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Polycarbonate Roofing: What You Should Know

Polycarbonate Roofing: What You Should Know

If you’re looking for an extremely lightweight and inexpensive roofing material, consider polycarbonate roofing. This thermoplastic roofing began its life on conservatories before moving on to commercial buildings. Due to its attributes, however, it is beginning to find a following in residential situations as well.

What Is Polycarbonate Roofing?

There are essentially two types of polycarbonate roofing. Both are thermoplastic materials that are extremely durable, moldable, shatterproof, lightweight, and able to withstand a very wide range of temperatures. The differences lie in their appearance, and their installation types.

Clear Polycarbonate Roofing

Clear polycarbonate roofing is seen primarily on conservatory roofs. The panels resemble glass and are either transparent or translucent. They can be crystal clear or tinted in a variety of colors to help dull the influx of light. They almost always have a protective film layer on the top that helps to filter out the UV light.

In addition to conservatory roofs, clear polycarbonate roofing is rapidly becoming popular as an alternative for any roof that typically uses glass, such as:

  • Greenhouses
  • Solariums
  • Sunrooms
  • Sun porches
  • Patio rooms

The benefit of using clear polycarbonate roofing is primarily in the fact that is both lightweight and durable. Because conservatories and other rooms like it primarily have lightweight glass walls, they often cannot support a heavy roof without the potential for leaks or cracks. Polycarbonate roof panels don’t leak or crack, and are usually less expensive than glass panels as well.

Foam-Backed Polycarbonate Roofing

The other type of polycarbonate roofing used more often on commercial buildings, but gaining acceptance on more residential buildings is foam-backed polycarbonate roofing. This type of roof panel is corrugated to resemble a metal roof, but is much lighter weight.

The foam backing on the panels helps to insulate the building, while the protective coating on the panels deflects UV light. The result is a roof that helps keep your home more even in temperature year round, resisting heat transfer in both directions.

Foam backed panels are also much less expensive than corrugated panels made of metal, so you can get the same look for a much lower price. The panels come in a wide variety of thicknesses, as well as colors so they can suit a number of different homes.

One of the other benefits of this type of roofing is that it can be installed on flat and low-slope roofs. Homeowners looking for alternatives that may be more attractive than the traditional rolled or asphalt roofing may prefer to use polycarbonate roofing as well.

Longevity

Both types of polycarbonate roofing last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Some manufacturers however do warranty their products for the lifetime use of the home. Because this is a relatively new product, there aren’t enough homes and buildings that have used it for more than 20 years to truly tell if it would last as long as the rest of the home would.

A Versatile Choice

Many people are beginning to find uses in polycarbonate roofing for outdoor patios and other uses where a glass roof would be traditionally used. Other people are beginning to choose the corrugated option over metal and rolled roofing. As it gains in popularity, more information about its durability may come to light. In the mean time, polycarbonate roof panels are an inexpensive option for many homeowners.


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5/5

Good job! The roof was replaced without any problems. Very happy with the workmanship. There’s no reason I wouldn’t give them a rating of 5 star.

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