What are the considerations for growing over winter?

Heating, interior tunnels, air circulation, humidity control

When someone is intending to grow in a plastic covered greenhouse over winter, the first order of business is to put a double layer of plastic with air between.

This cushion of air acts as insulation and will reduce heat loss by about 30%. A secondary benefit from this cushion of air is that it reduces condensation in the greenhouse dramatically.

Even if you are not going to heat the greenhouse, it makes sense to put the extra layer of cover with air between since it will provide a significant extra margin for cold.

The small fan which puts the air between the layers is made to work against pressure. It can not “over fill” the cavity.

When installing the second layer of plastic, it is not pulled tight. This allows the second layer to puff up to about 10 cm which is the optimum space.

It is the dead air space that creates the insulation value. If the air is moving, you will not have optimum efficiency. This is the reason it is important to be vigilant about patching any holes in the plastic when they occur.

Especially if your intention is to grow without heating, you could benefit from installing and using small interior tunnels. These tunnels would only be covered during severe weather. Since the air volume is small, even the heat from a few light bulbs will make a difference.

Interior air circulation is even more important in the winter time than it is in summer. In the winter time when things are more likely to be closed up, the probability of stagnant air is high.

It is important to monitor the humidity level in your greenhouse as well. Getting rid of excess humidity will cost you some heat, but you are creating a healthier environment for your plants.

If you are using a forced ventilation system for either humidity or heat control in the winter, it is important to have the thermostat close to the incoming air so that things will shut down quickly if the incoming air is extremely cold.

Any heating system which is used in a greenhouse should have a stainless steel heat exchanger and burner. The standard aluminized units simply will not stand up long term in the moist environment of a greenhouse.

Wind Storm Notes

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the wind storms, and especially our neighbors in the south. We hope everyone can stay as safe and warm as possible

We wanted to highlight some articles previously posted that may help you through this time and the days to follow. As always, please reach out with any questions.

Ahead of two different hurricanes we posted these, and while this weekend isn’t seeing hurricanes, similar info still applies

https://multisheltersolutions.com/2019/09/07/ahead-of-hurricane-dorian/

https://multisheltersolutions.com/2020/09/21/preparing-for-hurricane-teddy/

https://multisheltersolutions.com/2016/02/15/greenhouses-202-making-sure-your-structure-survives-the-elements/

Some winter specific articles are always handy to review as well

https://multisheltersolutions.com/how-tos-and-faqs/winter-faqs/winter-care-of-your-structure/

https://multisheltersolutions.com/2020/12/12/winter-weather-reminders/

https://multisheltersolutions.com/2018/01/04/winter-storms-and-maintenance/

If you unfortunately lose a cover through all of this, these articles may be useful for you

https://multisheltersolutions.com/how-tos-and-faqs/winter-faqs/temporary-fix-for-a-loose-cover/

https://multisheltersolutions.com/how-tos-and-faqs/winter-faqs/cold-weather-poly-install/

https://multisheltersolutions.com/how-tos-and-faqs/how-do-i-make-sure-it-stays-where-it-is-supposed-to/

Most of all we hope everyone stays safe and gets through everything okay. We are open 9am Monday for any questions or concerns that may come up.

Wind braces for structures

There is no dispute on the need for wind braces on any structure. There is often confusion on how and when those braces need to be installed.

The sooner that some sort of bracing is installed on a building, the easier it is to maintain plumb or vertical. For this reason, we stress the importance of tying off a building, both ways, as soon as the first section has been erected.

One detail that many over look is the total surface area of the hoops. It does not take very long to have the combined surface of a 4’x8’ sheet of plywood. For this reason, it is important to not rely for an extended period of time on your initial tie down ropes as your “bracing”. There have been instances where the combined surface area of the hoops is more than the entire gable end.

If you are doing a long building with long hoops, i.e. 30’ wide, it would be wise to install the bracing before the whole structure is assembled.

Wind bracing can be installed in two directions, one goes away from the end wall and one goes toward the end wall. Both ways are acceptable, provided that you do both. If you install them toward the end at one end, you must do the same at the other end. By doing the same concept at each end, you are essentially holding things in opposite directions.

When bracing goes away from the end, the load is referred to as “tensile load”. Cable is often used for this. The cable and the clamps used must be rated against stretching and breaking. This is a convenient system since you are not limited by a precise measurement. When using this system, it is important to end up at the ground, in the 4 corners.

When bracing goes toward the end, the load is referred to as “compression load”. Round tubing with flattened ends is most often used. It is important to make sure that the tubing is strong enough as to not bend as it is being compressed. This is the method which has been used the longest since the instinctive way to brace something it to “prop something against it”.

With either method of bracing, where you start and end is very important. For bracing to be effective, you must start at a point that is connected to the whole structure. This would be either the ridge or a row of purlins. Starting at a mid point of a hoop will give little reinforcement since the hoop can flex from side to side. The closer that bracing goes at 45 degree angle, the stronger it will be.

In the case of longer hoops with multiple rows of purlins, it is advisable to have a series of shorter braces than one long one. This means you would start at a certain hoop/purlin connection and go down and over for 3 or 4 hoops and anchor at that hoop/purlin connection. Go over to the same hoop you did the first brace on and repeat the process from the lower purlin. You would then be going down to the base or the next row of purlins. Remember that if at one end, if you are going left to right, on the other end you go right to left.

Where ever you end up, it is wise to have extra anchoring at that point.

For extra clarification, please watch our “installing wind braces” video on the website.

Featured Application: Marinas-Need help Shrink Wrapping or Storing Boats?

We have your solution! Our structures have been used by customers such as Hastings Marine and Terry Senecal in Gananoque for large scale protection while shrink wrapping boats and storing boats and RVs.

Keep the weather off you and extend the available time for working!

These buildings give you the environment to do a more effective job since you won’t be affected by wind and moisture. We would love to help you find the best solution for your business

Please call for Sample Storage Shelter Pricing
including 12mil woven tarp for roof & ends sizes 16′-30′ wide any length

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and we can even do custom projects if you require like this creative one for a customer living on his boat!

George Mainguy Structure

Featured Application: Garages & Small Storage

Tired of brushing snow off your car or having your snow blower and other equipment covered in snow? Do you have a permanent garage attached to your home that is too full to park your car in? We have your Shelter Solution!

cathedral building with truck inside

We have cathedral buildings if you are parking a larger vehicle such as a truck or RV, and roll up doors for easier access

leanto in winter

We also have lean-tos if space is more limited. See more information on our Lean-To page

high profile with tractors stored inside

The above picture is a 20’ x 48’ x 12’ high profile structure which is being used for maintenance equipment storage on a well know golf course. Since all of the equipment is used on a daily basis, the customer chose to go with open ends. This basically created a drive through shed. Not only is this shelter profile a very simple cover during inclement weather, it also provides cover for those involved with maintenance of the equipment. The structure was initially built on beams to simplify future relocation. The present location was convenient for the present but not the permanent location.  The high profile shape was chosen both for the interior side height and the ability this shape has to shed snow.

See more details at our Garage and Small Storage Page

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Featured Application: Salt & Sand Storage Buildings

salt storage

It’s prime time to get your salt storage structures from Multi Shelter Solutions to be delivered while it’s still great installation weather!

We offer many sizes to choose from, and can custom manufacture for your unique situation as well.

They can be mounted on blocks, shipping containers or direct to a ground beam or with anchor posts.Check out the pages below for extra pricing and information regarding these structures, and call us for your custom quote! We look forward to helping you find your shelter solution

Salt and Sand Storage
Large Storage