Fixing Greenhouse!

Polytunnels, cold frames, greenhouses, propagators & more. How to get the best out of yours...

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Westi
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Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Westi » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:32 pm

Hi All!

I have had a bit of a disaster with the laminate I bought to replace the glass broken by the future David Beckham's from the school behind. It was too thin for the clips so it had to be sealed in with silicone & was fine for a while. Unfortunately the silicone went brittle & hard due to the temp extremes I suppose, and they fell out & even blew out. I was thinking I might need a new greenhouse as where they blew out it appeared to warp the aluminium frame as they wouldn't fit back in, but in one of my 'I won't be beaten by this' moods I took them all out and the frame straightened with a bit of a tighten of the cross supports.

I really don't want to replace with glass as the greenhouse truly is in the firing line despite the 8' fence & not safe for the pets with broken glass around, so thinking of getting a thicker laminate. Trouble is I haven't a clue & the stuff I bought was actually for covering bill boards I think, but it was cut to size so thought OK, so I would appreciate a) advice on where to purchase proper laminate, b) what thickness needed to suit clips & frame, c) Should it be just laminate or those sheets that have like a zig zag pattern so there is air pockets which would help with insulation & possibly strength? If these are not too thick where would I find these? I have 3 roof panes, 2 side panes, the wee vent window & the bottom frame of the sliding door to replace. The roof panes will probably need creative thinking as I don't think I would be happy for anyone to climb up to clip the top of the sheets in.

Cheers in advance! Just to reassure you I will be seeking a handyman to assist.
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sally wright
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby sally wright » Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:32 pm

TWIN WALLED POLYCARBONATE is used in conservatory roofs and in greenhouses and this is possibly an answer for you as long as it will fit depth wise. As for what to stick it down with I feel I am not qualified to answer; as that may be something the polycarbonate vendor will be most familiar with. It is usually sold in long lengths and you cut it to fit yourself with a jigsaw. Usually one side is coated with UV stabiliser so make sure it faces the right side out. The thicker the material you can use the more rigid it is but do mention that it is for a greenhouse as there may be different quality grades available.

I will admit that this TWP is not the cheapest option but it should last for many years. Do not use shade paint on it though as it will ruin the UV coating.

I have just googled TWP and it is available in many places, from both on-line and in-person shops.

Two Wests do a selection of glazing clips and fixings if you want to go down that route rather than adhesive. Although it might be prudent to use both. Use at least twice as many clips as you would with glass as it will still flex and there is always the footballs to contend with.

Regards Sally Wright
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby retropants » Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:45 pm

Hello Westi, via work, we use all sorts of adhesives and sealants. Have a look at Bondit PU18 it's an exterior adhesive sealer. I think it comes in white, we use black at work. (We make costume props for films) also sikaflex, which is a marine sealant.
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby robo » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:53 pm

Green house glass is usually 3 mm thick it you get the same thickness in polycarbonate your clips should fit ,failing that double sided tape to stick it down in the right position then go round with a quality silicone not a cheap one ,sicoflex is not bad and easy to obtain
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Geoff
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Geoff » Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:47 am

If you use toughened glass at least the clips will work properly, great danger of plastic flexing and pinging the clips. Neighbour bought a new Halls and had trouble with glass panes blowing out until he sourced some extra strong clips from somebody else. What clips do you have now, some are like bent wire, some are springy strips and some are a full capping strip (they would probably hold TWP).
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Kayburton » Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:18 am

It all depends on how much you expect. Of course, it would be nice to take a photo of the frame and consult a hardware store. Now there is a huge variety of building materials. maybe eat something new and suitable.
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Compo
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Compo » Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:21 pm

So I have some thin polycarbonate sheets, same thickness and sizes of most green house glass, I simply drill straight through the sheet with a 2mm drill bit into the aluminium frame. You can either use something called a tech screw (used for fixing corrugated sheets to wooden joists or a self tapping screw with a washer. I still have some of it at the plot so I will see if it has the supplier on it and I will take some pics of it for you. The downside is it does not last a long as glass and can start to deteriorate in 5-7 years
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Westi » Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:44 pm

