Until the mid-1900s, glass was the only material for greenhouse covering. The benefits of this glass covering, however, go far beyond being an antique. It’s the most aesthetically appealing, as it offers better light transmission and has a longer life compared to other greenhouse glazing materials.
If glass is your choice of material, a commercial greenhouse contractor can offer options depending on your budget and weather conditions. Here are the three main glass types for greenhouses:
This plain glass is the least expensive option. It’s heat treated and cooled slowly to control its internal stresses. Unfortunately, it’s fragile and prone to braking with rapid temperature changes. It breaks in jagged, large shards that can cause grave injuries.
This is heat-treated glass with increased surface stress in comparison to its internal stress. It’s exceptionally clear and up to seven times stronger compared to annealed glass. It breaks into nearly square tiny fragments on impact, which pose minimal risk to people. Tempered glass is an ideal choice for your greenhouse’s roof, doors, and walls because it can withstand fluctuating temperatures. It’s, however, not the best choice in areas with strong winds and high snow loads.
Laminated glass comprises two or more glass panes bonded with a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) layer. It’s strong and, unlike other greenhouses glasses, it shatters on impact. The PVB film holds its pieces together, negating any risk of injuries. This makes it ideal in areas with volatile weather conditions. Laminated glass also blocks over 99% of UV radiation, enhancing the safety of your seedlings.
When choosing from the above glass types, ensure you balance your safety and the costs. Though laminated glass is the most costly among the three, it’s also the safest. In areas where strong winds and heavy snow is not a threat, annealed or tempered glass will suffice.