Greenhouse glazing is material which is used to cover the frame of the greenhouse and is used to allow light to your plants while retaining heat and high moisture and humidity.
Glass and Plexiglas are the more well known materials, but there are others. All materials used to cover your greenhouse of course affect the appearance, and cost, and some materials may require skilled persons to install it properly. This all needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on the material you will ultimately choose.
Polyethylene and polycarbonate are other materials that are used and they afford UV protection which is a special manufacturing procedure, which protects more delicate species of plants. Polycarbonate is flexible and can be molded or laid flat, so its quite versatile, while polyethylene is rigid, and is best used where strength and durability are needed due to climate and other factors.
When choosing a glazing material, you should ask yourself the following:
- Is it easy to install?
- How easy would it be to repair?
- How durable is it?
- Does it retain heat well?
- How long is the basic lifespan
- How much will it cost?
- Does it allow the proper amount of light to come through?
When choosing glazing material, you do want one that allows the maximum light to come through; more light means more heat is retained inside your greenhouse.
Choosing a material that is durable is crucial especially in severe climates where there may be lots of ice and hail, as well as other environmental hazards. A material that is easily repairable is preferable. For instance, if glass breaks or cracks, the whole pane would need to be replaced. If plastic is used and it tears, you can simply repair the tear, which is obviously more cost effective.
Budget also plays a major factor in glazing decisions. Glazing is the most expensive part of building any greenhouse. Glazing material should be chosen before you decide on size or framing materials of your greenhouse to make sure it will all work in your budget.
Heat retention is probably the most important factor of your greenhouse. Different materials provide different insulation levels. Also, knowing the plants you will grow, your zone or growing climate are things you will need to know ahead of time to determine the insulation that will be needed for your greenhouse.
Researching your options of materials, labor, cost, plants and greenhouse framing as well as size are all decisions that need to be factored into building your perfect greenhouse.