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FAQ - Plastic Solutions

Answered by our in-house Plastic Experts! 

What materials should I use to put a Lean-To on my house?

Our most popular options are 10mm twin-wall and 16mm triple-wall clear polycarbonate. For this system, you will require Capex joining profiles, side F sections, front RSC U profiles, fixing buttons, silicone and flashing, all of which you will see in the roof example. Also, you can advise what the wall's surface is like, as this will affect which flashing can be used and whether or not you have to pre-prepare the surface.

Will my roofing go yellow after a year or two? 

If you use our twin wall/triple wall clear polycarbonate sheets, we offer a 10-year guarantee of non-discolouration/yellowing: if installed correctly. These sheets are single-sided, UV-protected sheets, so it is paramount that the UV-coated side is installed facing the sky; the sheets will be clearly labelled “UV side”.

Do you have a product I can use to replace the panels in my Greenhouse?

We have a Green House Panels Package ready for you. But we also have several options available; depending on:

  • Your budget;
  • Your required panel size;
  • Whether or not you want it completely clear;
  • You would be happy with a twin wall/structured sheet option. 

The main options are Clear Solid UV Polycarbonate or our Twin Wall Clear Polycarbonate.

Will my roof smash like glass if something falls onto it?  

Regarding your roof strength: polycarbonate is considered virtually unbreakable regarding impact resistance and is around 200 – 250 times stronger than regular safety glass.

Can you cut the sheets to size?

We can offer a full cut-to-size service on most products but are limited to straight cuts/90° degree angles.

Can I cut the material to size myself?

Yes, you can cut the polycarbonate sheets to size yourself. We do, however, recommend using the correct and safe method to do so. Polycarbonate sheets can be cut with either a circular saw or a jigsaw. A circular saw is the best tool to use for cutting larger polycarbonate lengths. Thanks to the properties of this material, polycarbonate won't crack or splinter around the cut.

Can I put a drill hole into the material?  

Yes, you can drill holes into polycarbonate sheets. When drilling polycarbonate, it is important that the sheet is well supported. Place the sheet on a flat surface that supports it well and which the drill can run into, for example, a wood board. You candrill polycarbonatewith a normal steel drill or an HSS drill.

How much of an angle do I need to have on my Lean-To?

When installing a Lean-To Package, keep a minimum pitch of 5 degrees so that the rainwater runs off toward the gutter preventing moisture from collecting on your roof. 

Have you any tips or tricks on how to use the Fixing Button?
  • Use a sharp steel bit instead of a wood one;
  • Drill at least 40mm away from the edge;
  • Drill between the ribs;
  • Do not over-tighten the screw fixing and squash the sheets – as a guide, and the button should not touch the sheet;
  • An 18mm drill bit will allow the sheet to move due to natural expansion and contraction;
  • Use to EasyFix buttons into rafters;
  • Use some silicone sealant to help seal the button fixing and stop leakage.
Is the Multiwall Sheet UV on both sides?

No, the Multiwall Polycarbonate Sheet is only UV on one side of the sheet. This is the side that should be facing towards the sky when installing.

Which side of the Polycarbonate Sheet is UV?

The UV side of the Polycarbonate Sheet is always under the side covered in the branded film. This side should be facing the sky as it will be protected from UV rays, which will protect it from discoloration.

Do I need to seal the ends of the Multiwall Sheet?

We always tape the end of our Multiwall Roofing Panels with a breather and aluminium tape.

You don’t have to if you don’t want, but it is highly recommended to finish sheet ends with U-profiles or aluminium tape to prevent dust and debris from entering the multi-wall channels.

Can I walk on Polycarbonate roofing?

Polycarbonate Roof Sheets are not designed to support the weight of a person, so you should avoid walking on them. If you do need to succeed with the roof sheets, use crawl boards between the rafters or step ladders as a safe means to doing so.

What can I use to clean my roof?

Make up a solution of lukewarm water and ordinary household cleaner or mild soap and use this to wash the sheet. A sponge or soft cloth should then be used to gently remove dirt and grime.

Warning: 

- Do not scrub the sheet with brushes or sharp implements.

- Do not use squeegees.

- Avoid solvents other than those listed or any abrasive cleaners.

- Avoid cleaners of a highly alkaline composition.

Polycarbonate

What is Polycarbonate sheeting?

Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic material whose fantastic properties and versatility make it the perfect material for a wide range of applications.

The structure of the plastic comprises carbonate groups. This allows the material to be strong and flexible at the same time. It is widely used in glazing thanks to its unique combination of clarity, strength, and UV resistance.

How strong is polycarbonate sheeting?

When compared to float glass of similar thickness, polycarbonate is almost 200 times stronger. It is also highly impact-resistant, making it a common choice in security applications.

Polycarbonate also fares favourably against other plastic options. For instance, it is 30 times stronger than a comparable acrylic sheet.

What are the uses of polycarbonate sheeting?

Polycarbonate is such a strong, versatile, and safe material that it is used in a massive range of applications. The list is so long that it is impossible to list them all here. But common examples of polycarbonate sheeting applications are: -

Greenhouses, canopies, skylights, walkways, bus shelters, roofing panels, and security glazing.

What is the difference between polycarbonate and acrylic sheeting?

These are two materials that look identical but have distinctly different characteristics. The major difference between them is impact strength. This is one of the primary deciding factors when choosing which material to use. Compared like-for-like polycarbonate sheeting is approximately 30x stronger than acrylic sheeting.

We have put together a handy guide covering the differences between the two materials, which can be found here.

Is polycarbonate sheeting safe for food surfaces?

No polycarbonate sheeting should not be used for food surfaces. If you are looking for a material for food counters, we would recommend Clear PETg. This is a polyester material that has many of the same characteristics but is completely safe for food surfaces.

How long does polycarbonate last?

Polycarbonate is a robust and long-lasting material. How long it lasts is affected by factors like the type of usage and how much wear and tear it is exposed to. But on average, you can easily expect a minimum of 10 years and potentially as high as 20 or more years.

Is polycarbonate easy to work with?

Yes, its lightweight characteristics make it easier to handle and install than glass sheeting. It is also easy to cut and shape, which requires no specialist equipment and can be performed by any competent DIYer.

Polycarbonate sheeting can also be drilled easily, although it is recommended that a drill bit designed for plastics is used.

Can you bend polycarbonate sheets?

Yes, polycarbonate sheeting can be either hot or cold bent. Despite its strength and robustness, the carbonate groups that form the material allow for plenty of flexibility.

Depending on the amount of bend required, you may need to use a bending tool to shape the material correctly.

Can polycarbonate sheets cope with extremes of weather?

Yes, polycarbonate is incredibly robust and easily withstands everything from the baking heat of a midsummer's day to the freezing hail and wind of the Irish winter.

It is also highly resistant to UV radiation, which gives it plenty of protection from sun damage.

Is polycarbonate sheeting better than glass?

No matter what criteria you choose, polycarbonate works out as a better option than glass. It offers the same degree of clarity but is 200x stronger, impact-resistant, lighter, easier to install, and robust enough to last for decades.