City Name

Surprising Pros and Cons of 4 Popular Greenhouse Roofing Materials

Surprising Pros and Cons of 4 Popular Greenhouse Roofing Materials

So one day, we found ourselves drowning in plants, facing a classic gardening dilemma right before winter barged in. 

Option one: build a greenhouse. Option two: let the poor plants kick the bucket.

Naturally, we went with the first option! As we scoured the interwebs and stores for materials, we reached a point where we could practically sniff out the perfect ones for our needs.

Then the realization hit us like a rogue tomato mysteriously thrown our way: maybe other homeowners are in the same gardening fork, scratching their heads over greenhouse roofing materials!

If you’re nodding along, consider this your wake-up call. Allow us to be your guides through the jungle of roofing options, laying out the pros and cons of each like garden gurus on a grand greenhouse mission!

Polycarbonate Panels

Polycarbonate Panels
Image by International Plastics

Polycarbonate panels are popular for greenhouse roofing due to their durability and insulation properties. While not as light-permeable as glass, they offer a cost-effective option with reduced risk of breakage. 

They’re best for year-round use and energy-efficient greenhouses.


Polycarbonate Panels Advantages
Image by Canada Plastics

Excellent Insulation Properties

Polycarbonate panels keep your plants snug as a bug in a rug during chilly nights. With their excellent insulation properties, these panels act like a warm hug, trapping heat inside your greenhouse so your plants can thrive even when it’s frosty outside. 


When it comes to durability, polycarbonate panels are the superheroes of greenhouse roofing — tough, sturdy, and ready to take on anything Mother Nature throws their way! 

Whether it’s blazing sunshine or pounding rain, these panels will stand strong, keeping your plants safe and sound.


When it comes to affordability, polycarbonate panels are like finding a great deal at your favorite store — they give you bang for your buck! You get all the perks of a durable and long-lasting roofing material without emptying your piggy bank.


Polycarbonate Panels Disadvantages
Image by iStoc

Lower Light Transmission

When it comes to light, polycarbonate panels are like sunglasses for your greenhouse — they let some sunshine in, but not as much as glass! Don’t worry, though — your plants will still get their daily dose of Vitamin D, just in a slightly shaded, filtered way. 


Now, while polycarbonate panels are tough cookies, they do have a quirk — they might start to yellow a bit over time, kinda like how bananas get a little brown. 

But don’t worry too much! It’s just a natural part of their aging process, like how we get a few wrinkles as we get older!

How to Clean Polycarbonate Greenhouse Roofs

  1. Use soapy water.
  2. Gently scrub with a sponge.
  3. Rinse or squeegee.
  4. Clean both sides.

Plastic Film (Polyethylene)

Plastic Film (Polyethylene)
Image by Epic Gardening

Polyethylene plastic film is a budget-friendly option for greenhouse roofing, with easy installation and good light transmission. However, its durability may be lacking, requiring frequent replacement. 

It’s a popular choice for temporary or seasonal greenhouses, especially for beginners. 


Plastic Film (Polyethylene) Advantages
Image by Active Vista


Plastic film, like polyethylene, is easy on the wallet and simple to set up. With polyethylene, you can cover your greenhouse affordably, leaving you with plenty of cash left over for more seeds and soil!

Easy Installation

With plastic film, installation is as easy as pie — just roll it out, secure it in place, and you’re good to grow! No fancy tools or complicated instructions are needed, so you can spend less time fussing and more time tending to your thriving plants!

Good Light Transmission

Plastic film lets the sunshine in like a happy little window, giving your plants all the light they need to grow big and strong. With good light transmission, your plants will feel like they’re soaking up rays on a tropical vacation, no passport required!


Plastic Film (Polyethylene) Disadvantages
Image by Bob Vila

Less Durable

Polyethylene film is it’s like that disposable rain poncho you bring to a concert — handy, but not built to last like your trusty umbrella. While it’s easy on the wallet and a breeze to set up, just keep in mind it might not stick around as long as those sturdier options. 

Frequent Replacements

Now, when it comes to plastic film like polyethylene, it’s like using a disposable raincoat for your greenhouse — it gets the job done, but it won’t last forever! 

