Building a PVC Greenhouse With Plastic
There are many benefits of having your own PVC greenhouse, and it isn’t all that difficult to get one up and running by using a simple frame and some sheets of plastic. It is the plastic that is responsible for maintaining the heat levels inside a greenhouse. The plastic creates a warm environment that heats up when the sun shines. Depending on the insulation value of the plastic, you can grow a variety of plants, regardless of the season outside.
A greenhouse produces a safe environment that helps protect vegetation from frost, while taking full advantage of the sun’s natural warmth and abundant light. The filtered environment created by the plastic makes it possible for avid gardeners to grow flowers and vegetables even in winter. When using insulated, twin-walled plastic like Solexx or polycarbonate, you can add extra heat to your greenhouse to grow a vast variety of plants.
Plastic vs. Glass.
The difference between greenhouse plastic and regular plastic is simple; greenhouse plastic is designed to resist wear and tear, where ordinary construction plastic is not treated to protect the plastic from the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Plastic used in greenhouses is durable because of its knitted design that allows it to be cut and re-sized without fraying or tearing. This also means the material can be easily framed around any greenhouse opening such as a vent, door or windows.
Plastic is by far the most preferred covering for greenhouses. Not only does it do an excellent job of filtering the sun’s rays, it also greatly reduces the overall cost of construction because of its low weight (meaning it doesn’t require any heavy framing like glass). Using plastic will provide many of the benefits of a glass greenhouse with little of the shortcomings.
Greenhouses are generally constructed from three different types of plastics: PVC (polyvinyl chloride), PE or polyethylene and copolymers. Plastic (as with all greenhouse coverings) is not warranted against wind and hail damage. When they talk about how long the plastic lasts, this means how long before the sun breaks it down. If you are using a ploy film, make sure you have a repair kits for wind damage and tears.
Polyethylene plastic is available in two types. There is a utility grade as well as a commercial one. The utility grade polyethylene is sold at local hardware stores and generally stays in good condition for upwards of a year. The commercial grade polyethylene will last longer than the utility grade PE, but only by up to eighteen months. It is also treated with ultraviolet inhibitors that help to filter out the sun’s more damaging ultraviolet rays.
Copolymers are even more durable. They can last up to three years before the plastic turns brittle. Innovative additives that have been recently introduced into the plastics have enabled them to mimic the effects of a glass greenhouse, but at a considerably reduced cost.
Polyvinyl chloride is more expensive in comparison to polyethylene, but it is also the most durable. This type of plastic can last up to half a decade. However all PVC plastics require regular cleaning to prevent the buildup of dust from the air.
The most durable long lasting plastic is polycarbonate or a twin wall polyethylene. Not all double wall plastic is processed the same, so make sure to check the warranty period to help give you an idea of the expected longevity.
Building a PVC greenhouse can be a simple, cost effective way to give yourself a garden all year long.
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