What’s a Better Greenhouse Frame - Galvanized Steel or Aluminum?

A major consideration when buying a greenhouse is the type of frame for your greenhouse as well as other required materials. 

A greenhouse frame is the basic structure and is vital to the structural integrity of your greenhouse. 

When choosing the material for the frame, consider:  

  • The glazing type 
  • Type of structure to put up 
  • The climate in the area you live in.

The choice of material for your greenhouse frame will determine the effectiveness of your growing operation, the robustness of the greenhouse structure, and how long the greenhouse lasts. 

This is a critical step, making the right choice from the beginning can save you thousands of dollars down the road as well as disappointments due to collapsing, weather damages or other issues resulting from a bad choice of frame. 

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between galvanized steel and aluminum and why we, at Planta, have chosen to frame with galvanized steel instead of aluminum.

Aluminum Greenhouse Frame

Many greenhouses choose aluminum for framing which is a good option but not great. The standout characteristics of aluminum are rust resistance and being lightweight.

Whereas aluminum is indeed lightweight (hence cheaper to ship) this is a crucial disadvantage especially in areas where weather conditions are tough and require more durability to withstand wind, freezing temperatures and heavy snow loads. Even in areas with better weather conditions, you’d probably want to go with a sturdier greenhouse structure.

One major disadvantage of aluminum greenhouse frames is the cost. They are slightly expensive which increases the cost of acquisition, shipping and construction of the greenhouse.


Galvanized Steel for Greenhouse Frames

What is galvanized steel?

Galvanizing is the addition of a protective layer of zinc on steel to prevent rust. Galvanized steel frames undergo hot-dip galvanization which is best suited for protecting the frames when used in hot, humid, and soil-based environments.


Benefits of galvanized steel

1. Galvanized steel is extremely strong and is your best option for greenhouse frames. Combined with the durability of these steel frames, you have a greenhouse that will last your lifetime.

2. Galvanized steel frames are noncomparable when it comes to withstanding strong winds and heavy snow loads

For example: 

  • galvanized steel can hold up to 360kg of snow load per square meter while aluminum can hold only 70kg of snow hold per square meter. 
  • Galvanized steel can stand up to wind speeds of up to 63 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour).

3. Long-life - galvanized steel frames will last you a lifetime (and even your kids’ lifetime!). It’s that strong.

In conclusion, being a sturdy and low maintenance material, galvanized steel frames allow you to focus most of your attention on gardening operations and maximize your crops, while being confident that your entire greenhouse structure will hold up even the most extreme weather conditions.



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