Now the warmer weather has finally arrived here in the UK, plenty of people are getting back out into the garden and tidying things up in preparation for the summer. If you’ve been a little late in getting out and tidying up after the cold and wet winter, it’s not too late to transform your greenhouse or shed in a weekend.
Greenhouse panels and shed windows often come off the worst from damp and cold conditions. The cheap plate glass is highly susceptible to cracking, moss and mould growth which can ruin the clarity and insulation you need in a garden greenhouse. There are many retailers selling replacement glass greenhouse panels – but these are only going to suffer the same fate as your current glass panels!
Many gardening enthusiasts and professional horticulturalists are turning to clear plastic to solve the problem of high maintenance greenhouse panels. Acrylic and polycarbonate sheets can be used very effectively to replace glass greenhouse panels and shed windows – and these materials outperform glass in many ways.
Glass, although strong, has very poor impact resistance. Games of football and falling branches from trees are likely to break glass panels, whereas acrylic – and polycarbonate especially – will easily withstand such impacts. Polycarbonate is widely used to create CDs, aquariums and even bulletproof screens – so you can get some idea of how strong this material really is. Additionally, clear plastic sheets are far lighter than glass and much easier to handle – making their installation easy and quick to do.
The concern with polycarbonate greenhouse panels for many people is whether plastic offers the same heat retaining effects as glass. The solution to this problem is a simple one – twin wall polycarbonate. This variety of clear plastic sheet combines the high strength and impact resistance of polycarbonate with a highly insulating construction. The twin wall profile comprises two thin sheets of plastic separated by perpendicular sections which create a fluted sheet that traps an insulating layer of air within it.
Using twin wall polycarbonate for the roof panels of a greenhouse is a great way of increasing the internal heat, and using these sheets all the way around will increase it further. Alternatively, using bubble wrap with standard clear polycarbonate sheets can offer the same effects to some degree.
Installing polycarbonate greenhouse panels is simple thanks to the light weight and versatility of the material. It can be cut to size using a saw blade made for plastic to avoid chipping at the edges, or alternatively it can be bought ready cut to size from our website.
The video below is a good guide to installing twin wall polycarbonate greenhouse panels, demonstrating how to cut the sheet, fix extrusions to the edges and mounting the sheet using stainless steel screws to prevent staining which may be caused by rainwater.