How To Install UV Polyethylene Plastic Film on Greenhouse
One of the most frequent questions we get is how to apply UV polyethylene film on the trusses of a greenhouse roof when the width of the roof is longer than the width of the film. Normally the first thing people will think of is to find film that is the exact size of the greenhouse. Unfortunately, not only is this difficult because every greenhouse is designed differently depending on space and area, but it’s also very difficult to find and handle UV plastic wider than 7m, not to mention the high cost of the film.
WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER
We generally like working with 4.5m wide UV polyethylene plastic film because our greenhouse design is based on the integers: 4 and 6 (meters). Our standard column spacing is 4m spanning the length of the greenhouse while the width is 6m, which is the total size of any standard piece of GI material. Using these parameters, applying the UV film and insect netting becomes non-complicated, easier to execute, and with higher quality than trying to handle a big and heavy roll, while not having to add a structural support beam in the middle of the growing area.
A good greenhouse design is modular, meaning the construction process flows in sections. The same parts with the same sizes for each section. This makes expansion (or scaling down) much easier and less complicated, less expensive, and less laborious. Therefore the 4m x 6m sectional sizes we use match perfectly with our design objectives.
The use of lock channels and wiggle wires are required to make a solid attachment of the UV plastic film to the frame. If you haven’t learned how to use them, read here. The locking mechanism of the wiggle wires ensures a firm seal and makes interlocking film as easy as possible, without jeopardizing the quality of the greenhouse.
INSTALL IN SECTIONS
Cutting the film and applying in sectional segments makes installation easy. Especially when dealing with high roof-lines and using scaffolding equipment. It’s cumbersome to have to keep moving scaffolding or ladders when moving on to the next section. Take extra effort to ensure the film is uniformly stretched and clamped down properly. After all, do it right once and you won’t have to do it again the second time. Cut off any residual film after installation for a nice smooth finish.
PRO-TIP: When moving on to the next section, instead of removing the existing wiggle wire, just add another wiggle wire in the channel to properly interlock the film inside the locking channel.
INSURANCE FOR YOUR INVESTMENT
Greenhouse construction is made easy using the right design principles and using quality materials. Knowing how to use materials properly is key to ensuring an efficient workflow execution process. In case of damage incurred to the film by heavy storms and typhoons, it’s easier (and cheaper!) to replace sections of film rather than having to overhaul the entire roof and the support structure. A greenhouse is an investment, as any business is, and an investment must be insured to avoid heavy losses in case of calamities. Ensure the use of quality materials, quality workmanship, and thoughtful design that factors in all environmental risks in the future.