Are GRP Dog Kennels Fit for Purpose?
- Posted By: Tim
- Date: 12 June 2019
With the tightening of the legislation on licensing and breeding many customers are having to upgrade their kennels to continue operating. This is great news for dog welfare but the breeders and boarding kennels have to find a solution that meets this criteria at a realistic price.
Often customers get confused between plastic and grp kennels as the material looks very similar. Plastic is a cheaper option than GRP to buy and yet both materials are quite soft and will scratch quite easily. The main issue with a scratched panel is that when you clean the surface of these panels the dirt will stay within the scratch and it is impossible to then remove, as these panels are white in colour this is then very visible and they then start to look quite grubby.
These GRP and plastic panels are incredibly light which means they are actually quite flexible and they do bow and bend with any pressure on them, they are not a structural product and if there was any weight on them then they could easily move and potentially give under the weight causing stresses and leaks. This has to be a consideration if the grp dog kennels position is exposed to the elements in any way.
Thermally these pvc/ grp panels are quite inefficient and at 20mm thick, have a K/U value of 2.0 or higher which generally means that they would not be able to maintain the temperature in a boarding kennel as outlined in the new legislation to 10 degrees. The only way that this could be achieved is if you were to continually heat the kennel which would be very costly.
Being so poorly insulated exactly the reverse would happen in the summer and the heat is not deflected so that the heat will build up and stay within the kennel.
There are a number of different manufacturers of this type of pvc/grp panels and they tend to bond the material onto a foam with an adhesive. Sometimes the wrong adhesive is used with poor bond strength which have resulted in these panels de-laminating, when this happens water ingresses through the fixing holes which results in the panels bulging as the water builds up within the walls.
Life expectancy of these grp kennels is approx. 2-5 years maximum, there have been a number of reported cases when the MOD have bought this type of kennels and have had to remove them after 2 years due to issues with them. Really with such a short life expectancy it is a consideration when deciding to buy this type of kennels.
In summary our view on these type of grp dog kennels is that whilst they might be okay for home use for housing an individual dog particularly if it was indoor or under a covered roof, but they are not fit for a commercial application either breeding or boarding. These views are of our own and have been based on our own experiences of this type of material.