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Thread: Polycarbonate vs Polyethylene

  1. #1
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    I have been researching the different glazings I can use to recover my greenhouse next year. I don't want to recover it with film like I did this year. 4x8 sheets of polycarbonate are going from $41 to $60 a sheet!! My growers supply book I just got in is selling 4mm 4x8 sheets of polycarbonate for 41.95. I need 6 sheets to cover my geenhouse roof alone. I have been reading up on polyethylene sheeting that looks just like the twinwall polycarbonate, but is more flexable and sold in roles. I have seen one website that said polycarbonate is better. Then I read on another website that says polyethylene is better. I am sure the polycarbonate is better, I just need to know what are some of the drawbacks to using the polyethylene over the polycarbonate. I need something with regidity because I am getting some water pooling on the roof. Hopefully it is not going to do any harm till next years recover. Since I want next year to be the last covering for a while I am trying to decide the most economical and best covering without breaking the bank. I see many advantages to the polyethylene over the polycarbonate. Since it is only $23 a 6mm 4x8 sheet at growers supply. I just want to make sure some folks have not had bad experiences with polyethylene.

    Also I can get 4mm for 14.69 per 4x8 sheet, and 6mm is 23.29 per 4x8 sheet. It is nothing for me to put a lining of 6mil poly sheeting on the inside for extra insilation during the winter months, but what would the more experienced growers recomend for a grower in GA. My temps rarely get below freezing and snow is a rarity. If it happens to snow it rarely lasts more than a day. Any and all advice is welcome.

    Here is the link and upon further reading the alternative sold at growers supply is UV resistant polypropylene and not polyethylene. Even thought polyethylene as a covering is available. So really I need info on the differences in the three materials. Polycarbonate, polyethylene, and polypropylene.

    Here is the link to growers supply sheeting. Growers supply

    Thanks everyone!
    JB
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  2. #2
    pingman's Avatar
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    why not try the corrugated polycarbonate sheeting you can get at Home depot. These can be used for greenhouse covering and will last a long time (10 years plus) before fading. You do have to use some special screws and bracing, but it's not that expensive. the sheets come 2x8 and are about $12 each so 2 would be $24. I used it to cover sides and top of my greenhouse.
    For plastic sheeting, you can go woven which is pretty strong at over 10ml. Try www.farmtek.com where you can buy by the foot.
    Peter.
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  3. #3
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Well they are about 20 bucks a sheet here. I already looked at them. I wish they were only 12 bucks a sheet. Thats why I am researching the other stuff. If I am going to have to spend 40 bucks to get 2 sheets to equal the size of the 4x8 sheet I might as well spend the extra 5 bucks and get the double walled 4mm polycarbinate. That is only single wall too. I would still have to put another layer of plastic on the inside. The stuff I was refuring to is double wall with the air gap built in for insilation. Oh well I guess I will have to deside by next summer. It has to be rigid though to keep water from pooling again.
    JB
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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    If water is pooling, get some eggcrate light diffusers, tie them between the beams where it's pooling, and put the plastic over that. That way it'll stay flat yet won't really affect the light.

    For insulation, glue bubble wrap to the plastic. It's cheap and IIRC others have done it, too.

  5. #5
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    oh yeah bubble wrap is good insilation. It does the same affect as double walled stuff does. If I want to put in eggcrate I need to take down the inner layer of plastic. I think it will be fine. It only pools a little before running off. Next year it will have a rigid cover on it. Thats why I am makine the choice so soon.
    JB
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