creative greenhouse concepts
Hints for Installing Solexx Greenhouse Covering
Solexx greenhouse paneling is a very strong, yet flexible, twin-wall polyethylene covering, making it easy to install and cost effective to ship. Due to its translucent characteristics it diffuses light exceptionally well. Creating an environment with no shaded areas or hot spots and with an "R" value of 2.1R for 3.5mm paneling (2.3R for the 5mm paneling), it makes an ideal covering for greenhouses, end walls, light panels, car ports, etc.....the possibilities are endless. This product may have slight imperfections, or blemishes, but they are only cosmetic and will not affect the quality or performance of the material.
[Solexx paneling shipping package] 1. UNROLLING: If the precut panel or length off of the roll is too curved for easy installation, try straightening it out by laying it out flat in a warm environment. Also, if the roll/panel has been in storage for a period of time, it may have developed a slight "yellow" tint from the UV inhibitor. Exposure to direct sunlight should quickly clear this up.
2. TEMPERATURE: Install Solexx paneling when the temperature is near the mean (yearly average) temperature for your area to allow for expansion and contraction. If this is not possible, put the panels in a heated area that is near the mean temperature for your area. When ready to put the panel on the structure, take the panel from this area and attach it to the structure. Solexx will expand and contract with the temperature changes. By installing the panel at your mean temperature, the panel is in the middle of its expansion and contraction range.
3. PREPARATION: Solexx has the best insulation qualities of any product on the market, however, in order to achieve the R-Values; the ends of flutes must be filled with a ¼" bead of clear 100% silicone caulking prior to installation or after trimming an already attached panel. This traps the air inside the flutes. Unless you need to cut or trim the panels after installation, be sure the bottoms of the panels are caulked prior to installing as it is very difficult to point a caulking gun up ½" from the ground. The video below explains how to caulk the panels.
4. SPACING: We recommend that the framing (trusses) that will support your Solexx be placed 16" - 24" on
center. If applying to a greenhouse frame with 4' or 6' centers, cross bracing is recommended to prevent sagging between the bows. Ask us about cabling over the bows to prevent expansion sagging.
5. INSTALLING: Solexx paneling can be applied with the flutes running in either direction on your structure.
Applying your Solexx paneling so that the flutes run perpendicular to the framing adds to the strength of your structure but it can also be applied in the same direction as the framing. If you are covering a plastic or a wood structure, attach with our 1" screws with neoprene washers to prevent water from getting into the flutes. Our ¾" self-tapping screws are for installing your Solexx paneling onto metal framing. Either way, no pre-drilling of the paneling is needed. We suggest placing the screws about 6" apart on the stringers where it is overlapped or on the perimeter of the wall or roof structure. Be careful not to over-torque the screws, or you may crush the paneling. The washers should just slightly dimple the panel.
6. CUTTING: Except where your panel ends at ground level, it is helpful to attach the panel to your structure
first, and then use a sharp, thin utility knife to follow the frame as a cutting guide. It works well to cut the panel with two passes of the knife. On the first pass, use light pressure to score the panel and set the path the knife will follow for the second pass. The second pass should be done with more pressure to cut through the panel, while making sure the knife is following the score line of the first pass.
[U Trim is installed on the open flutes to help keep out bugs and moisture and to maximize insulation] 7. U-TRIM: Caulking the ends of the flutes as described above will also prevent insects and moisture from intruding into the flutes. For cosmetic enhancement you may then slide a U-trim piece over the end of the panel for a permanent cap. Secure U-trim with small screws by poking a small starter hole in one side of it with an ice pick or small nail. Then insert screw through one side of the U-trim into the Solexx paneling. Place each screw approx. one foot apart. Put caulking in all the holes you created to stop water penetration. Normally the screws are installed from the under side of the panel or the side facing the center of the structure you are paneling.
8. H-CHANNEL: Panels can be joined together using H-Channel or overlapped on 4' or 6' centers. H-channel is most effective when used where the sides of the panel have no structure behind them to screw to. If using H-Channel attach one panel to your frame while leaving about 1/8" gap in between that panel and the next one you are attaching. This leaves enough space for you to slide the H-channel into [H Channel is used to join Solexx greenhouse panels together.] place. If you need a little more room for the H-channel, you can always trim the panel a little. Keep the screws approx. 1" from each side of the H-Channel. Do not screw into the H-channel. **Do not use H-channels on a roof, unless it is one continuous H-channel running from side-to-side. No H-channel clips on a roof. If H-channel is difficult to slide on, try spraying the grooves of the H-channel and the edges of the panels with a little WD-40, Pam or try rubbing a dry bar of soap on the edges or liquid soap on the edges of the panels and tap on the end of the H-channel with a rubber mallet.
9. SQUARING: Do not use the panels to square your structure. Solexx™ rolls may not be perfectly square.
10. BENDING PANELS: It's not necessary to cut Solexx™ when installing over roof peaks or around corners. You can score the panel using a straight edge and a blunt tipped object such as a Phillips screw driver, (be careful not to cut the panel) and then fold the panel along the scored line. Solexx™ paneling can be scored in either direction, either with the flutes or across the flutes.
11. CLEANING: Wipe down Solexx™ with soap and water once a year for maximum efficiency of light transmission. Solexx™ is almost 100% inert. You could store hydrochloric acid in a container of Solexx™ and it would not damage the paneling.