What’s The Best Glass For Your Greenhouse

By on August 18, 2020 in Backyards with 0 Comments

Greenhouses in the backyard are for people that have a love of growing.  We’ve taken a look at how building a backyard greenhouse can help you grow anything all year round.  This time we wanted to deep dive into what’s the best glass for greenhouse use.

What’s the point of a greenhouse

Greenhouses are a way for green thumbs to be able to grow all year round.  The most effective greenhouses are designed to trap heat inside while letting light in.  That’s the perfect recipe for getting plants to grow.

best glass for greenhouse

Where do you want glass in the greenhouse

Most obviously its walls and roof that you want the best glass for your greenhouse.  Its never going to be used in the framing of the structure.  Yes, that’s pretty obvious hey.

It was always glass that was used but with so many manufacturing advancements.  Polycarbonates are now a great option to consider as well as an alternative to the best glass for greenhouse use.

Glass vs polycarbonate

It doesn’t matter if it’s double glazed or tempered.  Glass is no longer the only option you have for use in greenhouses. With amazing advancements in manufacturing processing, there is now a wide choice in polycarbonates.

Polycarbonate plastics are a naturally transparent amorphous thermoplastic.

They are made in a commercially available variety of colours.  The raw materials allow for the internal transmission of light nearly in the same capacity as glass.

Polycarbonate polymers are used to produce a variety of materials and are particularly useful when impact resistance and/or transparency are a product requirement, like impact resistant.

Manufactured polycarbonate is commonly used in plastic lenses in eyewear, medical devices, automotive components, protective gear, greenhouses, a range of Digital and exterior lighting fixtures.

Polycarbonate also has a very good heat resistance level and can be combined with flame retardant materials without significant material degradation.

Polycarbonates are much stronger and more durable than most other plastics that are manufactured.  Which means that if you are mowing your lawn, and you happen to flick a rock up at the greenhouse.  You have little chance of breaking or shattering the wall. If you are using polycarbonate.

What lets the light in the best?

The glass that is used in greenhouses is usually clear, so it lets direct light in. The biggest difference is that polycarbonate plastics will distort any light, which is commonly referred to as diffused light.

Lots of plants respond better to diffused light.  Simply diffused light is not as hard on a plant. Diffused light will not overheat plants or scorch them.  Diffused light tends to evenly spread itself around a plant, giving the plant the best opportunity to soak up the crucial elements it needs from the sunlight.

Heating it up

Walk into any well-designed greenhouse and it’s a bit like walking into a sauna.  The whole point of a greenhouse is to provide a warm climate for plants to thrive in.

Using glass in greenhouses tends to heat really quickly, but cool down just as quickly.  Greenhouses need to retain heat to give the plants the best-growing environment.

That’s where polycarbonates can be a great alternative.  There are polycarbonate products that are designed specifically for greenhouses which are made of twin-wall constructions. This unique design feature gives the chance of heat being maintained.

Durability of use

If you are going to the trouble of building a freestanding greenhouse in your backyard, you want it to last.  Depending on the type of glass you choose to use, It can be more likely to break, scratch and shatter.  As we said above if you are mowing your lawn and happen to pick up a rock, you can lose a glass panel in your greenhouse pretty quickly.

Polycarbonate tends to have a shelf life as well.  As it is exposed to the weather elements it will deteriorate over time.  Glass tends to stand up the elements a lot better.

Using polycarbonates in your greenhouse is a great option.  Just make sure you are using polycarbonates that have been treated and are twin walled.

Maintenance of the walls

Anything product you use will need maintenance of some sort.  If you use clear glass you will be cleaning it on a regular basis.  Glass lets in more direct light so you might require some shading either inside or outside the greenhouse.  Glass for greenhouses also need more ventilation and airflow.  As a glass greenhouse will get a lot hotter than a polycarbonate greenhouse.

Polycarbonate tends to need less overall maintenance, other then it can deteriorate over a period of time.

Installation into Greenhouses.

Always a consideration that you need to think about.  DIY  projects can be fun, but if its past your skill level get in a professional.

Installing glass into a greenhouse can be difficult, as you need to frame and finish it properly. Polycarbonate can be bought and installed in larger panels, it needs to be handled properly to prevent damage to the sheet.

If you use polycarbonate in your greenhouse you need to make it is sealed properly.  That way moisture or bugs can’t get into and attack the plants.

DIY Kit greenhouses are always a great idea, although don’t be afraid to call in a tradesperson to help you.

Cost considerations

Glass and polycarbonate costs will vary depending on the quality, and type of material you order.  Second hand reclaimed glass or polycarbonate is always an option.  The best glass for greenhouses is the one that lasts the longest with the least amount of upkeep.

Choosing polycarbonate or glass will come down to your individual requirements.  Just make sure you budget for it, there is nothing worse than an unfinished greenhouse out in the backyard.

The washup

As we said, which type of glass for greenhouses you want to use is a personal choice.  You want to make sure you have heat and light coming into your greenhouse.

The best glass for greenhouse use will be the one that provides heat and light when required. If you combine that with watering and you have the perfect environment for plants to grow.

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About the Author

About the Author: Michael Wuze is a regular content contributor to Living Out The Back, which was started as a way to share the best of what life has to offer outside your home. The backyard is the one area so many people don't enjoy that we want to help you with. Everyone should enjoy their backyard. .


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