If you live in a cold weather location, snow load on a greenhouse is a definite something to be watched closely. If you are using a rounded roof greenhouse with a flat top, you will see a heavy snow load build up there. The extra weight on the roof of the greenhouse may cause it to collapse.
When there is a heavy blizzard followed by a late winter rain followed by a freezing night, there could easily have several tons of snow and ice on the greenhouse. This is the time you have to do some maintenance.
How do you take care of the snow load on the greenhouse? There are several ways you can go about.
1) Use a support post and wedge it under the center purlin.
You can use a sturdy wooden post and wedge it under the spine of the roof. This will provide a lot of support from below. This option will handle light snow load but doesn’t work so well with heavier ones.
2) Watching the weather forecast.
The best approach is to be prepared. Watch the weather forecast on the news and don’t go away when a blizzard is predicted.
You can use a specialized roof rake to clear the snow built up. Make sure the tool is long enough so you can reach way up and be able to bring the snow down.
The snow will tend to slide off like an avalanche in large sheets. All you have to do is catch it at the right angle. Sometime you’ll be able to clear the whole section of the greenhouse roof with one clean sweep. It’s kind of dramatic and also nice to know your greenhouse won’t be collapsing.
If you’ve put all your energy and time in constructing a greenhouse, you don’t want it to collapse because of snow load. Build it stout and be prepared to sweep the snow off the greenhouse in the middle of the night. I know it is a hassle, but this simple effort will make sure your greenhouse last for a long time.
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