2010-JAN -> Mother Nature Bats Last

IMG_3169_revDespite our diligent effort to remove snow and support the trusses from within, our Hoop House failed in the recent storm event in North Carolina the weekend of January 29-30, 2010 (snow/ice of 8-10″)

My preliminary investigation (from inside) revealed that it looks likes metal fatigue was the culprit. I used a conservative bay spacing of 4′ with the sides concreted in the ground. Quite a setback for us.

IMG_3613_revI plan to remove and fold back the two-ply plastic from the wiggle-wire on all but the near long-side in the photo. I will try to jack and weld the 22 tubes and add additional metal trussing at each end and at mid-span – then re-attach the plastic. If I can do this, the interior length-wise tubing, electrical and fans can be left in place. We’ll see . . .

Have to wait for a warmer, dry week of weather – whenever that gets here. Oh, by the way, I’ve gotta run – Cow #107 is calving in the snow.

Updated October 31, 2010:

IMG_3617_revAfter a four-month insurance fight with Farm Bureau Insurance about coverage for our Hoop House, we begrudgingly settled with them in lieu of a protracted court fight we could not afford. After the summer heat subsided we began by clearing the interior of weeds and debris and began cutting-out pipe sections that needed to be completely replaced and slowly jacking the trusses back in place and temporarily supporting them with 2×4’s as shown in the photo. We have made test replacement pipe elbows and center-sleeves which will initially be fastened with self-tapping screws to establish new trusses. All joints will be welded in-the-field and center vertical supports will be installed to forego a repeat of this disaster. We plan to have produce growing in the Hoop House this Winter. Stay tuned for more progress photos. This experience has been really frustrating!

Updated November 30, 2010:

Our building is finally re-assembled was field-welded on December 1st. Our building plan is working. We have repaired all damaged trusses and also the electrical wiring that was damaged when the building collapsed. Our circulating fans still work fine (to my amazement)! We will be back in service in December. We have begun planting seeds in our Heated Seedling Greenhouse for transplant into the Hoophouse. After we repair some holes in both plastic layers, we will close-up the building. We must wait for a dead-calm (i.e. no wind) window of from 2-4 hours to replace the plastic exterior. Only our drip irrigation remains to be repaired/re-installed. I did not realize how much I missed having my Hoophouse to work in. Better days ahead!

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