Glass has been integral to greenhouses for centuries. However, advances in technology have given rise to stronger and more efficient alternatives. Polycarbonate plastics are one of these alternatives, and greenhouse owners — new and old — have several reasons for making that switch.
1. Amplified Greenhouse Effect
Polycarbonates do a better job than glass in letting in heat and keeping it inside. Polycarbonates provide better insulation from the cold during the winter months, allowing you to grow crops all-year-round. In the summer months, you might need window shades or some form of ventilation to regulate the heat, especially if you are growing sensitive plants. Polycarbonates are ideal when growing heat-loving crops, like pepper or watermelons.
2. More Sun for Every Plant
When sunlight strikes a polycarbonate sheet, the light is diffused or scattered. This gives every part of your greenhouse the necessary sunlight to grow crops properly. No need to organize your plants to avoid shadows and maximize sun exposure as the diffused light will reach every nook and cranny of your greenhouse. You can add more crops and make full use of your greenhouse’s space. The diffused sunlight gives every plant in your greenhouse equal amounts of sunshine, making your crops grow at constant rates and have a more uniform appearance.
3. It Lasts Longer
Glass is known for its fragility and tendency to shatter, and greenhouse glass is not an exception. Polycarbonates will not break, and a forceful bump or a wayward stone will do little damage to polycarbonate sheets. Heavy snow won’t be an issue as plastic can take more pressure than glass. Projectiles from hail — or unruly children — will barely leave a mark, ensuring years of maintenance-free gardening.
4. Definitely Cheaper
Whether it’s the purchase price, installation, replacement, or repair, using glass will cost a lot more than polycarbonates. You’ll need experts if you want to install or repair glass sheets, and they have to work with care because of the fragility of glass. With polycarbonates, you can install them yourself with just a run-of-the-mill box cutter. You won’t need experts to repair or replace your sheets — just a measuring stick and the box cutter.
5. Safer for the Whole Family
Kids and pets can be pretty problematic if you’re building a glass greenhouse. Accidents are unavoidable, and the sound of glass shattering can be one of the most alarming sounds for a parent to hear. Even if the glass doesn’t shatter, the impact from its hard surface can still leave a few bumps and bruises. Polycarbonates will not shatter, nor are they as rigid and hard as glass. You can breathe easy knowing that your children or pets won’t be exposed to significant danger when an accident occurs.
Polycarbonates win over glass in every essential factor pertaining to their use in greenhouses. Traditionalists might say that real glass is more elegant or aesthetically pleasing, but polycarbonate sheets are almost indiscernible from actual glass. If growing crops is your real goal, polycarbonate sheets are your best option for your greenhouse.