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The polycarbonate greenhouse frame is always subject to severe environmental stress. Wind and snow, if the structure is not reinforced with additional supports, can lead to unpleasant consequences, namely: partially or completely destroy the structure.
The winter period is especially critical for her, when a large amount of snow accumulates on an inclined surface. Therefore, any caring owner should be puzzled by the problem of how strengthen the greenhouse before winter.
What can damage the base
The usual arched greenhouses are distinguished by their shape, which is very convenient for the snow to slide off. But why does it still accumulate on their roofs?
The point here is in the properties of cellular polycarbonate. In winter weather, even if the temperature dropped to -15 ° C, inside the building it is up to + 5 °. The surface heats up, snow melts on it, which freezes with sunrise. The roof becomes rough, due to which a base is formed for piling up a solid snow cover, the weight of which sometimes reaches 80 kg.
Now let's compare. Greenhouse "skeleton" is usually made of metal profile, which is the most common material. And the load that he is able to withstand is no more than 50 kg / m2... It is quite obvious that it is necessary to strengthen the structure.
The safest covering material is glass, under which a strong base is usually made in a greenhouse. In the case of such a roof, you don't have to worry about piling up snow. If polycarbonate is chosen, it is best to buy sheets of it with a thickness of 6 or more millimeters. They will not bend under the weight of the snow cap.
Interesting. You can build a solid winter greenhouse with your own hands!
What determines the strength
As it became clear from the above, the roof can collapse due to a weak foundation. Manufacturers often save on the section of a galvanized profile. At the same time, their products are becoming cheaper and more accessible, but their quality is falling noticeably. You can solve this problem in the following ways:
- disassemble the building for the winter;
- periodically remove snow from the roof of the finished structure;
- install special supports (although this does not guarantee the integrity of the building);
- buy a model with a reinforced frame;
- strengthen the base with your own hands, building it from wood or profile.
The planned renovation of the structure and its strengthening, of course, begins with an inspection of the structure, including all the little things. First of all, carefully inspected polycarbonate... Particular attention is paid to all of its cracks, dents, swellings. Cloudiness can also be a cause for concern. In addition, the entire building is checked for tilt or distortions. It is best to use a level for this purpose.
If no damage is observed, the walls of the greenhouse can simply be washed inside and out, disinfected and, if necessary, partially changed the soil. Well, if damage is found, the greenhouse will need to be reinforced.
How to strengthen a polycarbonate greenhouse
There are several ways to strengthen the structure as reliably as possible and with a minimum of financial costs.
Even if the frame of the garden structure is made of a metal profile or solid timber, it will never be superfluous to carefully examine it, revealing all violations. Defects can be corrosive growths on metal components, on wooden ones - mold and other "weak" points.
In order for the "skeleton" not to collapse completely, it is necessary to periodically clean it up and cover the surfaces with compositions specially designed for these purposes. Metal profiles and wood are washed well. It is recommended to clean all the affected areas with a fine "sandpaper", then cover the surface with antiseptics, varnish, anticorrosive compounds.
Using a piece or using a roll forming machine, you need bend additional arcs... They should be of a smaller radius in comparison with the supporting structures of the greenhouse. For their manufacture, you will need fittings, rolled metal products or strong pipes, preferably of a square cross section. Fastening is carried out by the method of electric welding on five-centimeter posts made of a similar material.
Arcs of the same diameter are often used. But they are not placed below the installed ones, but side by side, as a rule, every meter. So you can strengthen the frame with maximum efficiency: the structure will withstand a mass of snow up to 240 kg / m2.
Attention! When using electric welding, the joints must be cleaned of scale and covered with anti-corrosion paint.
Replacing the covering material
Before strengthening the "skeleton", you must pay attention to polycarbonate and its thickness.
Inexpensive options for kits are most often made from a covering material with a thickness of 4 mm. But for such a building to stand all year round, it will not work. As mentioned above, polycarbonate with a thickness of 6 mm is more suitable for walls, for the roof (if the roof is gable) - 8 mm.
The most common way to reinforce and create a durable polycarbonate greenhouse is installation of supports... They are made from timber, boards and other durable material.
Supports for the polycarbonate model are of two types. Longitudinal are installed along the supporting structures: they support the ridge of the roof. But on the transverse arcs, respectively, transverse supports are attached. For them, more material is required, and in their structure they are more complicated. Nevertheless, the design is more reliable and can withstand a large weight of snow.
Often the roof ridge is also reinforced additional vertical element.
Features of strengthening
We must not forget about the time at which the building should be strengthened. Supports are installed before cold weatheruntil the ground is completely frozen.
For reference. Heaving soils can be a problem. If, in winter, the vagaries of the weather lead to thaws beginning to give way to frosts (this is especially typical for the regions of central Russia), the swollen soil can push out the reinforcing structure. And then it certainly cannot avoid its internal damage.
Frame reinforcement is only one type of reinforcement. But you should also think about the basis garden building... It must stand firmly on the ground to withstand strong winds with dignity. This will prevent its unauthorized movement.
It should be noted that a structure that is light in weight and, moreover, characterized by high windage, can come off very easily from the soil surface. Therefore, it will not be superfluous to pre-install it on strip foundation... If all the rules are followed when installing the greenhouse on the base, there will be no problems.
But a monolithic and strapping foundation can crack for various reasons. And here, too, you need to take immediate action. Most often, it is required to undermine the base and accurately identify the place of crack formation. After that, the break is filled with a special solution. Digging should be done carefully so that the crack does not accidentally enlarge.
Most often, gardeners prefer a simple wooden frame. Minimum requirements are imposed on him in the instructions for installing a greenhouse. But in some models, attention is paid to its fastening with L-shaped brackets to the ground surface. The fastening element in this case is the reinforcement rods (diameter - up to 0.95 cm). Their pressure side usually has a length of 15-20 cm. And the long side, recessed into the ground, is up to 45 cm.
All of the above troubles do not occur immediately. Damage to polycarbonate or the tilt of the entire building happens gradually.
But a suddenly bent metal profile or board breakage can happen suddenly. And you need to respond to this as quickly as possible. The metal is straightened, the board is hammered together (as a rule, a bar nailed over it with an overlap is sufficient).
To prevent the problem from recurring, the weak point must be fixed and strengthened by installing an additional column. But if there is a possibility replace broken or damaged part completely, you need to do it. Only it is not recommended to do this in frost or rain. Nothing good will come of such an undertaking.
If there is a clouding or darkening of polycarbonate, moisture has appeared in the honeycomb, and the plates swell or bulge out in hot weather, these defects should also be eliminated. The surest way is completely replace thermoplastic.
On a note. Small violations like small cracks are “blown out” by special hermetic solutions.
In conclusion, it should be noted that when detecting greenhouse breakdowns and their subsequent elimination, the most important step is identify the cause of the appearance such. Only in this case, similar malfunctions can be avoided in the future.
You can learn more about the features of a reinforced polycarbonate greenhouse by watching the video below: