What is Plastic Sheeting?


Plastic sheeting used in home and garden projects is usually a thin layer of acrylic or polyethylene film. Widely available in stores for relatively little money, it has a multitude of uses in home repair, gardening, and disaster preparedness. The following provides some useful information on this handy product.


  • Thin and flexible plastic sheeting used in home projects resembles plastic food wrap in the way it drapes over objects. More rigid plastic sheeting is available for applications demanding a more permanent installation.


  • Plastic sheeting's thickness is expressed in mils. Generally available thicknesses in home-improvement and gardening stores range from one mil (the thinnest) up to about four mils (the thickest), although there are thicker sheets available for other uses.


  • Most do-it-yourself projects only require the common clear and transparent plastic sheeting. Other common colors are black, white, red and blue.

Uses in Home Repair

  • Plastic sheeting can be used to contain dust and other contaminants resulting from sanding, spraying and similar projects and protects other surfaces from paint and stain spills when used as a drop cloth or covering. It is commonly used to make temporary storm windows to improve insulation in the winter months.

Uses in the Garden

  • Lightweight transparent plastic sheeting can be used as a row cover in the garden if it is supported above the plants with plastic or metals hoops. Laying down a layer of clear sheeting over bare earth in the spring warms up the soil enough to destroy weed seedling, disease spores and immature insects.

Uses in Disaster Preparedness

  • Heavier plastic sheeting of four mils or more can be used to make temporary repairs to a wind-damaged roof or wall. Additionally, plastic sheeting and duct tape can be used over windows and doors to prevent the infiltration of contaminated air into buildings, according to information from ready.gov.

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  • Photo Credit blog.seattlei.com,hgtv.com,colostate.edu,washington.edu
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