Many owners of fabric buildings, whether they’re temporary storage structures, eco shelters, cattle shade structures and others, think that once the building’s set up, they don’t need to do anything else. This is one of the mistakes that owners of such structures commonly make.
Although these fabric structures and buildings are durable, this doesn’t mean that they are invincible. They will get damaged especially if they are not cared for properly. This becomes even truer if the fabric and frames used aren’t of the best quality. Many buildings and items won’t last long without proper care and maintenance. This includes fabric structures and buildings.
Fabric buildings provide an excellent alternative for concrete buildings for various reasons. They can be used as farm and hay sheds where you can store your hay, farm equipment and other farming tools. They can also be used as livestock shade structures for different farm animals.
There are many other uses of fabric buildings. In any case, if you want to make sure that you’ll be able to enjoy using your fabric buildings and structures, you’ll need to take certain steps and precautions to ensure that they last you for a reasonably long time.
If you are keen to building a cattle shade structure, then you should also be aware of the different things that may affect their durability and performance. Outlined below are some of the most common factors that can have a negative impact on the longevity and proper function of many cattle shade structures.
Wind load refers to the stress that the wind can effect on cattle shade structures and many other agricultural or industrial structure that makes use of a tensioned shade. Moderate to strong winds can blow through the shade structure and as it does it can cause some rippling effect or waves that cause the fabric to flap or billow. During this process, the wind forces the fabric material to endure unbalanced forces that may cause the premature failure of the shade fabric and the other components of cattle shade structures. The best way to deal with this issue is to ensure that the fabric is tensioned well into the post.
Horizontal winds, or those that blow in an upward direction, can also have an effect on the shade fabric, or what is sometimes referred to as ‘lift’ and causes the same damage to the shade fabric as those mentioned earlier. To keep this from happening, the fabric of the cattle shade structures should be properly angled to avoid ripping and enduring any damage.
There is also this thing called the dead load, which is basically the weight of the structure and the effect of gravity on it. In this case, the whole weight of the shade fabric is borne by the posts that hold it, or any other structure that supports it. In some of the cattle shade structures, the posts are installed at a certain angle as this is seen to help provide tension, though care must be taken that the posts are installed in the right angles or else it may have negative implications. Along this line, there are shade structures that make use of metal clad frames as these are seen to be more durable and resilient than mere shade cloths. However, they also tend to weigh more, thereby their dead load puts more stress on the supporting structures than the shade cloth alone. Still, the dead load of plain shade cloth should not be underestimated since they are still quite heavy by themselves.
Posts and foundations form a crucial part of the whole cattle shade structures. Even though you may have the best shade cloth at hand, if the support is not durable and strong, then the whole structure will simply collapse whenever there is a strong wind. This may also happen even if there is no wind to cause stress on the structure, as the dead weight of the shade cloth, if too heavy for the support, will eventually cause the wholes structure to fail.
Thus, you’ll want to make sure that you are using structural grade steel in the construction of cattle shade structures. In addition, use solid and well-constructed foundation since the weight of the shade fabric along with the different types of loads will be transferred through the whole structure and into the foundation in the ground.
In general, concrete is used as footing and foundation for the whole structure—not just cattle shade structures but for all other structures like eco shelters or shelter covers. Care must be taken in their construction since they need to be able to transfer the weight and the stress to the ground and at the same time prevent it from lifting. The posts are usually attached to a wide steel plate, which is then bolted to the concrete footing or foundation before they are covered with soil. The footings and foundation, after concreting will need ample time to cure, and when it does, only then should the shade cloths be attached to them.
When it comes to fastening the shade cloth to the supporting posts, care must be taken to ensure that there is enough tension applied as this is crucial in helping to prevent any damage to the cloth especially in conditions where there is constant strong wind activity. This then highlights the importance of the various components that connect and hold the shade cloth to the supporting structures.
There are several ways available to connect the shade cloth to the posts. You have the option to use load-carrying straps, chains or U-bolts as well as several other adjustable cables and turnbuckles.
When it comes to the longevity of the connecting components, this will generally be affected by the distribution of the weight or load of the fabric. Putting some reinforcing cables and seams can help to lessen the load or distribute it evenly so there isn’t too much stress on them.
There are also issues with the turnbuckles and other connecting components can come lose. This is especially true if there are repetitive flapping or billowing and if there is too much movement on the fabric. This is why you’ll want to constantly inspect the turnbuckles and connecting components to ensure that they are tight, and if there is any damage whatsoever, immediate repairs or even replacements may be necessary.
Planning to put up a shade structure for your dairy and cattle? Here are some things you’ll need to keep in mind as you go about in designing your cattle shade structures.
Fabric Material for Your Cattle Shade Structures
One of the things that you’ll need to pay special attention to is the kind of fabric that you intend to use in the construction of your cattle shade structures. It should be noted that the choice of fabric is also an important consideration in the building of other types of livestock shade structures and not just those for cattle. Going back, when looking for fabrics to use, you’ll want a shade cloth that is capable of blocking at least 80% of sunlight. This fabric property, along with the natural design give cattle a dappled, shaded space where they can run to. This is in fact recommended as opposed to solid roofed structure since cattle are not very keen towards dark spaces. As such, cattle are much more prone to patronising shade structures, especially if the shade cloth does not flap or billow and create a lot of noise.
When buying fabrics for your cattle shade structures, you’ll want to make sure that you are getting only the best and high quality fabrics. Keep in mind that the fabric will constantly be exposed to the elements like sun, wind, rain, and others, and low quality fabrics will not be able to withstand the stress and pressure from these elements. In the end, the fabric will only get damaged or deteriorate faster, prompting you to have to replace them with a new one. So even though high quality fabrics may be more expensive at first, you can be sure that they are strong and durable and will not need too much maintenance and repairs, which makes them cost-effective options in the long run.