Thanks Compo, that never occurred to me. (After I get a new drill as the girlie one I got for a xmas present couldn't even drill through a sponge). That could work very well with the side panels. The roof panels are holding but they slip into the little ledge from the guttering so can't slip so holding better & it was a clear silicone I bought from the laminate people I used on them which was well expensive - I wish I ordered it for the other panes but hind sight & all that.
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Compo
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Compo » Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:55 pm

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16123669779936065948623633948327.jpg (2.88 MiB) Viewed 506 times

Here you go. I think it was DIY Plastics who may now be TW plastics but it was a while back and I can't completely remember the supplier

The screws called tek screws are widely available Toolstation and other places. You can can either sit the plastic on the existing rubber seals or squirts on silicone to bed it down with. Unfortunately you will get some green mould growth inside at the top and bottom I haven't tried Jeyes fluid to get rid of it because it doesn't bother me. Do you can get some tape to put over the open ends which work with limited success it's easy to work with with
Last edited by Compo on Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Geoff
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Geoff » Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:06 pm

You can get edging strips for TWP that you can stick on with silicone, that stop stuff going down the channels.
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Westi
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Westi » Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:47 pm

I just had to go out with the torch to look at my greenhouse. It doesn't have the central horizontal strut like yours Compo, although it does have an angular support from the corners but that is attached inside the main structure so I couldn't use it. I would have to just secure it to the sides.

I was out there today (in the rain dripping through the slipped sheets) & have noted that the structure has warped again due to these blown panels. I once again went to buy new & move it option. Went as far to wander over to the corner shop & take the details of the local handyman advertising in the window. It can't be the toughened glass option as cost prohibitive, can't be normal glass so limits me to laminate. I have found one (hopefully can find again), which comes in panels with the laminate inserted during manufacture. It is timber framed not aluminium so will not have the same life span even if I treat the wood, but will outlast me.

I'm probably overthinking it as it is well outside my skill set but doable by someone, but not me! Might ask the handy man to pop over for a look.
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Compo » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:11 pm

Well Westi, you used to be able to get a new greenhouse from B & Q with the polycarb twinwall option like what I have used, I think the first set of twinwall came as a glazing kit for a B & Q greenhouse, then when that got tatty I brought the stuff in the picture below, might be worth searching around on their website. You can cut the laminate with a stanley knife or a good pair of scissors.

The central strut you referred to is a piece of roofing batten which I added my self. Admittedly you do need some basic skills with a good cordless drill / screwdriver. You have to add up the cost of the laminate and screws and sealant then the handyman for the day, you might be better off with new.

I overthink things so much I wake up at 4am or so trying to figure it all out. Sympathy
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Compo » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:23 pm

https://www.diy.com/departments/palram- ... 700_BQ.prd
I don't know what size you are looking for Westi, but this seems good value. And it is made by Palram whose polycarb twin wall sheets I have used in my greenhouse
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Geoff
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Geoff » Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:12 am

I buy my TWP on eBay if that is any use to you https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/omegabuild
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Westi
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Re: Fixing Greenhouse!

Postby Westi » Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:53 pm

I never looked at the obvious sites in my searching around but that B & Q one is well reasonable. I have phoned the handyman who seems nice, I would prefer a face to face (OK mask to mask) meeting & chat. He is up for it but is booked solid for the next 6 - 8 weeks which is fine as I will try to find the one with the panels to compare, factor in the skip cost & gives me time to clear & use the compost in the bin directly beside it (luckily emptied last year so not much) & level the space there as I want it further away from the garage. I will update as & when.

Geoff I am banned from eBay - slight issue with matador outfits for a ward themed do that were not when received - close but Sombero's were not what was advertised & seller would not refund & was totally rude. I reported, they bit back & near 20yrs later I am still banned. Hence my new relationship with 'A'!
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