Home Improvement: How To Fit Polycarbonate Sheets

The type of roofing you pick for your home or other building makes a big difference. It is because the roofing material impacts the conditions of the building significantly. For example, fibre cement roofing corotherm offer ideal sound insulation for agricultural buildings. On the other hand, asphalt shingles seem to be the popular pick for most homes. However, in this article, we will be talking about polycarbonate roofing panels.

transparent polycarbonate sheet on a patio roof

These roofing sheets are most appropriate as canopies for your verandas, patio covers, or roofing for greenhouses. It isn’t practical to cover an entire or building with this type of corrugated roofing sheet. The best feature of polycarbonate sheets is the open sky view while the building stays protected. If you’ve been fixing these corrugated roofing sheets in your building, keep reading. Below is a complete and detailed DIY guide on how to install polycarbonate roofing sheets safely

What is a polycarbonate sheet?

A polycarbonate sheet is made from hard plastic and has endless uses besides roofing. This rigid plastic is used in the form of translucent or transparent corotherm. Aside from being water and moisture-proof, this roofing material also resists chemicals. A few more practical features of these sheets are that they’re flame-retardant as well as crack-proof. As of late, acrylic and glass are commonly replaced with polycarbonate. 

These sheets allow practically the same light transmission as glass but more versatility. Polycarbonate sheets come in a variety of colours and are transparent and translucent. The main feature that makes polycarbonate polymers so popular is impact resistance. This material is commonly used to make bulletproof glass and other protective plastics. Even though polycarbonate is a form of plastic, it’s more durable, versatile, and sturdy than other transparent materials like glass or acrylic. Polycarbonate has the most impact strength compared to other plastics such as PS, ABS, and nylon.

Eye-wear lenses, protective film, and medical devices are a few small-scale uses of this material. In addition, polycarbonate is used in canopies, carports, pergolas, greenhouses, and patio covers on a bigger scale. However, there are a few pros and cons of opting for polycarbonate roofing. Aside from being lightweight and easy to install, this material has UV blocking capabilities. In addition, the sturdiness of polycarbonate will protect your building from bad weather, whether hot or cold. 

Different types of polycarbonate sheets

Clear polycarbonate:

There are three types of clear polycarbonate. SL sheet offers 46 width and thickness options for affordable products. SL2 provides the same feature, including UV protection from sun exposure. GP sheets have glazed surface that helps to avoid breakage and nuisance.

a close up os striped trasparent polycarbonate sheet

Mirror polycarbonate:

Mirror polycarbonate is your go-to if you like the transparent glass effect but with strength. Its high resilience has made it the most popular choice for the cosmetics, dentistry, automotive and correctional industries.

Tinted polycarbonate:

Tinted polycarbonates don’t only attract customers with their vibrant colours but also with their ability to reflect 70% of solar energy. Its primary environments are industrial and institutional for its conspicuous look without compromising the core purpose.

Textured polycarbonate:

Having a similar thickness to glass polycarbonate, its high-quality polycarbonate resin is 250 times stronger. It reflects 90% sunlight to provide maximum UV protection. It is best suitable for extreme weather and outdoors because of its high resilience and thermal and chemical resistance.

Anti-static polycarbonate:

Also known as electrostatic dissipative polycarbonate, they are coated with a mixture of plastic and metal to stop any impact that can cause static electricity. Anti-static polycarbonate sheets reduce humidity with their chemical resistance. A must-have if your environment is exposed to electricity and chemicals. 

Abrasion-resistant polycarbonate: 

Perfect fit to avoid any scratching when it comes to polycarbonates. Its flexibility and resilience make it the best product to be used in hospitals and schools. It is a bit heavy on the pocket, but it’s undoubtedly an investment.

Kitchen safe polycarbonate: 

When it comes to being FDA-approved, kitchen-safe polycarbonates are highly recommended. They offer the same resilience and durability without compromising the safety of your food. It’s also accepted by NFS standard 51 requirements. This type of polycarbonate is mainly used in moulds and Tupperware.

Fire retardant polycarbonate: 

If you are working on a product at a high risk of being exposed to the flames, fire-retardant polycarbonates are just what you need. They are safe against high temperatures, most likely to be used in aeroplane components and electrical devices.

Corrugated polycarbonate: 

Corrugated sheets of polycarbonate come in different finishes to offer more qualities than glass sheets. It fights as an insulator against heat and is highly suitable for greater daylight yielding for residential areas, warehouses, and industrial buildings.

a veranda roof with orange polycarbonate sheet

Bulletproof polycarbonate:

Bulletproof polycarbonates are for areas that demand high-level security like banks, law enforcement, etcetera. Also known as bulletproof glass, it can protect for up to 7 years against violent activities, including structural flaws.

Multiwall polycarbonate:

Multiwall polycarbonate sheets are also known as Corotherm triple wall or twin-wall polycarbonate. Its multiple layers are more versatile and offer higher insulation while remaining very lightweight. It is ideal to be used in greenhouses, atriums, and solariums. Its glazing system is highly protective against scorching sunlight and other weather disruptions.

Things you need

For this roofing project, you’ll require a few supplies. Here is what you need: 

  1. Polycarbonate roofing sheets
  2. Glazing bars
  3. Measuring tape
  4. Hammer
  5. Drilling machine 
  6. Circular saw 
  7. Breather tape 
  8. Silicone sealant 
  9. Screws and washers 
  10. Fixing Buttons
  11. Polycarbonate friendly gasket

Fitting the sheet

Have a clear plan in your mind and high-quality tools at your hand to finish this project perfectly. Now, it’s time to get to work!

screwing polycarbonate sheets

1. Planning: 

Layout your roofing corotherm and measure the length of your roof structure. Determine if you want to use these panels for roofing or cladding as they are suitable for both. Trim any edges that are bigger than the frame. Use a circular saw to cut your sheets into the desired size. You can also use a  hand saw or a fine-tooth jigsaw for this purpose. Lay the glazing bars along with it and check if there is any unevenness in the fittings. Polycarbonate panels only work if they are installed correctly. If you are making a PVC frame for your panels, do it beforehand. 

2. Fixing

Start the fixing procedure by laying your glazing bars on the sides of your roof. Drill holes on your glazing bars with at least 500mm gaps in between. Fix the bars in the purlin and centre of the joists using screws and washers. Next, place your corotherm in the frames from eaves to ridges. There should be a bar present at the end of the sheet to seal any open spaces. 

Once all your sheets are in line with bars, start screwing the panels. These sheets expand at really high temperatures, so make sure to leave space for thermal expansion. Now, drill fine holes into your sheets and secure them further into the base.

3. Sealing: 

Once you are done with the installation, it’s time to seal the gaps and corners. Use a low-modulus neutral silicone sealant to keep your polycarbonate panels safe. Instead of sealant, you can also use a breather tape or u profile at the end of the sheets to protect them from dust and moisture.

canopy of terrace made of wood and transparent polycarbonate sheets 

You can now admire the beauty of your polycarbonate roof, diffusing light beautifully in the area. These sheets are durable and give a modern appeal to the space. Save the leftover trims of your sheets in a plastic bag and seal them to prevent any damage. If you want to discard your leftover sheets, then make sure to follow proper polycarbonate disposal guidelines

The best part about polycarbonate roofing panels is their endless variety in terms of installation. They serve as great canopies for your veranda, a roof for your greenhouse, or a simple cover for your patio. You can also count on these sheets to protect your deck ideally. Follow our guide on how to install polycarbonate sheets to give your house an instant upgrade.

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