How to Extend the Life of Your Greenhouse Cover

A good greenhouse cover provides optimal light transmission and diffusion, allowing the right amount of sunlight to your plants. Greenhouse covers protect your plants from the elements. As a grower, you work to control any conditions that could adversely affect your plants. In fact, by mitigating the stresses on your greenhouse cover–chemical reactions, temperature, and friction—you protect not only your cover, but also your plants. Here are surprisingly easy ways to protect your greenhouse cover and your plants.

Start with a good reinforced cover like the SolaScrim™ 4 year

Scrim reinforcement prevents rips and tears. SolaScrimTM is made of 10 mil laminated reinforced film that contains UV inhibitor layers of coextruded polyethylene. That built-in strength means that your greenhouse cover will maintain ideal growing temperatures year-round for up to 4 years in exposed weather conditions.

Avoid friction

Abrasion is always a concern when poly sheeting contacts a greenhouse frame. Poly will rub back and forth over the frame when the wind blows or when temperature changes cause the cover to expand and contract. Always apply your greenhouse cover as tightly as you can on a smooth frame to prevent as much movement as possible. Likewise, watch for any rough edges on PVC and wood frames, for these can cause damage with constant friction. Mitigate by sanding any places where poly comes into contact with the frame.

Address temperature changes

Unpainted metal or galvanized steel becomes 20 degrees hotter when the sun shines on it. That hot metal frame can create wear points on your greenhouse cover where it comes in direct contact with the frame. Painting the frame white can help reflect the sun to keep it cooler.

If living in an area where it snows, do not allow a lot of snow to accumulate on top of the greenhouse cover. Keep your cover and frame free from the weight of the snow load to prevent damage to both.

Mitigate PVC’s chemical reactions

PVC is efficient, lightweight, flexible, and inexpensive, so it’s a popular choice for high tunnel greenhouses and hoop houses. However, when polyethylene with hydrocarbon derivatives comes into contact with PVC or polyvinyl chloride, the PVC acts like a solvent. Over time, when exposed to high temperatures and UV radiation, the PVC releases hydrogen chloride acid, which damages the polyethylene or greenhouse cover touching the PVC. Painting the PVC white with an acrylic-based paint can prevent the migration of chemicals from PVC piping to the greenhouse cover.

Use felt tape for all greenhouse frames

Americover Felt Tape is the best solution. Create a cushion between your frame and greenhouse cover to:

  • protect your greenhouse cover from direct chemical reaction.
  • prevent metal or galvanized steel from overheating and melting the greenhouse cover.
  • reduce friction against rough edges and splinters.
  • allow for easy movement of poly.
  • protect your investment.

See how simple it is to protect your greenhouse cover by watching Jason with Americover. In less than two minutes, Jason demonstrates why and how to apply Americover’s ¼-inch-thick self-adhesive felt tape to your greenhouse frame. For more information, call our experts at (760) 747-6095.