Solutions for Greenhouses and Shelters in Areas with Heavy Snow Loading 1

Solutions for Greenhouses and Shelters in Areas with Heavy Snow Loading

Greenhouse roofs aren’t designed to withstand the same amount of weight and pressure from snow as roofs on houses. Greenhouse growers in cold climates that receive heavy snowfall annually often need custom solutions to protect their crops and their structures from snow.

At SlipTube, we serve clients that deal with a variety of seasonal weather patterns, from the mild climates of southern BC to the colder extremes of the Yukon and Alaska. We manufacture greenhouses, sheds, and shelters to stand up to virtually any climate you can think of, and that includes heavy snowfall.

Climate-Specific Engineering

Since we design and manufacture all our structures in-house, we can ensure that any structure we build is tailored to your needs, not only in terms of interior height and width, and light deprivation, but also in terms of climate suitability. If a customer in a northern area with heavy snowfall, for example, needs the dimensions of their greenhouse adjusted to discourage snow accumulation, we can make that adjustment to our design very quickly, and have it built in the same time as any normal order at our Surrey location.

When we provide order specifications to our engineers, they take into account the climate for a given region, including finding out what types of structural designs are required to get or maintain a greenhouse permit in that region. These specifications are then incorporated into the manufacturing design.

Peaked Roofs over Domed Roofs

Over the past 15 to 20 years in the shed and shelter industry, we’ve shifted toward peaked roofs (so-called “gothic” roofs) on our greenhouses rather than the classic flattened dome shape. One of the reasons for this is that peaked roofs are more versatile — in areas that get heavy snowfall on an annual basis, a peaked roof encourages the snow to slide off the sides of the structure, rather than collecting on top. This prevents the snow from getting too heavy, making it very unlikely that snow will weigh down on the greenhouse to the point of structural issues or collapse.

For those in mild climates that rarely see snow, a peaked roof doesn’t cause any problems, and a peaked structure from Slip Tube costs no more than a traditional domed one. Customers in mild climates who see snow rarely, or only once every few years, may get away with a domed roof style, however, this may mean that extra labour is required in the winter to sweep accumulating snow off the roof of the greenhouse. A peaked roof does the job for you, and can save you from the added stress when snowfall comes without warning.

Greenhouse Heating

Greenhouse growing is all about maintaining a specific interior climate, and that usually means a climate that is warmer inside the greenhouse than outdoors. At Slip Tube, we not only supply greenhouse structures designed to withstand snow, but we also provide greenhouse heaters. Our greenhouse heating solutions not only help maintain the interior climate when the outdoor weather turns extremely cold, but they also have the side effect of melting snow before it becomes a potential danger to the structure.

For customers who are growing year-round, greenhouse heaters work in tandem with light deprivation and ventilation systems. A heated greenhouse may not accumulate much snow on top because the excess heat radiating outward causes the snow to melt before it can accumulate.

Building a greenhouse that can stand up to heavy snowfall is not difficult — it just requires attention to detail and high-quality materials. At Slip Tube, we make sure that all our structures adhere to structural guidelines and permit regulations for areas with heavy snow. We also insure our structures against weather like this so in the extremely unlikely event of a collapse due to snow, customers have recourse and peace of mind.