These films might need swapping out more often than your favorite pair of gardening gloves, especially if you want to keep your greenhouse looking its best.

How to Clean Polyethylene Plastic Film Greenhouse Roofs

  1. Use soapy water.
  2. Gently scrub with a brush.
  3. Rinse with hose.
  4. Clean both sides.

Fiberglass Panels

Fiberglass Panels
Image by

Fiberglass panels are popular for greenhouse roofing due to their affordability and decent light transmission. However, they may yellow over time and require maintenance. 

They’re best suited for budget-conscious greenhouse owners and moderate climates.


Fiberglass Panels Advantages
Image by FRP Panels, FRP Machine, Fiberglass Sheet Production Line Suppliers


Fiberglass panels save you some green while keeping your greenhouse covered! They’re like the budget-friendly sneakers of greenhouse roofing — durable, practical, and affordable. 

Decent Light Transmission

Fiberglass panels let in just the right amount of sunshine for your plants to thrive. They may not be as clear as glass, but they still do a pretty good job of brightening up your plant party! 

Easy Installation

With fiberglass panels, you won’t need a team of experts or fancy tools — just roll out the panels, secure them in place, and you’re good to grow! It’s DIY-friendly and perfect for those who want to get their hands dirty without breaking a sweat.


Fiberglass Panels Disadvantages
Image by


Just like an old photo, fiberglass panels can start to yellow over time, losing their bright, sunny look. While they may still do the job, it’s something to keep in mind if you want your greenhouse to stay looking fresh and vibrant.

Reduced Light Penetration Over Time

As fiberglass panels age, they might start to lose their shine like an old penny in a jar. This means that over time, less sunlight might peek through your plants, kind of like when clouds cover the sun on a cloudy day. 

How to Clean Fiberglass Greenhouse Roofs

  1. Use vinegar solution.
  2. Scrub with a brush.
  3. Rinse or squeegee.
  4. Clean both sides.


Image by Me and My Glass

Glass is a classic choice for greenhouse roofing due to its high light transmission and aesthetic appeal. However, its fragility and high cost are challenging. 

Also, additional insulation may be needed to keep temperatures steady. It’s suitable for permanent structures, solariums, and sunrooms.


Glass Advantages
Image by Greenouse-ing

High Light Transmission

Glass is like the VIP ticket for sunlight, letting those rays flood in and making your plants feel like they’re basking in the sun on a tropical beach. You won’t need to worry about your leafy friends missing out on their daily dose of vitamin D with glass overhead. 

It’s like giving them front-row seats to the greatest show on earth — photosynthesis!

Aesthetic Appeal

Glass roofing isn’t just practical — it’s also easy on the eyes! Glass lets in all that glorious natural light, turning your greenhouse into a little slice of plant paradise. 

Plus, it’s like having a window to the outside world right in your backyard! It’s like bringing a little bit of the great outdoors inside, and who wouldn’t want that? 


Glass roofs are built to last, standing tough through rain or shine, just like your favorite garden gnome. With proper care, they can keep your greenhouse looking bright and beautiful for years to come, like a timeless piece of garden art. 


Glass Disadvantages
Image by Checkatrade

High Cost

Glass, while classic and elegant, comes with a bit of a price tag that might make you do a double-take. It’s not exactly a bargain find at the gardening store. 

But hey, sometimes you gotta splurge for the best, right? Just remember, while glass might cost a pretty penny upfront, it’s like investing in a timeless piece that’ll keep your greenhouse looking sleek and stylish for years to come. 


Glass can be a bit delicate, kind of like that delicate china teacup your grandma only brings out on special occasions. You’ve got to handle it with care because, let’s face it, it’s not exactly built to withstand a wrestling match with Mother Nature. 

A strong gust of wind or a stray baseball could spell disaster for your glass roof.

Additional Insulation

Glass is fantastic for letting sunlight into your greenhouse, but it may need extra insulation to keep the warmth inside during cooler weather. 

Just like wearing an extra layer on a chilly day, adding insulation ensures your plants stay cozy even when temperatures drop.

How to Clean Glass Greenhouse Roofs

  1. Use glass cleaner or vinegar solution.
  2. Wipe with a non-abrasive sponge.
  3. Rinse with water or squeegee.
  4. Clean inside and outside.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *