Modern roofs are made primarily out of sturdy, opaque materials. These materials are excellent for protecting homes from the elements and reducing thermal transfer, but they’re not always the right solution for outbuildings. In some cases, clear fiberglass roofing may be a better fit.
What Are Fiberglass Roof Panels?
Fiberglass roof panels are clear corrugated sheets designed to allow in light but limit heat transfer. They’re most commonly found in greenhouses but are increasing in popularity as roofing for patios, carports, and select other outbuildings. Like traditional roofing materials, corrugated fiberglass panels are very strong and able to withstand heavy rain, snow, and wind.
Applications for Fiberglass Roof Panels
Fiberglass roof panels are appropriate on any outbuilding or awning that requires both protection from the elements and exposure to natural sunlight. However, they should only be installed on sloped roofs. On flat roofs, snow and rain can collect in the grooves and eventually damage the panels.
Benefits of Fiberglass Roof Panels
Property owners have plenty of options when it comes to roofing for outbuildings and awnings, so why choose fiberglass? To answer that question, let’s take a look at some of their unique benefits. Fiberglass panels are:
- Easy to install
- Fire, rot, and corrosion-resistant
Clear fiberglass panels are great for any application that could benefit from extra natural light. Homeowners use them not just in backyard greenhouses, but also as awnings over patio decks or windows, as gazebo or pergola coverings, and as roofing for carports. It’s also becoming more common these days to see commercial applications of fiberglass roof panels, especially over walkways and dining areas.
How to Choose the Right Panels
There are three things to consider when it comes time to choose clear roofing panels. The first is the panel’s R-value. An R-value is a measure of how much heat transfer the material is able to prevent. Every product is a little different, so look for roofing panels that prevent a respectable amount of heat transfer. Of course, the R-values for clear fiberglass panels won’t be able to compare with a fully insulated traditional roof, but sometimes the extra light is worth the trade-off.
The second thing to consider is whether the area would benefit from UV protection. Some fiberglass panels come with built-in UV filters that reduce the chances of sunburns and other health complications. They’re great for patios, awnings, and barns, but they aren’t ideal for greenhouses or other areas that will support plants.
Finally, homeowners should think about durability. There are many manufacturers of fiberglass roof panels, but not all of them produce high-quality products. Some are better able to withstand heavy rain and snow loads than others, and high-quality panels will also last longer. When in doubt about which products to use, consult a professional roofer who has experience installing fiberglass panels.
Schedule a Professional Installation
Fiberglass roof panels may be easy to install compared to traditional roofing materials, but that doesn’t mean homeowners should undertake these kinds of projects themselves. Unless they have dedicated experience working in the roofing industry, it’s always best to hire a team of professionals. They’ll make sure everything is sealed correctly and ensure that the panels will provide both protection from the weather and adequate light for years to come.