As the whole country is bracing itself for the ‘Beast from the East’ we would like to advise customers with Polytunnels and Glasshouses that once it is safe to venture outside you should remove snow as it is surprisingly heavy and can collapse structures if allowed to build up excessively.
If you have an electric heater for use in Greenhouses (specially sealed for a wet environment) you could leave it running as the warmth may help to melt snow before it has a chance to build up. If you have a direct fired heater – e.g. a gas heater that works like a gas hob inside a metal cover, only leave it running if you can be positive that there is a fresh air supply to it that will not get blocked (otherwise it will burn up all the oxygen and produce carbon monoxide with potential disastrous consequences).
Any number of ways (such as soft bristled brushes, sheets, mop handles etc.) can be used to dislodge snow but whatever you choose try not to damage your polythene or glass in the process, so use something soft so that it will not scratch (causing reduced light transmission) or tear the cover or break the glass.
It is also possible to prop the roof inside your Greenhouse or Polytunnel, but of course this should be done before snow builds on your structure in case it could collapse while you are in there.
We hope that everyone will be safe and well which is the most important thing, your Greenhouse or Polytunnel can always be replaced – and you may even have insurance to cover it, but of course it is not worth taking any risks to protect it.