Are you a gardener or greenhouse owner dealing with snow this winter? Protecting your plants from the elements can be challenging, but don't worry – we have some tips to help you make the most of this season. Please keep reading to get our top advice on how to deal with snow on a greenhouse!
Prepare for Snowfall
Preparing for snow is essential for any greenhouse owner, especially in areas prone to heavy snowfall. It's important to take steps to protect your greenhouse from the potential damage caused by snow and ice. One of the best ways to protect your greenhouse from snow is by reinforcing its structure with durable lumber. This will help prevent any warping or buckling of the frame due to the weight of the snow. Additionally, you should inspect the roof and sides of the greenhouse for any possible weak spots that may be prone to damage from snow.
It's also important to stock up on supplies before a snowstorm hits, such as extra energy curtains or blankets, enough fuel for heating appliances, and any other materials needed to make repairs or improvements. Make sure you have everything you need in an emergency, such as a long-handled shovel or rake for clearing away snow. And if you're expecting a heavy snowfall, keep an eye on the weather forecast to prepare for what's coming.
Check the Structure of the Greenhouse
Before the snow hits, it's essential to ensure the structure of your greenhouse can handle the weight of the snowfall. Hoop houses are particularly vulnerable to snow buildup, so make sure you have a plan for removing it. Gutters can help, but they also create a problem regarding snow removal. If you have a glass-glazed greenhouse, consider installing an energy curtain to help keep the heat in and the cold out while also creating an effective force that helps pull the snow down. Additionally, look for any holes or rips in the cladding and ensure they're taped and sealed. Make sure that your inflation fan intake won't get blocked by snow, as well. If you have a poly structure, consider using brooms to help push off the snow without damaging the cladding. Finally, you can always install a truss webbing kit if you need extra support for more snow weight.
Once your structure is ready for winter, you can start thinking about how you'll remove the snow when it hits. A typical system uses PEX tubing placed in a serpentine pattern on 6- to 10-inch centers, 2 inches below the surface of the concrete. This allows for maximum heat transfer and helps melt away any snow. Board-type insulation can also help keep the heat in and melt away any snow accumulation. You can also use a rake or shovel to remove any remaining snow from your greenhouse manually.
Now that your greenhouse is ready for winter remove all the snow from your greenhouses before it causes any damage or creates an unsafe environment for your plants and staff.
Clear Away Snow Properly
Clearing away snow properly is essential for keeping your greenhouse in tip-top shape. When removing snow from the roof, it's best to use a broom or brush to avoid damaging the cladding. If you're dealing with a poly structure, using a broom can help push the snow off without damaging the material. When it comes to glass and metal greenhouses, it's essential to pull the snow down between the bows and avoid pulling the tool over the framework as much as possible. This will help prevent holes from being made in the glazing. For some greenhouses, an alternate method is to use an air blower that can blow the snow off the roof and sides.
When it comes to dealing with snow on the inside of your greenhouse, you have several options. One popular method is to open up energy curtains and turn up the heat before a storm begins. This will warm up the glazing and melt away any snow before it has a chance to accumulate. Another option is to use an electric heater or fan, which can help reduce the temperature and keep it at a level that will prevent snow from sticking around. If you plan on using any of these methods, ensure that any holes or rips in your insulation are taped to ensure maximum efficiency. Also, ensure that any snow buildup won't block your fan intake. Finally, keep in mind that the effective force of the wind is doubled when it is blowing against a surface, so plan accordingly when setting up heating appliances in your greenhouse.
Check the Temperature of the Greenhouse
Checking the greenhouse's temperature is essential when dealing with snow on a greenhouse. Making sure that your greenhouse has the right amount of heat can help prevent snow from building up on the walls and roof of your structure. If the temperature of your greenhouse is too low, then snow can accumulate faster than it can melt. Checking the temperature regularly and ensuring it is optimal for snow removal can help prevent any potential damage. Additionally, if you are using heating appliances in your greenhouse, ensure that it is adequately ventilated and that all appliances are in good working order. Proper ventilation helps to regulate the temperature inside the structure and also helps to reduce condensation buildup.
Monitor Airflow and Ventilation
When the snow starts to fall, it's crucial to monitor the airflow and ventilation of your greenhouse. Snow can cause air stagnation and reduce air exchange, harming your plants. Check gable vents, roof vents, ridge vents, and louvers to ensure proper ventilation. Additionally, install fans and drippers if needed to keep the air flowing and to help prevent condensation. Keeping a regular cleaning schedule throughout the winter is essential to avoid any buildup of snow or ice in the greenhouse. Make sure you keep any snow removal equipment in good condition and use it often to ensure proper ventilation and air movement.
Pay Attention to Condensation
Condensation is a common issue in greenhouses during winter, as the heat inside the structure creates humidity. This humidity can then turn into condensation on the walls, creating a wet and slippery surface. To prevent this, you must ensure that the greenhouse is adequately ventilated and the temperature stays comfortable. Additionally, if you have a dehumidifier installed, use it regularly to reduce the humidity levels and prevent condensation from occurring. With these steps, you can keep your greenhouse safe and dry during winter.
Check for Water Leaks
Checking for water leaks when dealing with snow on a greenhouse is essential. Snowfall can increase the chances of water leaks due to the weight of the snow and the additional pressure it puts on the structure. If these issues are not addressed, they can cause severe damage to the greenhouse if left unchecked.
It is best to check around the perimeter of the greenhouse for any water leaks. Make sure to inspect the roof, walls, floor, and any other areas that can be susceptible to leaking. If any water leaks are found, it is best to repair them immediately.
In addition, make sure to check for any other weather-related issues, such as cracks or damage to the structure. If any of these issues are found, it is crucial to fix them as soon as possible to prevent further damage from occurring.
By checking for water leaks and other weather-related issues, you can ensure that your greenhouse is safe and secure during heavy snowfall. Doing so will help protect your investment and keep your plants safe from potential damage caused by the snow.
Install Heating Appliances in the Greenhouse
In the wintertime, it's important to install heating appliances in your greenhouse to keep the temperature regulated. Heating appliances such as electric space heaters and propane heaters can help to maintain a comfortable temperature and keep your plants healthy. Make sure to choose an appliance rated for the size of your greenhouse. If you have a large greenhouse, consider multiple heaters so that the temperature is evenly dispersed. Additionally, follow all safety procedures when installing and using your heating appliance - ensuring that the appliance is adequately ventilated. If you need help properly installing a heater in your greenhouse, it is best to consult a professional.
Maintain a Regular Cleaning Schedule
Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule is essential for keeping your greenhouse in good condition. This is especially true when dealing with snow. Snow can accumulate quickly and become heavy, so it's vital to clear it away frequently. This can be done with a snow rake, broom, or shovel. Be sure to touch and avoid damaging the greenhouse frame and panels gently.
You should also check the air vents and fans for any blockages caused by snow accumulation, as these can reduce airflow and harm the plants inside. Finally, checking for water leaks and ensuring the temperature remains steady is essential. All these steps will help protect your greenhouse from the effects of snowfall.