Greenhouse Roof

roof-winterRemember the greenhouse roof I built last October?

It disintegrated.1-greenhouse-roof-1There was a gust or two of wind, a cracking sound, and a chunk of roof and attendant shards flew into the yard.  I complained to a neighbour about it: she told me another neighbour had the same problem – on her greenhouse it did not even last the summer.  Once the sun rots it, it is extremely brittle and as it disintegrates, it fractures into tiny slivers.  I at least had all my plants in pots and could drag them into the house while I sorted out the roof.  My neighbour has permanent beds in her greenhouse and all the shards have mixed with the soil.2-greenhouse-roof-2It took a whole day to rip the existing material off.  It was so fractured I ended up vacuuming it – not only from inside the greenhouse but from the yard as well.  And still bits get everywhere.  Normally I put vacuumings into the compost pile but this lot was emptied into the dump box.

So of course I got onto the building supply company (which happened to be Home Hardware but the neighbour bought the same stuff from Windsor Plywood.)  Neither company would stand by this product – because it was not UV protected.  Excuse me – isn’t a greenhouse SUPPOSED to be in the sun?  Why on earth are they selling a product that is not UV protected?  Home Hardware called it tenplas on the bill.  I googled this but nothing came up.  I searched every site – the material is so bad that no one lists it.  It looks like white, plastic  corriguated cardboard.  And yet the Williams Lake companies are still selling it.

The chunk of roof flew off just as my last volunteer of the year was about to leave.  I would have to buy more materials when I took him into town to catch his ride to his next place.  The one seemingly decent product that all the building supply yards had was a corriguated plastic, but because of all the complicated angles of my roof, I thought that would be too difficult to handle.  I would have had to use a ton of expandable foam to fill the gaps.  I asked a lot of questions and came up with a workable product, but it is expensive – and it would take 2 weeks at least to order; also I don’t have the money right now.  I needed something immediately.  I ended up buying a big sheet of UV-treated greenhouse plastic, which was certainly cheap enough.  Problem is I live in a very windy spot.  How was I going to fasten the plastic firmly onto the roof?  Staples would not be enough.  I reasoned that the very sticky red tape people use to patch car windows when they are broken might do the trick.

The plastic cost $25. The tape (Tuck Tape) cost $50! The tape has a warning on it – this product is permanent and not designed to be removed! Just what I want. However, it doesn’t stick well to wood so I have had to staple the tape where it touches the wood around the edges of the roof.

greenhouse-roof-bestMy knees did not like laboriously climbing up and down the ladder and balancing on the roof structure so it was a slow job.  I was also dodging the rain, not only waiting for the roof to dry, but also waiting for the frost to thaw.  Looks ugly, but if it last the winter, that will be OK.  I expect to be financially better off next year.  And hopefully it will last until I get some limber young volunteers to do the ladder work for me!


4 thoughts on “Greenhouse Roof”

  1. Hello Chris, I was sad that your British friend had such pain while visiting you and beautiful Bella Coola. Do let us all know if she was able to pass the kidney stone…and if she returned to the U.K. safely. Many male patients I treated told me the pain from a kidney stone was worse than they thought childbirth must be. We would need to ask a women who has suffered from and passed a kidney stone wouldn’t we?
    Take care of yourself as winter draws near.

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