Polycarbonate roofing makes a great alternative to traditional materials, with the same transparency that glass offers while being much tougher and yet lightweight. It’s typically used for applications such as garages, carports, greenhouses, conservatory roofs and other out buildings. Cut My Plastic provides a variety of UV-coated multiwall sheets in a range of thicknesses and colours to suit your needs, including clear, opal and bronze. Just send us the dimensions you need, and we can provide you with your polycarbonate roofing sheets cut to size.
Polycarbonate is a lightweight thermoplastic material which can stand up to extreme high and low temperatures. They come in a range of sizes, thicknesses and colours, so you can assess the right product for your needs. For example, 4mm sheets are best suited to greenhouses while garage roofing sheets should be thicker, so you may need as much as a 25mm thick sheet to enable you to cover a larger area while still supporting the roof properly. When you require a cost effective and lightweight, yet hardwearing material, polycarbonate roof kits are a great choice that will let plenty of light to pass through, will stay intact during harsh weather conditions and will provide insulation at the same time. These kits provide all the fixtures and sections you’ll need to make installation as simple as possible, and also come with instructions to guide you through the process.
Advantages of Polycarbonate Roofing Sheets and Panels
The benefits of using a polycarbonate sheet for roofing applications is that it’s lightweight and easy to work with, transport and install. Polycarbonate is incredibly durable and will resist strong impacts, so it’s long-lasting and virtually unbreakable, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. It provides UV protection, making it ideal for awnings or conservatories, and it is also weather-resistant, so you can enjoy years of greenhouse use without having to worry about replacing broken panes of glass. The vast range of possibilities when it comes to sizes, colours and finishes means that whatever your project, there’s a polycarbonate product to suit it.
Types of Polycarbonate Roofing Sheets
Clear: These are great for creating a spacious and bright space, enabling you to make the most of the light in a room – polycarbonate maximises the light by 77%, based on 16mm triplewall sheets. It maximises solar gains, so it’s ideally suited to greenhouses or conservatories where you want as much sunshine to penetrate as possible.
Bronze: Bronze sheets work well with darker coloured structures, such as timber buildings and wooden conservatories, as the colour blends in more effectively. If you want to limit the amount of sunshine getting through, bronze sheets are better suited as they minimise the glare from direct sunlight and reduce the amount of heat gain, compared to clear sheets. The light transmission of bronze polycarbonate is 18% based on 16mm triplewall.
Opal: Opal is virtually opaque to it’s perfect for built-up areas where you want more privacy, such as for your conservatory or garden houses. It provides a softer light diffusion and reduces the glare, so it’s well suited to garden offices too, and it eliminates hot spots from the sun. The light transmission of opal sheets is 40%, based on 16mm triplewall.
Bronze Opal: Bronze opal sheets have a bronze external finish but an opal internal finish, and they also blend well with dark-coloured structures just like standard bronze sheets. Bronze opal provides a subtle light and also privacy, so it’s a good mix of the two finishes.
What are the benefits of polycarbonate roofing?
If you’re taking on a DIY roofing project, its simple installation makes it a really appealing option. The other attraction to this form of polycarbonate is the UV protective qualities it provides, due to the layers, which allows it to diffuse light and distributes the light and heat more evenly. For these reasons, twin-wall and multi-wall polycarbonate is often used in conservatories and greenhouses, as well as for roofing. The way the layers reduce the intensity of the light which reaches into the greenhouse or rooms in the home also helps to reduce in hot and cold patches too. Studies have shown that evenly distributed light may help to improve the leaf count and crop yield of plants and help to prevent lead burn and other plant ‘injuries’.
Multi-wall polycarbonate roofing sheets are very effective for roof glazing and carports, as well as porches, lean-tos, orangeries, swimming pool roofs and conservatory glazing. In addition to being more cost-effective than glass, saving you a lot of money if you’re working with a large surface area, here are some of the reasons why polycarbonate is a better alternative to traditional roofing and glazing:
- Twin and multi-wall sheeting is safer – it’s up to 200 times stronger than glass, but much lighter so it’s easier to work with and install
- It’s immensely impact resistant and virtually unbreakable, so it’s a really safe option in homes or commercial spaces where accidents might occur
- It’s a great insulator and the thicker the multi-wall, the more dividing sheets it contains. This provides a fluted appearance which work to trap air between the flutes to prevent heat from escaping. Typically, the thicker the multi-wall, the higher the insulation and the thinner the sheeting, the higher the light transmission.
- It provides UV protection and blocks harmful UV radiation, while still gaining great levels of visibility, so it’s perfect for glazing.
- It’s low maintenance, as it’s easy to keep clean with just soap and warm water, as well as being simply to use. Because polycarbonate is so light in weight, it’s easy to fit and manipulate yourself without needing to hire in extra labourers and is also quicker to install than traditional glazing.
How can it affect climate control?
Maintaining the warmth in conservatories, summer rooms and orangeries in the winter, and cool in the summer, is a common problem for homeowners but this is something that polycarbonate sheets can help with. It’s an effective solution when combined with reflective insulation that works by reflecting the sun’s heat off the polycarbonate roofs and back outside, which keeps the room cooler. This material can be bought with the insulation already with it or you can buy them separately and add the insulation to the polycarbonate yourself.
Have a room with a glass or plastic roof that gets too cold in winter but too hot in the summer? The solution is climate sensor multi-wall polycarbonate which reduces the temperature in your room. The way it works is by preventing more than 80% of the sun’s solar energy from entering the roof, which results in up to a 40 degree lower internal room temperature. The upside is that in the winter, your room will still feel warmer. Visually, climate sensor multi-wall is just as transparent as regular glass or polycarbonate sheeting, as opposed to the opal effect that some other heat reflective sheets give off. It’s also just as safe and strong as regular polycarbonate.
How to choose the right thickness for your polycarbonate roof
Twin-wall and multi-wall polycarbonate have the same properties and benefits, but they simply offer differing levels of insulation. The easiest way to remember is that the more layers there are, the higher the level of insulation will be. That said, because of the higher insulating qualities, multiwall polycarbonate is more expensive and there’s a higher cost the thicker the sheets are. It’s worthwhile considering how much insulation you need for your project, as thicker multi-wall sheets might not be necessary at all or crucial to the project, depending on how much additional heating your home needs during the colder seasons.
The most popular choices for polycarbonate sheet thicknesses are: