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How Long Does Polytunnel Plastic Last?

How Long Does Polytunnel Plastic Last

If you are considering purchasing a polytunnel, you’ll want to know how long it will last. There are many factors to consider, including life expectancy, durability, and light transmission. Hopefully, this article will help you make an informed decision.

Life expectancy

If you have a polytunnel, you might want to know the lifespan of the plastic. In years gone by, polythene covers were not durable, and often required replacement after five years. Today, polytunnel plastic covers are much better and can last seven years or more. They also have better light and thermal properties.

The best way to increase the lifespan of your polytunnel is to maintain it properly. You should try to prevent damage to the polythene by regular cleaning and repairing small holes. Even a small hole or tear can become a larger rip if it’s exposed to wind.

The best polytunnel plastic is made of high-grade polythene. This type of plastic is 600 gauge, which is very tough and durable. This type of plastic is recyclable.


Plastic polytunnels are very durable and last for many years. However, they are susceptible to damage and can require repairs. To maintain the durability of your polytunnel, it is important to choose a cover that is 720 gauge (180 microns) or higher. This type of cover is guaranteed to last at least five years and in some cases ten years.

If you have a large garden, a polytunnel is more cost-effective than a glass greenhouse. In addition, you will save money by purchasing a polytunnel polythene cover instead of greenhouse glass and frame. Furthermore, you can expect your polytunnel plastic cover to last for at least ten years if it is placed in a sheltered area. If you notice a tear, you can easily repair it using repair tape.

Light transmission

The plastic covering for polytunnels is often made of clear or semi-transparent materials. This helps sunlight to penetrate the greenhouse, stimulating the photosynthesis process, which converts carbon dioxide into energy. Normally, plants need at least six hours of sunlight a day to stay healthy. Generally, polytunnels are classified as domestic developments and are not considered commercial ones. However, they must still comply with local planning regulations, and may be approved by the local planning authority.

Polytunnel plastic covers are made from polyethylene, and may contain various additives. These additives add strength, flexibility, and reduce heat loss. In addition, these covers are also available with UV inhibitors.

Anti-fogging effect

The anti-fogging effect of polytunel plastic is achieved by the use of lumisol, which is an additive added to the polythene film. This additive helps to prevent the formation of large droplets that can damage plants and cause diseases. It also reduces the amount of water that falls onto the plants. The anti-fogging effect of this plastic lasts for as long as the polytunnel remains in its original state, reducing the need for frequent treatment.

Fogging reduces light transmission, which reduces plant growth and yield. In addition, fog causes continuous water dripping, which damages plants. This is why anti-fogging additives are highly sought-after in the agricultural industry. The Canadian government has committed to invest $560,000 in this research by 2020.


A polytunnel’s plastic covering degrades over time, particularly if it is exposed to direct sunlight. Replacing polytunnel plastic can become a substantial task, depending on its size. While greenhouses are better for large scale crop production, polytunnels have lower maintenance costs and are much more affordable for smaller garden plots.

Polytunnels are an environmentally friendly solution for growing crops, as they provide a climate-controlled growth capsule. They can be used for multiple types of vegetation, making them highly versatile. They also can be equipped with heating and basic frost protection. However, there are many limitations, and one of them is water supply. A large number of plants require copious watering, and this can be time consuming. In addition, some plants do better in a cooler climate, including currants, raspberries, and broad beans.

Purchasing polytunnel plastic can be expensive. It may not last a decade, and you must replace it at least every few years. A standard polytunnel plastic is about eighty percent reflective, allowing 89% of the daylight to come through.