Replacing greenhouse glass can become an annual – and expensive – task. Here’s how you can make it a job of the past and save yourself some money in the process. It’s one simple change: use polycarbonate instead of traditional option glass.
- Polycarbonate lasts much longer than glass. Because polycarbonate is 290 x stronger than glass it is really incredibly hard to break. It is practically indestructible. (Police riot shields are made from it – that’s how tough it is.) So, once your greenhouse panes are made from polycarbonate you’ll not need to replace your greenhouse glazing anytime soon.
Polycarbonate can come with a UV protective film in it – helpful for when you’re working in the greenhouse and growing in the greenhouse.
Polycarbonate can be delivered to your door cut to the sizes – and shapes – that you need to fit straight into your greenhouse. And because polycarbonate is so tough, it will arrive safely:).
On other important criteria such as light and heat retention, polycarbonate stands up well in comparison to glass. Gardening experts rate polycarbonate for use in greenhouses - learn more about that from them here.
Single-skin polycarbonate lets around 94-96% of the light into your greenhouse. 3mm glass allows 97-98%. A twinwall polycarbonate choice offers lower light transmission at around 84% but an advantage in that this light diffuses and penetrates into areas that light usually does not pass when glass is used.
Polycarbonate greenhouse glazing will retain heat from the ground. Single-skin polycarbonate retains slightly less heat (an R value of 0.83) compared to 3mm glass which is usually 0.93, meaning perhaps bubble wrap or fleece on tender plants. A 4-mm twin-wall polycarbonate however, offers much greater heat (R value 1.42) which could also help reduce electricity bills. And, a small electric heater will keep polycarbonate greenhouses frost free.
For further advice about using polycarbonate for greenhouse glazing, contact plastic experts, The Plastic People.