Polycarbonate Colors: Clear & Softlite offer maximum light and solar transmission, best for greenhouses and solar applications. Clear not 100% optically clear. Channels in polycarbonate create a vertical pattern. Bronze and white (also called opal or ice) reduce light and heat. White is more opaque, often used to hide dirt. White will not accumulate heat the way bronze can. Bronze is most often an esthetic choice. Bronze expands and contracts more, creating noise on large sheets. Figure about 1/32″ per foot for 100º of temp. change. For small greenhouses, the impact is minimal. To avoid problems follow guidelines for the Base & Cap System. See polycarbonate colors below.
• What thickness to use? Pay now for greater strength and insulation, or later for more framing to support the sheet and heat to keep the structure warm. Poly Selection and R-values of sheet.
• What width should I use? 4 ft. easy to install on roofs & walls. 4 ft. crates lighter, costs less to ship.
• Does poly. yellow from sun or damage from hail? Polycarb has warranty to not yellow or be affected by hail.
• Why must polycarb. be installed with channels running vertically? Some moisture gathers in channels. Vertical install allows drainage. Golden Rule – Min. Roof Slope 5º (1/12)
• What is the bending radius of polycarb? See bending radius for various types of polycarb.
Install: See Base & Cap Install System
• How do I cut polycarb? Circular saw with plywood blade or jig saw metal cutting blade.
• Poly. expands & contracts with temperature changes. How will this effect my installation? Sheet will expand in hot weather and contract in cold. Figure about 1/32″ per foot for 100º of temperature change. To avoid problems follow Install Details. Also, bronze, being a dark color, will get warmer in the sun and it will be hotter under the panel, even .
• I left protective film on polycarb. “installed sheet” and now can not get it off. What can I do? At local hardware store pickup a product called Fels-Naptha. Wash sheet with this. Pull off film and clean with soap and water.
• How to avoid dreaded backup of water into lower edges polycarbonate channels. Most common mistake is to not follow the Eave Details, see Base & Cap Install Details, especially. Vent tape is not a solution. Our U-Profiles fit snug. The pressure of screws pinning U-Profile to poly, every 8″, slightly dimples the poly, creating exceptional seal. Small leaks at joints of U-Profile and condensation in the channels drains out via weep holes in U-Profiles.