Covering materials for greenhouses: how to choose?

Covering materials for greenhouses: how to choose?
Covering materials for greenhouses: how to choose?

Today, a wide range of covering materials for greenhouses are presented on the market. Among the most common are polyethylene, glass and cellular polycarbonate.

Plastic film

covering materials for greenhouses

Today you can find reinforced film on sale, which has a higher solar resistance, as well as excellent heat-saving characteristics. This is true when compared to conventional film, which is less dense. This material is able to last up to eight years with careful attitude to it. It is only important to follow the operating rules, which consist in protecting the material from contact with the frame in the bend area. Among other things, this film should not be exposed to sharp corners. During installation, it is not recommended to pull it too hard.

Choosing covering materials for greenhouses, modern summer residents do not leave in the past the usual analogue of reinforced film. It serves only 1 season, but it is very cheap, coping with its functions perfectly. The ability of a two-layer film to transmit light reaches 80 percent. Don't strive forone hundred percent penetration, since in this case the plants will stretch too much, and then the fruits will not please the eye. Eighty percent is quite enough for the tops to be what they should be. The density of the canvas can vary from 100 to 200 grams per square meter. It can be used at temperatures ranging from +80 to -60 degrees. The elongation at break is 250-500 percent. Regardless of the thickness, the life of such a film does not exceed 1 season. This indicator can vary between 0.03 and 0.4 mm. Rolls and sleeves are available in various thicknesses, while the minimum length is 50 meters.

Cellular polycarbonate

covering materials for greenhouses

When choosing covering materials for greenhouses, consumers most often purchase cellular polycarbonate. This is due to the high durability. It will be enough to build a greenhouse only once, you won’t have to think about repairs anymore. Cellular polycarbonate has more impressive heat resistance qualities compared to glass, this applies even to a thickness of 8 millimeters. At the same time, it will be 2 times better to retain heat inside the greenhouse. As for the thickness of 16 millimeters, it can be compared with three layers of glazing. Thanks to the cellular structure, which has stiffeners, the greenhouse is not only durable, but also insulated. Manufacturers claim that this material is able to retain harsh ultraviolet radiation, which adversely affects plants.

Characteristicscellular polycarbonate

covering material for greenhouses

When choosing covering materials for greenhouses, you may prefer cellular polycarbonate. If we talk about a standard transparent sheet, then it has a thickness of 4 millimeters. As for the cheap option, this figure varies from 3 to 3.5 millimeters. If you are interested in the weight of one canvas, the length of which is 6 meters, then this figure is equivalent to 10 kg. The surface of the material is covered with a high-quality protective film.

Features of using cellular polycarbonate

covering materials for polycarbonate greenhouses

Greenhouse covering material is used in tandem with aluminum fastening systems, as well as profiles and other structures. It is important to pay attention to the coefficient of thermal expansion, which is equal to 0.068 millimeters per 1 meter, before starting installation. This figure may seem insignificant, however, with a temperature drop from -20 to +30, polycarbonate will change in size by 34 millimeters. If you use a self-tapping screw that does not have thermal expansion, it will break the sheet, forming an oval hole. That is why it is recommended to use branded washers whose diameter exceeds 30 millimeters. With the help of such fasteners, you can seal the hole. Choosing such a covering material for greenhouses, you can not worry about the effects of hail. The surface will cope well with mechanical damage. That is why the manufacturer gives a guarantee on the use of polycarbonate for 10 years.It can be bent, which distinguishes the material from glass, which is why such different structures are built from it.

Greenhouse Nonwovens

non-woven covering material for greenhouses

Non-woven covering material for greenhouses has become quite widespread today. Modern materials of this type do an excellent job of retaining heat in the greenhouse, and then give it away at night. However, such protection of the greenhouse will not be able to cope with frost, and during operation it may break. The material is quite expensive. It is problematic to operate it, since during rain it will be necessary to cover the surface of the greenhouse with plastic wrap, and then remove it. Covering materials for polycarbonate greenhouses last longer, however, if you decide to use non-woven material, it will be able to protect plants from frost down to -7 degrees. It will also save you from hail, sunburn, strong winds, and rain.

Using glass

If you choose covering materials for the greenhouse, you can also purchase glass. The design with its use will be durable, strong, and also environmentally friendly. The greenhouse will be able to save crops from severe frosts. If you buy glass, the construction can be quite expensive, while if you have the opportunity to use material borrowed from old wooden frames, then the greenhouse will turn out to be the cheapest among the rest.


When choosing covering materials for a greenhouse, you must weigh all the positive andthe negative aspects of each option that is on the market. If budget is most important to you, then you should look for window frames from which you can extract the glass. In this case, however, you do not have to choose the dimensions of the greenhouse, as they will be dictated by the dimensions of the glass available.

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