The season of pumpkin spice is upon us. Sooner rather than later the leaves will change color, fall from the trees, and crunch beneath our feet. The air will turn crisp, and plants will ease into hibernation.
Now is the time to make sure your greenhouse is ready for the fall and winter harvest. If you have a to-do list of repairs and preparations, make haste and accomplish those tasks! If you are like many homeowners and aren’t quite sure where to start, read through this guide to get some ideas and tips to prepare your greenhouse for the unfolding season.
Thoroughly Clean Your Greenhouse
To prepare your greenhouse for the upcoming season, thoroughly organize and clean your greenhouse. Clear off shelves, sweep the floors, and remove any plants or materials that are not needed for the fall or winter. Scrub and disinfect equipment to prevent pests from hibernating until next spring. Clear away cobwebs and wipe away any accumulations of dust and dirt. Wood shelves, benches, tables, and structure frames should be cleaned with a diluted wood oil soap. Make sure you rinse the wood thoroughly and provide ample air circulation for everything to dry.
Tuftex Multiwall Polycarbonate and Tuftex Corrugated Polycarbonate greenhouses need to be gently cleaned with a soft rag, soap, and water. To maintain the quality of the material it is important that you do not use abrasive or high alkaline cleaners and do not allow pressure washing spray to come into close proximity to the panels.
Check for Cracks and Leaks
Drafts of cold air will sneak through even the smallest holes and cracks and threaten the well-being of your winter plants. Now is a great time to find and repair any gaps, cracks, or holes. Gather the necessary patching materials and tools and begin a careful search. Evaluate the seal around the windows. Check that all windows and doors securely and tightly close. Be sure to look high and low as you carefully scan the walls and base of the greenhouse.
Leaks can happen from a few different places, and little leaks can turn into big problems in the winter. Check the seal around faucets and water hoses. Look up and assess the roof. If you see any light streaming through, you definitely want to patch the hole. Look at the roof during a rainstorm or while spraying water on it with a hose to make sure that there aren’t any invisible holes that are also in need of repair.
Greenhouse roofs and walls made with Tuftex Multiwall Polycarbonate and Tuftex Corrugated Polycarbonate are virtually unbreakable. In fact, they are 20 times stronger than glass. When properly installed, it is highly unlikely that cracks will develop. If cared for properly, these materials will maintain their quality for years to come. However, it is wise to check the silicone or butyl tape applications every year to ensure they are still holding a tight seal. If you are finding that your greenhouse is prone to cracks, consider upgrading to Onduline materials. A full upgrade may seem like a big task now, but it will keep your winter plants happy and save you time, money, and stress every season.
Grease the Moving Parts
Assess all of the moving parts in the greenhouse. Vents, hinges, and door handles all need regular cleaning and lubrication. This is especially important before temperatures drop because the colder weather and moisture can make moving components rigid and squeaky. Wipe away dust and dirt, sand down any build-up, and apply the appropriate grease or silicone-based lubricant.
Snow-Proof the Roof
If you live in an area that receives snowfall, it is important to make sure your greenhouse is prepared to withstand the weather. Large accumulations of snow can become heavy and threaten the integrity of your roof if it is not up to the task. Check the slope to make sure the snow will sluff off, check the load-bearing capacity to make sure the roof can hold up to the weight of the snow. Onduline recommends a minimum slope of 2:12 for best performance. To calculate the slope, measure the height of your roof and divide that by the length of the slope of your roof. If your roof is less steep, consider renovating the structure. If your roof struggles to bear the weight of the snow every year, consider upgrading to a roof made from Tuftex Multiwall Polycarbonate and Tuftex Corrugated Polycarbonate. These materials are incredibly strong, transmit light, provide excellent thermal insulation, are cost-effective, and can be installed by DIY builders.