On Mar 11, 2006
See http://www.ghg.net/akelly/gleneagl.htm for how my 10′ Bubble Dome is used. You may remember me, since you use a picture of my observatory and an e-mail I sent you in your testimonials section.
I erected this in late summer-early fall 2004 and have kept it in good condition by cleaning it thoroughly with K-400 every 6-10 weeks. I have just noticed that the material is starting to “shred” (for lack of a better term) near a couple of the joints (clips). Is there any method of repair for this?
As to the aging of the covering at clips. The covering is UV stabilized but being thin and translucent the sun works on it over time. The covering will age over time and eventually crumble. Thus do most things. You might consider applying 303 Aerospace Protectant a UV fabric sunscreen. Do a Google search: for “303 Aerospace Protectant Price” and you will find many sources for it. You might also find it at a local marine supply our outdoor furniture store. I have not tested 303 but it seems it should extent the life of the covering. If you do use it let me know how it performs over time. The best protection can be gained by coving the dome or at least the top with a sunshade. We offer some shades: https://shelter-systems.com/accessories.html or you can buy shades at building supply stores or Home Depot.
Individual panels can be replaced at your end. Let us know what panels you need and we will send them free of charge, since you are just out of warrenty. We normally sell replacement panels (a panel is considered two squairs) for the 10′ for $40 each. They come with new larger clips (you brake the old clips off one at a time, put the new panel in and clip it with a new clip; then move on to the next). You protect the dome with a shade cloth that is attached to the clip structure of the dome; this way the shade would stay with the dome when you unhook it to move it. Alternately you could shade just around the clips and glue shade patches to the dome with silicone rubber. I would also suggest using the 303.
Replace a whole panel if a tear is immediately adjacent to a clip. Order the same panel from Shelter Systems. 1) Arrange the replacement panel over top of the damaged panel so that it is in the same orientation.2) Remove only one clip from your dome being careful not to disrupt the layering sequence of the panels on your dome. If you can not get the clip off use a pliers and brake the ring part of the clip (you will receive 4 extra Heavy Duty Grip Clips with each replacement panels). 3) Take your time to carefully slide out the corner of your damaged panel and insert your replacement panel into the same layering sequence as that of the damaged panel. 4) Now with all layers in the same order and orientation as before; gather these tightly around the male clip and slip over the female clip as described below. When many layers are involved as is the case with the corners of the windows, attaching the female clip can be difficult; practicing on scraps and making the layers warm with the sun or heat lamp (be careful not to melt the covering by getting it to hot) can help.