Growing Dome® Maintenance Overview
For all Growing Dome Owners
In the words of Buddha, “All things are impermanent.”
Over the years, we have found that a few simple and preventative maintenance procedures will keep your Growing Dome performing.
We are providing a suggested maintenance program that can be performed by you, your maintenance crew or by a Growing Spaces crew. Given appropriate and timely maintenance, the Growing Dome will give many, many years of growing pleasure.
Like any large investment item such as a car, boat or home, the Growing Dome requires ongoing maintenance over the years. We do our very best to build the Growing Dome from high quality and long lasting materials, and feel we have succeeded in creating a low maintenance product. Enjoy.
Founder & Co-Owner, Growing Spaces.
Annual Maintenance Procedures
- If you have a nylon mesh screen on your waterfall pump, it is a good idea to clean it in the spring and fall.
- Check and oil the threads on Univent openers and verify correct operation.
- This video gives you a visual of what you need to do for winterizing your Growing Dome.
Adjusting the Automatic shutters
Udgar shows us how to adjust the opening of the shutters and remove and replace the piston for winter, if desired.
2-3 Year Maintenance Procedures
- Make sure that your metal glazing strips (if you have them) are all secure. If you’ve experienced any leaking and you have metal glazing strips, you may want to run a bead of caulk on the upper edge of the strip in the area where the leak is.
- If you have clear aircraft tape see “Clear Tape Maintenance” section below and check for tape leaks at tape crossover points. (Remedy: place small squares of tape over leaks.)
- For the siding and trim strips, check and replace with new screws as needed.
- We also suggest applying a new coat of solid color wood treatment, if needed, to the siding to maintain its quality appearance.
- Vents – check on tape over vent hinges and re-tape if necessary. Apply aluminum tape to slow down degeneration of hinge tape.
- Check for tightness of structural nuts and bolts of the Growing Dome structure. Tighten, if necessary.
- Conduct a general visual inspection of door, north wall insulation, water tank and undersoil heating system. Take action, if necessary.
5 Year Maintenance Procedures
- Repeat the 2-3 year maintenance program.
- Check all tape for integrity. Replace or augment as needed.
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE
- Do not spray water on your undersoil fan. Water will cause it to fail.
- Do not climb in or walk in the water tank as you’ll run the risk of puncturing the liner.
GROWING DOME SYSTEMS MAINTENANCE
The systems inside the Growing Dome require very little maintenance.
The Water Tank
The tank needs to be kept topped off to within 2-3” of the underside of crossbar or, in the case of the circular tank, the top of the tank wall. Many people are concerned about keeping the water in the tank clean. This can be handled in different ways.
The use of a solar fountain or filter pump is an excellent way to maintain cleanliness inside the tank. Many people are using the tank as an indoor pond and add floating aquatic plants and fish to the pond. The plants themselves, and water snails, can thoroughly clean the water, thus eliminating the need for regular cleaning of the tank.
If you have the earlier type of plastic pool coping for the water tank and it has degenerated we now offer a superior replacement product. Contact us for details.
The Undersoil Heating/Cooling System
The undersoil heating/cooling system is very self-sufficient. Its main effectiveness is in heating the soil during the winter, which also helps to keep the temperature in the Growing Dome higher, and in the summer, when it augments the cooling systems. Some people turn the system off during the spring and fall in order to increase the life of the fan. The switch can occasionally suffer from corrosion and will need to be replaced in this case.
If you live in a snowy region, there is regular care of the vents that we recommend at the start of the winter.
We recommend that the restraining cords on the top vents be inspected regularly. They keep the wind from tearing off the vents. Check and oil Univent openers, especially the threads on the adjusting nuts or pistons, and verify correct operation. Check screws for tightness.
The nuts of the Growing Dome structure may tend to loosen due to the shrinkage of the wood over time and it may be necessary to tighten up these nuts every two to three years. If your Growing Dome was purchased in 2010 or later then your struts were treated with an Earth-friendly lifetime treatment and require no maintenance. If it is older than 2010 you will need to apply any non-toxic sealant to the struts every 5 years to help preserve them.
Clear Tape Maintenance
Occasionally, the tape near a screw can pull away, forming dirt under tape. If left, it can eventually allow water to leak into your Growing Dome, causing premature lumber staining and degeneration.
A small percentage of glazing screws can, over time “UN-Screw” pulling the tape away from your glazing, allowing leakage.
HOW TO REPAIR:
1. Cut away a square of the tape that has pulled away around the screw and remove.
2. Retighten the screw so that the flat head of the screw is flush with the surface of the glazing (not projecting or over-dimpled).
3. Clean the area thoroughly with alcohol.
4. Cut a square of new aircraft tape slightly larger than the gap.
5. Reapply tape with a roller, rolling the tape to ensure firm contact.
METAL GLAZING STRIP REPAIR
We have found that the Metal Glazing Strips with double stick tape will occasionally peal away from the glazing on the north side of the structure in the winter months. This occurs when there are frequent periods of warming then freezing. This allows some water to build up under the strip, freeze, partially melt, allow more water in, freeze again, and eventually wedging the strip off of the Growing Dome. We have designed a repair kit to re-attach any Metal Glazing Strips that have fallen off. You can call our office to order a repair kit if you ever have problems with the strips pealing off. Below is a video containing the instructions on how to re-apply the strips.
You can now order new or replacement parts and accessories for your Growing Dome online by clicking here. As always, we are available to assist you if needed – just give us a call!
We hope you enjoy your Growing Dome and that it gives you many years of pleasure. Please stay in touch with us and let us know of your experiences. You can email us at [email protected] with your feedback.
For more information or to place an order, contact us at:
P.O. Box 5518
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
(970) 731-2120 (Office)
(970) 731-0198 (Fax)