Are you looking to cover a greenhouse? Have you narrowed your choices down to a 6 mil plastic and Solawrap greenhouse covering? Are looking for the best greenhouse plastic you can find? This article will look at 6 mil plastic that has been used for years and Solawrap- the greenhouse covers that has a proven product that has a track record for 30 years in Europe, but is fairly new in the United States. It is like nothing else that currently exists on the market. You will see that it out-performs all its competitors, and is more cost effective in the long run.
What factors are you taking into consideration for your greenhouse? You are probably considering the amount and type of light reaching your plants, the overall appearance of your greenhouse, its ease of maintenance, safety and longevity. Most of all, you want something that is cost effective.
What are your greenhouse covering choices?
Let's start with polyethylene films. It comes in a variety of thicknesses with 6 mil being very common. When selecting a 6 mil greenhouse plastic, you need to make sure it is not a product out of China. . Typically a single layer of polyethylene film has an R value of approximately 0.85. A double poly cover consisting of two layers of poly has an approximate R value of 1.25. This is a quick inexpensive fix- but is it really inexpensive when you add in the labor cost to replace it more often than other options. Greenhouse plastic will offer some UV protection, and some versions have better tensile strength than others.
One thing to be aware of is the plastic ripping where the plastic touches the PVC. This seems to be reported from growers who don't use a film that offers UV protection The PVC may absorb the heat and speed up the breakdown of the plastic. As we all know, sun is an enemy to all sorts of plastic sheeting. Another reason for the breakdown and tearing of the plastic could be the chlorine that is in PVC. This too is a problem for greenhouse plastic. There is a polyethylene greenhouse film that won't give you these problems called SolaWrap! Read on to learn more.
6 mil greenhouse plastic coverings also come in white. They are often referred to as, white opaque greenhouse films. White greenhouse films are popular when reducing heat in the greenhouse is the goal. Being white will however reduce the light transmission by almost half per layer.
Another option is to look at the reinforced polyethylene greenhouse films. This product comes in a 3 ply laminate where a cord grid is placed between two layers of plastic. The goal is to offer a high strength film that is durable yet light weight.
SolaWrap Greenhouse Plastic Cover: SolaWrap Greenhouse Plastic (Greenhouse covering) offers:
- R-Value 1.7
- 83% transparency
- 10 year warranty against UV degradation (better warranty than polycarbonate)
- up to 83% diffused light (only product on the market with both high transparency and high diffusion)
- 120 lbs per square foot snow load rating (approx 15 feet of snow)
- 100 mph wind rating (has survived 135 mph windstorms in Alaska)
- Has been shown to last up to 27 years on greenhouses in Europe
- Does not yellow or get brittle
Bottom line: 6 mil plastic sheeting is a smaller initial investment, but won't last too many years. If there is a storm, heavy snow or hail it could rip. SolaWrap holds up under heavy snow loads, high winds and rough weather. It costs more initially, but in the long run you won't be recovering you greenhouse in a few years.