Garden Diary - September 2022

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Greenhouse Roof Replacement
Saturday, 17 September 2022

The seasons change. Excellent timing! for the greenhouse roof replacement. Of course this project has been under way for better than two years. I approached contractors, roofers, glaziers - none of whom had any interest. Eventually, with the help of a never-met-in-person Internet friend I got a referral who suggested someone else. Who agreed that yes, he could replace the 20 year old polycarbonate twin wall roofing panels on my greenhouse. Not very quickly, but it would be done.

Various details - ordering the panels from Charley's Greenhouse Supply on the west coast, shipping to the east coast - it was decided to arrange delivery to the contractor - you get the idea. Quiet, quiet, quiet - then an e-mail on 16 September, "How about we come tomorrow to do the work?" Yes, yes! While I was told I did not need to do anything to prepare I decided to take down the internal shade cloth and move all potted plants on upper shelves to a different location.

The weather was sunny and mild, with a light breeze. Bob, Rick, and Rafe arrived. A work table was set up, roofing panels and tools removed from van. Yes, this is going to happen!

The old roof panels were intact but I had not realized how they had darkened with age.
Like human cataracts, which turn the appearance of white objects to yellowed ivory.

The old roofing panels are quickly removed, and old caulk is scraped.
A clean surface needed for good adhesion to seal panels to framing.

Lexan is a polycarbonate resin thermoplastic with superb impact resistance.
It can yellow over time and exposure to UV, which is why one side of these
greenhouse roofing panels has a UV resistant coating. And it can scratch.

Men at work. The panels are carefully fit into place, set with adhesive caulking.
New ridge caps go on to cover the exterior seam between the adjacent panels.

Some of the work is done from inside the greenhouse. I don't know
if OSHA approves of standing on the very top of the ladder like this.
However Rafe seems very comfortable and steady with his work.

Six hours or thereabout later. Work completed and the new roof is in place.
Now I can really appreciate how aged and yellowed the old panels became.
These are so much more translucent. It is wonderful how much brighter
things are in the greenhouse. Plants will love. I already do. And in 20 years . . .

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