creating a shelter for laundry using corrugated plastic sheet(s)(13 Posts)
As the Autumn draws in I hate being resigned to hanging laundry in the bathroom (even with windows open) or using tumble dryer.
We have a pergola in our back garden which we don't really use for sitting out in (more for growing plants in pots). Was thinking of buying one or two panels of corrugated plastic sheets and fixing them to one part of the pergola so that we could hang up on rainy days as well. I know it will still take a while to dry if it's a wet day due to humidity and short days in winter but I think wind will mean that it dries quicker than indoors and stops my house getting mouldy.
First, has anyone done anything similar? Is it a good idea?
Second. I am a DIY novice - should I get a handyman in to do it? Is it just an hours work or more? How much would you pay - we are in south Manchester. I appreciate some slope will need to be created for water draining and drilling holes through the panels without them cracking are the tricky parts which are making me consider a handyman. Also don't want it to blow off in a storm and will it be really noisy in heavy rain with the pitter patter sound?
Any better ideas, materials welcome?
Drying is going to be affected by air movement, temperature and humidity.
I would be surprised if, on a wet, wintry Mancunian day, you have the temperature or the humidity to dry things outdoors. (I'm in Sheffield so I feel your pain!) I think you might well end up bringing them indoors at the end of the day nearly as wet as they went out, and then drying them indoors anyway.
What about a heated airer?
I moved to a very dry part of the country and found that I could dry washing outdoors until mid-November on a good day - if it went out first thing. So, I don't think it will work either.
I have a friend who bought a house with a very long greenhouse and she used that. Again, it did not work in the dull depths of winter.
Thanks Shove, I know what you mean. Thing is, if I hang them up in the bathroom they are also not dry by the end of the day and the moisture they do expel is going into my house. If it's a windy day I think it will work better than indoors. But you may be right - for the really cold wet days maybe a heater indoors would be best. But there are lots of days just like today where it is around 10 degrees, a few showers around and a breeze where I think it would be better off outside but protected from the showers so we can leave it and go out or don't have to constantly be bringing it in and taking it out again.
Get a dehumidifier, mine dries a couple of loads of washing if I leave it on overnight and then part of the next day (rotating the washing occasionally). Dries the air too so no mould.
I have the same issue - the house is not that warm and clothes take ages to dry. I love my heated airer. I really load it up, then cover it with a duvet cover or blanket. I keep the window of the study slightly open when stuff is drying and - touchwood - I haven't had any of the problems I feared I might with condensation or mould in the house.
You can put a lid on a pergola quite easily, the places that sell multiwall polycarb also sell the screws and buttons you need. However it will probably be flat. You need a fall on it to throw the rainwater off. You can buy Firring Timbers at a timber yard (chippies would probably make their own) or it is possible to run battens of reducing thickness across your existing timbers, but you have to adjust them so the sheets are sloping in a straight line.
Polycarb can be cut with a fine saw but must be well supported to prevent cracking.
You will need a gutter and downpipe as the water will splash up and make puddles.
Screw it all down very thoroughly so the wind doesn't carry it away.
I have a lean to, a bit like you describe but slightly more substantial. The only way stuff dried was with heat, but then I'm just heating the outside! It just ended up smelling instead of drying. So I ended up down the laundrette a few times a week.
Two things worked for me.
Dehumidifier in the bathroom with the clothes horse, and a tumble dryer in the lean to.
We had a dehumidifier last winter, sped up clothes drying amazingly and takes the wetness out of the air.
We have a covered line from rotaire.com.
In the autumn/winter it doesn't always dry things bone dry but it does reduce tumble drier time.
Just to say I do use a tumble drier, any damp washing left to dry in the house sets my asthma off and as I live in Yorkshire drying washing outside becomes problematic.
I found that my tumble drier times reduced significantly when I increased my washing machine spin from 1200 to a 1400. My drier is also a sensor model so stops once it senses the clothes are dry and I can set it for different levels of dryness. It is a Beko.
For a school uniform wash of trousers and jumpers (sweatshirt material) it takes less than an hour to dry.
It might not be as costly as you think. I did have mine plugged into a electricity monitor to see exactly what it cost me. Similar to this model
We had a pergola with corrugated transparent roof as you describe. It tended to be pretty damp out when it was raining - I think the air tends to very humid when it's raining, so it wasn't the answer to all our drying prayers. Also rain can travel surprisingly far sideways, so you'd need a substantial area.
What it was fabulous for, though, was sitting out under with a nice glass of red, of an evening, in the rain.
Oh, and it also prevented the window cleaner from doing the upstairs windows, and we needed to de-moss it occasionally as it caught all the moss and crap that fell off the roof.
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