Category Archives: How Tos

Winter Care & Maintenance

These buildings are not industrial grade shelters and, as such, some caution must be exercised under some winter storm conditions….

Please see our Winter Care & Maintenance Page and  the WINTER CARE & other key points page in our installation guide for additional information

Our structures are designed in a gothic shape with a slippery cover to be lightweight and snow resistant. This encourages the snow to slide off quickly.
This is not an industrial high snow load building. We do our best to always point out applications where the capacity of the structure is being compromised. Extra hoops or thicker steel are an economical way to increase wind and snow load capacity. We take pride in the sturdy shelters we manufacture and supply, but must point out that we cannot warranty against weather conditions.

Snow removal, when occasionally required, is a simple task. DO NOT GO INSIDE A BUILDING WHERE THERE HAS BEEN OBVIOUS STRESS!

PLEASE READ MORE………

Cold Weather Poly Install

If you were one of the many people who, last fall, were faced with putting the cover on in less than ideal weather, you will be looking at significant wrinkles once the weather starts to warm up.

You will need to tighten the cover to prevent premature wear due to flapping in the wind.

Tightening does not have to be done all at once. You can do half one day and half on another.

It is important to remember that you are always pulling at 90 degrees to the wrinkles. Most of the tightening will need to be done lengthwise first.

If you have a loose cover and no time this week to tighten things,
there is a temporary fix!

  • Take a soft length of rope (do not use nylon!) and throw it over the building where the cover is particularly loose.
  • Tie the rope off at the base as tight as you can.

Please call if you need clarification for this procedure and we would be happy to help

Installing Before Winter

There always seems to be so much pressure and panic at this time to get a building before winter. The only thing that is important to get done sooner then later is the foundation work.

There will be lots of decent weather days between now and Christmas to get the job done.

If you think that it is too late to get it done and you will simply wait until next spring, please remember that you said the same thing last spring (or even a few months ago) and as usual the busyness of life got in the way.

Give us a call today to see how you can get that foundation taken care of before freeze up.

For those of you who want to get the structure up now and cover it in the spring, I urge you to cover the building sooner then later for a couple of reasons.

  1. First is that there will be lots of other things vying for your time in the spring
  2. Secondly, the more snow you have on that spot which has to melt, the more moisture you will have in the building.
    The more moisture you have in the building the more condensation issues you will have.

You want to give that ground the most time possible to dry up before you need to start using the building.

In my humble opinion, even though putting the cover on in late fall or early winter is more difficult and not pleasant, the benefits of having more time for the ground to dry, far outweigh the time spent to adjust the cover  in the spring

Structures on Blocks or Shipping Containers

Storage containers and over sized concrete blocks are the economical solution for needing to elevate structures to create more storage capacity.

One consideration is when the product being stored does not lend itself to stacking, such as salt, sand or soil, there is the added dimension of outward push on the wall. Not only does the pile push outwardly, but an operator scooping the product will create even greater push.

Storage containers and over sized concrete blocks are the economical solution for such a situation. The weight and the stability which both the containers and blocks give, eliminates the need to anchor into the ground.

Containers are often simply put on the ground.

When going more then two layers with the blocks, there should be a concrete pad or special preparation of the soil to provide stability.

When choosing this foundation method, it is important to consider how and where the shelter will shed water and snow.

The top of the wall or container must be sealed to the possibility of moisture going inside.

The other thing that must be given proper consideration is that the shelter is able to deal with the extra wind load created by elevating the shelter this much.

In most of these installations, the wind load on a building is at least double of what it would be if mounted on the ground.

sand storage on blocks Haystorage on blocksBrunelle Container pictures 001Brunelle Container pictures 012

Organic Greenhouses/Shelters-uses and benefits

There are many benefits to having a greenhouse structure for organic growing and housing.

They are often used a season extender for protecting crops from the elements, blight, and fungus. Since Organic growers and farmers do not use pesticides, this type of protection is often required for some of the more sensitive crops.smaller high profile

The structures are easy to move to allow the expansion of the growing area.These structures can easily help to give you the opportunity to grow more crops in a limited area. What many of our customers also do, particularly with Hanley Caterpillar structures, is start growing the early crops under the protection of the structure, and as the crop is stable enough, they move the structure to be able to start the next planting.

Knight Hanley Structure

Our structures are also used for organic livestock raising to ensure the animals have a healthy, safe and protected environment out of the elements. They are versatile structures, and only require the changing of clear to white plastic for the various uses. The environment allows the animals to have sunlight, but still get the shade they require.

Goats5

The combination of the double layer of plastic, roll up sides, and inflator fan, on both the greenhouse and livestock shelters, helps to reduce condensation and keep the structure ventilated.

We have different options to power the inflator fan or create the cushion of air required for the double layer poly benefits for those off grid customers or if the structure is out in the field away from electricity as we know many of our organic growers and farmers are in these situations.

Covering Ends – Plastic & Tarp

Please refer to the Ends page in the assembly guide as well

When you are covering the ends of the structure, there are some similarities and some fundamental differences when you are covering with plastic or with tarp.

The aluminum wirelock channel must be installed on the top side of the hoop before you start the cover. The framing must also be in place before you are putting on the cover.

Your cover will be a rectangle and you must double check if the two ends were supplied as one piece or not.

  • You start at the base of one side and go continuously over the peak so that there is not an edge at the peak.
  • The cover gets fastened, temporarily, at the base first on either side of the door and then pull out to the corners.

If there is ANY wind, do into the wind side first.

  • Please remember that whenever you have wrinkles or folds, you will pull 90 degrees to the wrinkle.

Excess on the end covers will only get trimmed off after the roof cover is on as well.

