How to avoid storm damage

Here are some helpful hints and tips to help you avoid any storm damage this winter.

ALL greenhouses are particularly vulnerable to wind damage, and even more so when new.

Of course, some models are stronger in the wind, but they are ALL vulnerable to wind damage - EVEN THE VERY STRONGEST MODELS AVAILABLE IN BRITAIN. So we recommend that you take the potential threat of the wind to damage your greenhouse very seriously not just when choosing your greenhouse, but also positioning it, maintaining it and checking it on an ongoing basis.

 

Severe winds are so much more common nowadays - the kind of wind which we used to see once every 10 years, now seems to come more than once a year!

To help prevent panes of glass blowing out and to minimise the risk of more serious damage follow these steps:

  • Position your greenhouse in a position that is as sheltered from the wind as possible. Consider planting hedges or positioning fences as protection from the winds in the future.
  • Go for the strongest greenhouse you can afford: as a general rule, the more you spend (on the basic frame- not your total bill), the stronger the frame will be. Consider bar capping to replace clips if it is available.
  • If your glass is held in with clips, your greenhouse is most vulnerable to panes of glass blowing out in high winds. To help prevent this, we recommend using silicone sealant to secure the clips (click here to view a help sheet on this topic).
  • Alternatively, if you have a Simplicity greenhouse, you can replace the clips with Bar capping, a full length PVC capping system that secures the glass all the way up and holds it far more firmly in windy conditions.
  • Make sure your greenhouse is anchored down to the floor as securely as possible. If your greenhouse is on slabs or concrete; drill and screw it down with brown Rawl plugs and 2" no 10 screws using a 7mm hammer drill bit.
  • Make sure that your greenhouse is attached properly to your metal base (if applicable). Although some bases come with metal 'J-clips' to attach them to the greenhouse, if you live in windy conditions, we recommend that you drill through the sill of the greenhouse, through the base and bolt them together with a standard greenhouse bolt and nut. Do this about every 2-4' around the greenhouse. This provides a good extra precaution. (Take care if you do this before glazing that your bolt head will not be in the way of the glass).
  • Shelter your greenhouse by situating fences or hedging in the way of the prevailing winds. Also be aware that areas that look 'sheltered' may in fact be 'wind tunnels' (e.g down the side of a house). This is very important.
  • Before heavy winds, make sure that your doors and windows are closed and will stay closed during the wind. If you have a sliding door that has no catch to keep it closed, then you can secure it by drilling a hole in the top door track and inserting a padlock.
  • After heavy winds, check your greenhouse. You may find that some clips have moved and got behind the glass and are not securing it - this may weaken the fixing of the pane, then later it may blow out in a comparatively mild wind. These clips need repositioning as soon as possible and to help keep them in place you can put some silicone around them. Likewise you may even have had a pane blow out and without checking you may never realise it: this is a dangerous situation because there is a gap in the greenhouse and if the wind gets up again it could cause some more damage quickly. NEVER try and repair your greenhouse whilst it is still windy.

If you haven't actually ordered your greenhouse yet, then we recommend that you choose a Hercules or a Robinsons greenhouse for the best wind resistance. But even with these very strongest models, you should remain vigilant.

Your greenhouse is usually included on your home insurance, but it's as well to check this when you talk to your insurers. No greenhouse manufacturer that we know of gives any kind of guarantee for damage caused to your greenhouse by wind.

Please do take the threat posed to your greenhouse by the wind seriously. A few more precautions and a little regular vigilance and maintenance will stack the odds in your favour. If you can see a problem early it can often be mended easily and prevent the damage spreading.

If you have lost some panes of glass, then you can usually get this quickly from your local glass shop. We do stock most of the glass sizes of course, and if you are able to collect from our warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent then we an supply it for you at the best possible price - sometimes less than half the price of your local glass shop. However, if you can't collect from our warehouse, your local glass shop will usually be quicker and cheaper.

If glass does blow out of your greenhouse, try and block the hole as quickly as possible even if it's just with a blanket held on with clothes pegs - this stops the wind getting in and casing further damage. Of course, you can get glass from us, but we only recommend that you get your replacement glass from us if you are able to collect it. We can not deliver glass in small quantities for a competitive price. If you are unsure where you can get glass locally, then you can type 'glass merchant' into www.yell.com.

If the worst happens and your greenhouse is destroyed by winds, then you should contact your insurance company who will advise you what to do. Usually, this may be to get a written quotation for a replacement. We can help with providing quotations for replacements, including removal of the old greenhouse and assembly of the new. Please call us on 0843 208 1158.