Glass Greenhouse Glazing
Glass greenhouse glazing is the most traditional covering for greenhouses – with its use for that purpose dating back to the first greenhouses in roman times. As with anything there have been many technological breakthroughs that not only allow glass to compete with many of the new and synthetic materials now available, but remain one of the most desirable among people designing and building their greenhouse.
Glass is made by heating and processing a variety of products, but most often quartz or silica – and is known for being transparent. While early and old glass may have waves or imperfections that are caused by the manufacturing process, today’s glass should be free of defects or waves. If the glass is “tempered” the spans can be larger than previously possible.
When ordering or looking at glass glazing for your greenhouse, whether in a kit or building from scratch, there are terms you should be aware of so that you can “talk the talk” with vendors and contractors.
“Tempered Glass” – Tempered glass is sometimes called “toughened glass”. It is glass that has been treated during the manufacturing process to result in a stronger glass. Additionally tempered glass if broken will break into smaller granules rather than larger, sharper pieces. It’s used today not only in greenhouses, but in other areas where safety is a concern like automobile windshields.
“Double or Triple Pane Glass” – Glass has excellent light transmission capabilities, but can suffer when it comes to heat retention. In an effort to add additional insulation, manufactures have added additional layers of glass called “panes”. The “double” or “triple” simply refers to the number of panes used on the glass, the more panes the better the insulation.
Advantages of Glass Greenhouse Glazing
- Many say that glass coverings make for the best looking greenhouse. This pleasing look will add to your neighbors envy and increase your property value. This will especially be the case if the glass greenhouse is connected to your home and serves as a sun or sitting room.
- Glass offers excellent light transmission and therefor can offer an excellent environment for plant growth.
- Glass resists degradation due to UV (ultraviolet) light.
- Glass has a long lifespan – which may mean less cost over time, as you will not need to replace it over the course of your ownership if ever.
Disadvantages of Glass Greenhouse Glazing
- Glass can be the most expensive glazing material used in greenhouses.
- Glass is heavy, and because of that the greenhouse frame will need to sturdy with a solid foundation in order to support the added weight.
- Glass will require additional steps for installation, which may include silicon or gaskets.
- Glass is inherently fragile and will not react to impacts well. Tempered glass will help with this.
- Un-insulated single-pane glass offers very little heat retention.
- Although light offers excellent light transmission, the light is direct and not diffused – this may lead to plants becoming “burned”.
The type of glazing you choose for your greenhouse is one of the most important choices you will make while completing your design. Glass greenhouse glazing offers one of your top choices for those considerations.