would like to learn more about how our team will create outstanding value at your grain facility, then we welcome you to contact us today!