Polycarbonate Roofing Sheets: Best Alternative For Roof Coverings And Natural Light

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Photo by Jan van der Wolf from Pexels

A key consideration for any construction project is the roofing material the contractor will use. There are numerous types of roofing material on the market that have been in use for a long time like metal and asphalt. Homeowners and commercial real estate owners are increasingly looking at alternatives like polycarbonate for a wide range of roofing solutions. Polycarbonate has several unique advantages that make it suited for different applications over materials like PVC, metal and asphalt. Project designers are also using polycarbonate as an alternative to fibreglass and glass.

Polycarbonate Roofing is Lightweight

Weight is a serious consideration for any project because the roof and the underlying structure contribute to the overall weight the structure has to support. Polycarbonate is perfectly suited for reducing the weight of roofing structures because it is a lightweight material.

On average, a polycarbonate sheet weighs less than a metal roof and about half of a glass panel of the same size. Its lightweight nature means it puts a lot less stress on the walls and support beams of the structures it is used on.

Apart from reducing overall roof weight, the use of polycarbonate panels introduces other benefits. An immediate benefit is that this material is easier to ship and work with. This reduces shipping costs and the time it takes to complete projects. This difference becomes more apparent when you compare it to different metal roofing materials.

The lightweight nature of this product also means it is much easier to work with and this is something your construction workers will appreciate.

Polycarbonate is a Very Durable Material

Polycarbonate can withstand a lot of stress including boiling and freezing temperatures. This makes it perfectly suited for outdoor applications. Corrugated roofing sheets made out of polycarbonate can also withstand harsh weather conditions; they repel water, can withstand the weight of snow and will not shatter in case of falling branches or hail.

Its high durability also makes it more reliable because it can be transported without worrying about losses and can be cut to the exact dimensions you need without worrying about shattering like you would with glass. This inability to shatter dramatically like glass can also protect those inside the house in dangerous situations.


Polycarbonate is typically compared to PVC because many people see them as similar materials. A main difference between the two is that polycarbonate is much more receptive to UV coatings and protective agents. This means plastic roof sheets made out of polycarbonate will not discolour, crack, or become weaker because of exposure to sunlight.

This property makes them last exceptionally long while retaining the natural light penetration that most applications of the material call for. To ensure that the plastic roof sheets you buy can provide these properties, it is important to source them from reputable manufacturers like Clear Amber who have patented designs for their roof sheets and other construction materials.

UV Protection

The UV coatings and protective agents used on polycarbonate sheets make them great for protecting against UV radiation. This makes them perfect for applications like awnings, sunroom roofs and greenhouses.

Because different applications of polycarbonate sheets call for different requirements, these sheets come in different colours and tint ranges. This means you can dictate how much light they let in as well as the colour of that light. For example, you will see blue-tinted polycarbonate sheets used in swimming pool structures and heavily tinted sheets used in sunrooms and other areas where harsh sunlight is discouraged.

Controlled Light and Heat Transmission

While there are documented benefits of natural light, letting it in requires seriously considering heat and light transmission. The more light you let into a room, the hotter it becomes. This is caused by infrared radiation from the sun which builds up in the structure.

It is therefore important to consider how much light the roof you use lets in and have a balance between how much light to let in versus how hot you want it to be under that roof. The good news is that special colours can be used in tandem with heat-blocking additives on polycarbonate sheets to adjust both the light and heat based on requirements.

Some sheets are even created to let as much light in while deflecting as much UV radiation as possible. This makes them transmit a lot more light than fibreglass, being as clear as glass and transmitting a lot less heat into the building than glass.

Size Ranges

Polycarbonate panels come in a variety of lengths and thicknesses depending on where you would like to use them. Typical ranges are from 2 millimetres to 12 millimetres and lengths of about 12 metres. These specifications give you a lot of technical and aesthetic freedom.

Polycarbonate is a fantastic material for numerous applications. It is easy to work with and can work similarly to glass or fibreglass depending on the application. It is also a much better material than the two depending on the properties you are considering.

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