Choosing a carport in the summer may seem like a good idea, but it's important to ensure that your carport offers adequate protection throughout the year, particularly if the region you live in is prone to extreme weather (lots of snow, rain or even wind). This article discusses some points to think about when choosing or building a structure that can survive winter.
1. Long-term storage vs. regular usage
If you're thinking about winter storage, you may need a carport that protects your car from snow while being easily accessible when you need it or one in which your car will be stored throughout the winter season (several months).
For the former, you can choose an enclosed or valance carport featuring roll-up doors. The structure ideally should be mounted next to the house so that you don't need to pass through the elements when getting into or out of the car. You'll probably need to clear the driveway, but the car will be protected from snow.
For the latter, an enclosed shelter is more ideal. You can find one suited to the shape and size of your vehicle. UV-ray and moisture-blocking polyethylene or PVC is usually installed to protect the vehicle on the sides and enable slow to fall right off to the ground. This covering can be removed in the spring to leave the sturdy, permanent, steel structure.
2. Weather patterns
An important tip is to choose or build your carport according to the worst weather patterns for your region. There are two parameters to consider are wind resistance and snow load. Higher numbers indicate stronger structures when selecting.
Areas with predictable snowfall benefit from rounded, barn-like frames instead of peaked frames. The rounded shape allows snow to fall to the sides easily. For a stronger structure, reduce the rafter spacing. This is especially important if you have higher wind speeds in your region.
3. Carport anchorage
Additionally, sufficient anchorage is crucial before peak winter conditions are registered. Shelters must be properly anchored, whether you're DIY-building from a kit or having a custom port constructed. Anchoring is done by driving stakes into the ground—at least on the four corners, but ideally on all posts that touch the ground.
Bear in mind that when hard winter comes around the stakes will become immovable. The advantage of this is that the carport will remain secure, but the disadvantage is that covering material may rip if there is high-speed wind. You can prevent this by attaching your coverage material with heavy anchor ropes onto the anchor stakes. This ensures that the covering material can move without moving the anchor material below.