Light Weight and Low Cost
The use of plastic in roofing has greatly increased over the last few decades because of obvious and considerable benefits when compared to other types of roofing materials such as metal, wood, slate, ceramic, and asphalt. What people like about plastic roofing is their light weight, low cost, durability and ease of installation. Plastic roofs also come in different colors and thus are very much attractive especially for structures that have color motifs.
The main disadvantage of plastic roofing is their possible sensitivity to light and heat. Plastic can melt or fade with much exposure to the sun and changing weather, but this problem can be addressed with the thermal and ultraviolet stabilizers that have been added to newer productions of plastic roofs. Extreme weather conditions may take a toll on the usual plastic roofs but with the right mix of chemical components some of plastic roofing material’s problems can be minimized.
Plastic Roofing is usually made of polycarbonate, a standard thermoplastic material that is known for its excellent optical, thermal and mechanical features. The roof often comes in polycarbonate panels, sheets or tiles. What is good about the polycarbonate material is its good resistance to stress. It can withstand impact 200 times greater than glass, meaning that it would not be susceptible to damage when stones or hail fall on the roof. The mechanical properties of this type of roofing are also rather resistant to changes in temperature.
To reinforce the advantages of plastic roofing one can add ultraviolet radiation filters during the co-extrusion process of the sheet or the panel. Special additives may be used to prevent excessive interior heating. Cavity structures may also help increase the load capacity and flexibility of plastic roofing.
Plastic roofing comes in varying prices and quality depending on the size, composition, thickness, colors, and profiles. The most common plastic roofing profile that people see is the corrugated one, as it has general better structural properties than flat ones. The cheaper plastic roofs are made of PVC while the more expensive and sturdier ones are made of polycarbonate components. The best quality plastic roofs may come with lifetime guarantees.
Installation of plastic roofing is quite easy, which is why it is usually the roofing choice for projects that have limited time frames. For optimal installation ease, manufacturers often recommend installing plastic roofing on a roof with at least 10 degrees of pitching. Anything lesser than that may require extra weatherproofing measures such as adding flashings or sealants.
Cutting the plastic roof panels for resizing should be easily done with a fine toothed saw or a pair of garden scissors. The better the quality of the plastic roof material, the easier it is to cut. Some installers use disk grinders with carborundum blades for more precisions when cutting plastic roofs, although one sheet at a time may be cut to avoid fusion and welding together.
A good tip for installation is pre-drilling holes on to sheets before they are installed. Holes usually should be from 8mm to 10mm with some 2mm allowance based on the screw shafts to allow contraction and expansion. Holes should be drilled on the higher part of the roof’s corrugation. It is usually easier to do the drilling with the sheet on the ground, upside down. A stick with a hole may also be used as a guide for drilling
Screws are used to secure the sheets of plastic roofing. Special screws are made for this purpose and may easily be bought from plastic roof suppliers. The easiest screws to use are those with hexagonal heads. Majority of the sheets or panels should be secured with four corrugation spaces and at every second when there are overlaps, ridging, and gutters.
Plastic roofing is definitely a staple choice in structural coverage. With its great function, light weight, and ease of installation, it is deemed to remain a popular choice of roofing in the appropriate situations.