Polycarbonate roofing panels are made from a type of thermoplastic polymer. It is a translucent plastic available in various sizes and thickness. Polycarbonate is commonly used in making greenhouses and often finds use in automobiles due to its light weight and high flexibility. It has several other benefits such as low installation and maintenance costs, and easy installation.
Polycarbonate panels are cheaper and lighter than materials such as glass. Their light weight makes installation easy and less time consuming, therefore reducing the labor costs incurred during installation. Lighter roofing needs a lighter framing than glass roofing; such as wood, aluminum or steel. This again reduces the costs of materials and installation.
Polycarbonate sheets have much more flexibility than wood, glass or metal. Therefore, it can be molded into several shapes such as a dome or an igloo. The flexibility allows creative designing.
Greater Transmission of Light
Polycarbonate roofing transmits more light compared with other materials used in a greenhouse, such as polyethylene film. A 6-mm double wall panel transmits about 85% of all available light. Compared with a polyethylene film, the polycarbonate roofing has more direct radiation than diffused radiation.
Higher Impact Resistance
Polycarbonate roofing has a high impact resistance and low flammability rate. It is less likely to break in areas prone to golf balls, hailstones, heavy snow fall, animals and birds. Chances of breakage during assembly and transportation are low. In a rare episode of breakage, polycarbonate fragments are not as dangerous as glass shards.
Polycarbonate roofing panels come with a lifetime expectancy of about 10 to 15 years. Most manufacturers have a guarantee of at least 10 years.
No Warping or Fading
Unlike PVC roofing, polycarbonate does not deform or fade easily. It has a much higher softening temperature. Polycarbonate roofing panels come in several colors that do not fade due to weather impact. Therefore, polycarbonate roofing is good for both cold and hot weather.
Double paneled polycarbonate roofing provides extra insulation. Polycarbonate roofing is either single or multi-layer. The number of walls separated by air is determined by the use of the roofing. Greenhouses use a single layer, while homes and offices usually use multilayers. The air between the layers of sheeting reduces heat loss and provides insulation. However, the reflective properties keep harmful UV rays out. This reduces the electricity bills and allows sunlight into the building.