Here are some good recommendations for all of you facing the snow event in OK and TX from our friends at American Plant Products & Services.
Dave and Sergio’s
Emergency Greenhouse Snow Storm Warning!!
Looks like most of the TV station weathermen are now predicting a heavy (6-14”) wet snow this weekend over much of west Texas, Oklahoma and south Kansas. Many garden centers have already put up their flat roof shade houses or parking lot greenhouses. This sounds like it could be the conditions to cause serious structural damage on lightweight shade structures and lightweight greenhouse frames.
Please consider taking the following actions to prevent snow load damage:
Flat Shade Houses
Remove the shade fabric so snow falls directly to the ground and on to your crop. This much snow on flat shade can pull down the frame.
Take your shade cloth off the top of plastic film roof so snow falls directly on the plastic which is more slippery and will allow snow to slide off more easily. Most single Quonset “cave-ins” are when snow or ice catches on shade cloth, makes dams and builds up too much weight or uneven weight. Watch too for snow drifting on one side of greenhouse and not on other side. Uneven ground drifts can cause arch bending and structure “cave-ins”. If snow starts building up on double layer poly roofs, turn off your inflation fan and turn up your heat to help encourage melting on top of the greenhouse roof. Consider short term wood or pipe “post bracing” to support center of arches or at arch/purlin connections to provide extra support for the greenhouse.
Gutter Connected Greenhouses
Again consider removing exterior shade cloths today before the storm’s arrival to allow more sliding of snow and ice and less “damming”. Turn off inflation fans and turn up heat when the snow begins to fall to allow quicker melting. Watch for uneven drifting on opposite sides of the greenhouse and if really bad be prepared to shovel some of snow from gutters to reduce load at gutters, particularly on lighter weight houses manufactured in the south at places like Arkansas, Texas or Louisiana that are not really designed for snow loads in our part of the country. Consider short term wood or pipe “post bracing” to support center of arches or at arch/purlin connections.
Dave and Sergio lead our greenhouse construction crews and they love building greenhouses and shadehouses and are very good at it but we prefer to build them when you want to expand, not because you have storm damage. Consider these ideas to protect your existing shadehouse and greenhouse frames from this early spring snow storm.
Please call if we can answer more questions or when you are ready to buy or build more greenhouse or shadehouse structures. Please be alert during the weekend snow storms!
American Plant Products & Services
9200 N.W. 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73127
405.787.4833 | 405.789.2352 (fax)