If you are covering the end with plastic

  • you would go with the extra of your rectangle and fasten it temporarily to the back side of your framing.
  • At the very most, at this stage you will put part of a wire insert on either side of the peak.
  • When the cover is sitting smooth, you can put some strapping on the vertical framing to hole the cover in place.

If you are covering the ends with tarp

  • you will need to remove the wirelock channel first.

This may seem like double work, but the channel is now curved to the building with the required screw holes.

  • The end tarp cover is sandwiched between the hoop and the bottom of the wirelock channel.
  • When you pull the tarp over the peak, you will reinstall the wirelock channel from the top and work down.
  • If you do the left, right or bottom first will be determined by where the wrinkles are (if any).

Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions at all and please watch the videos on our YouTube channel for more information

Building Ends

One of the beauties of a Multi Shelter is the flexibility of the ends. By building the ends according to your needs your new building can and will truly prove useful.

It is important to remember that you need to be very careful when you have one end closed and the other end open.

When one end is closed you could potentially create a “parachute effect” (trapping air, creating lift) and put a lot of added stress on your building and especially the cover. Call us to discuss ways of minimizing this if your circumstance really would require one end open and one end closed.

When planning ends, it is important to have sufficient vertical framing to support wind load, doors, fans, etc. The spacing between the vertical framing will be determined by the amount of opening space required for the doors, etc.

It is important to remember that where ever possible, framing needs to go from top to bottom. In the event of large openings, the related framing will need to be doubled or tripled.

It is also important to remember that when you are covering your end with tarp, the top end of the cover is sandwiched between the wirelock channel and the hoop.

When you are covering with plastic, you will be fastening the top end inside the channel with the roof cover even if your roof is a double layer.

Please see the two pages in the installation guide for more information as well as photos: Ends & Door Options

Installing Multiple Covers into One Wirelock Channel

This post covers another one of our most frequently asked questions,

HOW TO INSTALL MULTIPLE COVERS INTO ONE WIRELOCK CHANNEL!

We hope the description and video can help clarify this issue a bit more. Thanks for your feedback!

The beauty of wirelock is its ability to hold multiple layers of covers, even covers in different directions (i.e. roof and ends or 2 long lengths).

Before starting you must at least have the cover tacked at the opposite end. This will give you resistance for pulling the cover tight.

Our wirelock channel will hold up to 3 layers of 6 mil plastic securely.

Two layers of 12 mil tarp will not be held securely in the wirelock channel. This is why we recommend that the top of the end wall tarp be sandwiched between the channel and the hoop.

If you have never installed these covers before, it is recommended to use at least 3 people.

  • After the bottom of the end cover has been secured, pull the end cover over the hoop first.
  • Person “A” will hold it from the inside of the structure in such a way that there are no wrinkles.
  • The roof cover can now go over the channel as well.
  • Person “B” will pull on the roof cover while person “C” installs the stainless spring steel wire inserts.
  • “C” will start from the peak and work down.

It is critical to remember that “A” and “B”, who are pulling on the two respective covers, must always be pulling at least a foot ahead of “C” who is installing the wire insert. This will allow a little give in the covers so that there will not be damage.

With more experience “B” and “C” can be done by one person.

It is also important to remember the wrist technique for installing the wire insert. Do not slide the wire straight back and forth. This causes abrasions on the cover.

As you move back and forth, apply pressure with the thumb on the next parallel spot of the wire insert.
Use a needle nose pliers to get the last tip into the channel.
The next wire insert does not have to be overlapped.

For more details and to watch an illustration, please see our YouTube Video below

Wirelock & Sidewall Cover Fasteners

 Most buildings come with enough wirelock to be installed on top of the first and last hoop. Additional wirelock can be purchased to run along the sidewall, or to be used to attach the covering to the end framing or doors if desired.

The end wall tarp is sandwiched between channel and hoop, inserts hold the roof tarp in place. Please see videos on our covering FAQ page for more details

By installing the end channel and then removing it to install the end cover, your channel will be pre-bent and have the correct holes.

  •  Generally the channel is installed on the top of the end hoop with the open side UP
  • The plain channel does not have a front or a back, it is symmetrical.
  • Start at the bottom of the end hoop and work your way up, generally centered on the hoop
  • Secure with #12 x 3/4” speed screws at 12” centers, (small head screws give less wire interference)
  • Carefully line up the ends of consecutive pieces to eliminate edges which can tear the cover
  • Once you get to the top of the hoop, simply lean on the channel to bend it and then go down the other side
  • If you must cut at the top, wrap the ridge with duct tape to prevent cover tears
  • You will need to cut the last piece of channel to make it fit
  • If your structure is butted against a building it is easier to install the channel on the bottom of the hoop (please call for some additional instructions)

Side Wall Cover Fasteners (you have 3 choices)

Notes: Pipe Straps are supplied when a structure has roll-up side walls and/or anchor posts options. When base board (wood or steel) is fastened with pipe straps, the base board should be pushed in so that it butts into the last hoop

sidewall-fastenersPlease see our wirelock & sidewall cover fasteners page from the installation manual for more details and photos

Featured Add-On: Center Pivoting Gable Vent

We wanted to remind everyone of the center pivoting gable vent that we offer as a simple solution to the challenges of venting a building.

For venting to be effective, it has to be as high as possible. This is a cost effective alternative to costly roof vents.

Part of the window swings in and part of it goes out. Because of this

  • rain is never an issue
  • the window is easy to control even in extreme winds.
  • Incoming air is always deflected up to mix with the warmest air.
  • The tubular steel construction makes it both lightweight and resist twisting over time.

A continuous rope goes from the top of the window to a pulley at the ridge, down to ground level and back up to another pulley and then to the bottom of the window. By tying the rope off to an eye bolt on a gable post, this allows for very simple control from ground level.

Please don’t hesitate to call us for more details or with any questions you have about this option for your building!

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