When cultivating cannabis, a good foundation now will mean great product later. That’s why creating the perfect environment for growing your plants is the very first thing you need to secure. You’ll get faster growing plants, bigger plants, and you may even find that you can harvest more than once a year, if you get conditions right.
What is a cleanroom?
In any industry, a clean room is a room designed to create control over air quality. In the marijuana industry, implementing clean room technology in the areas where you grow your product can help the product pass testing before heading to the market. As the industry becomes legalized, some states, like Oregon, are implementing incredibly strict quality tests, and growing your product in a clean room environment can help your product pass muster when testing time arrives.
Fortunately, creating your own clean room for growing isn’t terribly, difficult, because a quality grow room will already have a lot of the requirements of a clean room. You’re already controlling airflow, temperature, and humidity levels, so the rest won’t be too much trouble.
Step One: Locate and Insulate
Your first order of business is going to be to find the perfect spot for your clean room.
Do you have four walls without windows? Congratulations: you already have the beginnings of a perfect cannabis room. First, you’ll be installing a drain and sloping your floor, so that any runoff water from your crops flows into the drain. Those things are beyond the scope of this guide, but you can easily find instructions online, or contact a home improvement specialist for more details.
Then, one you have your sloped floor and drain, you’ll be using fiberglass reinforced panels, or FRP, to seal the walls of your basement or room, because they can easily insulate your space, keep the space water-resistant, and make controlling the temperature that much easier. You’ll also find that these panels resist mildew, mold, and rot, keeping your space clean and contaminant-free.
Once your panels are installed and your room has been created, seal it off with flexible rubber baseboard. Then get to insulating as much of the room as humanly possible, to avoid damage that comes in from the outside. Insects can be the bane of your existence, so keep them out!
Step Two: Lights and Water
Now you’ve got a water-resistant, sealed off room. Your next step is to install lighting. You can do this yourself, or hire an electrician, but whatever method you choose, save yourself some money and time by installing energy-efficient LED lights that last longer and burn out infrequently.
Marijuana needs one gallon of water per pound to flourish, at minimum. So when planning your clean room, you’ll need to make sure it’s either near a source of water (is there a sink or faucet in your basement?) or that you’ve got a way to get it without breaking your back. If you don’t, then you’ll want to think about having one installed, because water is heavy, and if you’re running a one-man operation watering can quickly become a job that takes multiple hours each day.
Step Three: Ventilation
Clean rooms need a lot of air to regulate temperature, and oftentimes at-home growth environments just don’t get the volume needed in order to keep a grow room free of particulates in the air.
Not only this, but without good air flow, your plants will be under grown and small. Your harvest will be disappointing at best, and at worst, it can outright kill your plants and waste your investment.
For best airflow practices, consider oscillating wall and duct fans, and consider how you will arrange for the hot air to get dispelled outside. Exhaust fans on the ceiling will do the trick! You may also want to consider air conditioners or dehumidifiers if your particular room calls for it, but do your research before making any big investments.
Step Four: Finalize Practices And Polish
Professional clean rooms are just characterized by their ultra-clean spaces, they also have strict guidelines on clothing. Consider donning shoe covers whenever you enter your clean room, as shoes can be a haven for contaminants and food-borne pests. A lab coat or special coveralls would also be appropriate, as just wearing your regular clothes can carry pest mites and other contaminants into the room.
Foot covers are disposable and should be discarded after every use, but lab coats can be tossed in the wash and reused.
Anti-microbial sticky mats can also help keep unwanted particulates from entering your grow space, so consider investing in a few to protect against particulates tracked in by feet and carts or tools.
A good cannabis clean room takes investment, but careful planning and use of a good, water-resistant FRP system can provide a return on investment that will last for years. Protect your crops with an clean, dry environment nurtured by FRP panels like those used in the clean rooms of pharmaceutical companies, and you’ll be on your way to a bountiful harvest.
Need some ideas on where to get started? Contact us here [link to your e-mail] with a description of your project, and we’ll be happy to talk with you about which one of our products is the best for your, and how much you might need!