Retightenting a Loose Cover

A question that we are often asked in the fall is “Do I put the cover on now or in the spring?”

As with most everything in life, there are two ways of looking at things and both sides have pros and cons. The answer is always the same though, “Put the cover on now since, in our opinion, the pros significantly outweigh the cons”

The pros of putting the cover on a new building in the fall include less frost penetration and a chance for ground moisture to start evaporating sooner than later. Less frost penetration means you will require much fewer heat units to get the structure operational in the spring (significant savings). Ground moisture is a challenge every new structure owner faces and allowing that extra time will significantly enhance the growing environment (much healthier).

The main con of putting the cover on in the fall is that with colder temperatures during installation, you will most likely be dealing with an excessively loose cover in the spring. This will be a task that needs to be dealt with to prevent premature cover wear. This will NOT be an ongoing issue. Once you deal with the loose cover, it will be good to go and add life to the cover.

Since cover tightening should not be undertaken until the temperature is consistently warm and warm enough It should therefore not be done until May and until the minimum temperature is over 20C. This requirement also means that you should use a temporary fix to carry you over until you can do a permanent fix.

Do not use rope (especially nylon) over a loose cover to temporarily tighten a cover unless you are facing an emergency. The abrasion factor will create new problems while you are dealing with the other problem. Seat belt material or ratchet straps make ideal fasteners for a loose cover.

If you do not have access to this and you know you will be dealing with a loose cover, you can call our office for some tarp scraps. These can be cut into 2” or 3” strips and then put over the cover at 12’ – 15’ intervals. It is important that the straps are lying flat on the cover before tightening.

When you have a warm calm day to tighten the cover, the job can be done in two stages. Since you must pull lengthwise, you can do one end on one day and the other end the next day. If you simply loosen one side and pull tight, you will have uneven tightening which still will have premature wear.

Once the two sides and one end are loose, pull toward the end and start refastening from the peak and work down. You are always working from the middle to the corner. If any wrinkles develop as you do this, always pull 90 degrees to the wrinkle. If the wind is still calm when you are finished with one end, you can then do the other end. It is important to remember that once you have started loosening the cover, you are committed to finishing the job. Having loose cover overnight is an invitation for trouble.

If anything in this article is not clear, please do not hesitate to contact us for clarification before you start.

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

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 7 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

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