Believe the hype: plastic roofing is tough stuff

plastic roofing

Roofing made of polyester, including Sunproof, Suntuf, Ampelite, Alsynite and Skylight, is known variously as polyester roofing, polycarbonate roofing, corrugated plastic roofing or fibreglass roofing.

Placed properly over your outdoor areas, shed, garden or garage skylight, polycarbonate can slash the cost of quickly securing an outdoor area and keeping it dry. This can massively improve the enjoyment, value and reliability of a deck, garage or porch.

Polycarbonate panels are sturdy and tend to block excessive UV rays, so they’re also keeping the sun off the kids when in the sandpit, or protecting parts of your garden from climate extremes.

The question, though, is how tough is the plastic stuff?

Being a thermoplastic, polycarbonate can withstand massive amounts of wind and rain, plus hail and branches hitting it during storms. Similar plastic is used for bulletproof windows, riot shields, fences and the like – so it’s not surprising sometimes polycarbonate will trap the heat if you don’t set up ventilation.

Strong and heat-trapping though they are, polycarbonate panels are very light compared to other plastics, meaning getting them home and putting them up (and potentially taking them down in future) is less daunting.

Highly resistant to heat and cold, polycarbonate is often chosen for greenhouses, plant nurseries or to keep snow off decks.

When installing, don’t screw it down too hard

Easy and lightweight to place on your roof and bolt down, there is something to watch out for: while you can put it down with ease and trim it easily (often with scissors, if you are working on corrugated plastic), you will need to allow excessively large holes around your fasteners (a few millimetres), because your plastic must expand and contract a little bit and any resistance could lead to cracking. Speaking of fasteners: you will need your roof screws to have pressure plates under them where metal meets plastic, to spread the load and minimise the risk of cracking the plastic.

Things to consider when buying polycarbonate and polyester  roofing

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a substitute you will occasionally encounter. It’s similarly tough, but cheaper, and slightly less good at standing up to heavy rain and hail.

Scratching, marring, lichen and denting are all issues you’ll need to take care with on your polycarbonate, and also be sure not to use cleaners which contain benzene, acetone or solvents.

Typical packs we get in store include Alsynite and Ampelite brands, a commercial grade polyester roof seconds, which can be less than $7 per metre.

Colours you can expect to see coming our way include clear, grey tint, bronze and ice-hue. The roof panels we receive at Renovation Warehouse may be coloured, tinted or translucent – it’s always useful to ask what we have in store this week.

They all offer different diffused lighting effects, so give us a bell on 09 438 2887 and ask what we’ve got in store, how much it is, and we may be able to hold some for you before it flies out the door.

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