The Type of Polycarbonate That Works Best for a Greenhouse
Are you planning on building a greenhouse, and need to know the best type of polycarbonate to work with? Or maybe you already own a greenhouse, and you need some work material to ensure that your plants are happy and healthy.
Polycarbonate sheets are the perfect material to shelter your plants and keep them safe. There are plenty of different polycarbonate panels that you can choose from, so which type works the best for a greenhouse?
Types of Polycarbonate
Lexan is a top rated polycarbonate that is commonly used for greenhouses. It is made in the USA, and it has two flat sides that are plain and transparent, giving it a similar appearance as glass.
It is very strong, allowing it to be bent and molded for several different purposes. This can be done using heat and pressure to make the Lexan polycarbonate malleable. It transmits light at a rate of 84-87%.
Lexan polycarbonate can also be easily cut, especially for sheets with a low thickness. There are multiple different size options, and it can be painted and printed on.
Clear Twinwall Polycarbonate
Clear twinwall polycarbonate is also sometimes referred to as a double wall or multiwall sheet. The twin wall structure is durable against any high impact. The clear surface allows light to transfer through the polycarbonate with ease, giving your plants the light that they need.
Despite its durability, the clear twinwall polycarbonate is still relatively easy to cut through. This makes matching the greenhouse’s frame easy. While light does travel through this type of polycarbonate easily, it is not completely see through, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Clear Greenhouse Polycarbonate Roof Sheet
The clear greenhouse polycarbonate roof sheet is essentially the same polycarbonate material as the clear twinwall polycarbonate, but it has a unique structure and design. Its outer surface provides your greenhouse with protection from UV rays. It also brings a good level of diffused light into the greenhouse.
Monolithic or Honeycomb
Honeycomb polycarbonate is transparent and hollow, making it perfect for use in greenhouses. It is also very light, weighing significantly less than glass. The material is also very flexible, making it an appropriate option for many different greenhouse layouts. Monolithic is a similar option to honeycomb, only it offers a more aesthetic appeal. Monolithic also weighs more and is more costly, so those are all some things to consider.
Appropriate Width and Thickness for a Greenhouse
It is also important to consider the width and thickness appropriate for the polycarbonate that will be used for your greenhouse. Sheets typically range from 4 to 2.5 mm in width. 4mm polycarbonate is one of the most commonly used amongst gardeners for their greenhouses.
Weather plays a huge role in determining which the appropriate width for your greenhouse is. In areas where snow and wind are more of a concern, your greenhouse will benefit from thicker material, as it will do a better job of withstanding the elements.
Choosing the Right Color of Polycarbonate for a Greenhouse
Choosing the right color for your greenhouse’s polycarbonate material is more important than you might think. Some colors do a better job or letting light pass through them than others and getting the most light possible is critical for the health of your plants.
Typically, turquoise and blue color (having the low wavelength and can be destructive) polycarbonate is a bad idea for greenhouses. Those colors can also change the appearance of plants within your greenhouse because of how light passes through them. The best colors that you can use for your greenhouse are yellow, or the classic transparent.
Ensure UV Protective Coating
You need to pay attention to whether or not your polycarbonate material has a UV protective coating. Experts in the gardening industry advise it to ensure that your polycarbonate panels protect your plants from harmful sun rays.
Is Plexiglass a Better Option Than Polycarbonate for a Greenhouse?
Plexiglass is another option that gardeners have available to them when building a greenhouse. Plexiglass is UV resistant, so you don’t have to worry as much about whether or not your material has UV protective coating. One advantage that plexiglass has over polycarbonate material is that it is more resistant to scratches. This will keep it looking clean and beautiful, and it will do a better job of protecting the plants in your greenhouse.
All in all, plexiglass is a unique option for building material that provides the features of glass with some of the flexibility of plastic. You should weigh your options when deciding which material you use to build your greenhouse, and plexiglass should be towards the top of your list.