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Corrugated Plastic Roofing

Corrugated Plastic Roofing
Available in a wide range of colors, corrugated plastic roofing is very popular. This article provides more information about this roofing material.
Sonia Nair
Roofing materials are available in different types. A corrugated roofing refers to the large panels of roofing material that come in a wavy pattern. It is the alternate ridges and grooves that make them stronger. This can be explained with the example of corrugated cardboard, in which overlapping sheets of papers are reinforced with the ridges and grooves. Various materials are used for making corrugated roofing, and they include steel, fiberglass, plastic, etc. Corrugated plastic roofing has the typical ridges and grooves pattern, and is made of polycarbonate plastic.


This type of roofing comes in different colors that range from clear and translucent, to green and blue. The ridges and grooves pattern makes them strong, and allows water run off. While the wavy pattern is known as round profile corrugated plastic roofing sheets, even box profile types with box-type ridges are available in the market. Usually, these roofing panels are used for covering patios, carports, and greenhouses. Clear sheets are used for covering greenhouses, as this material admits enough light into the structure, and maintains the temperature and humidity levels. Sometimes, these roofing panels are also used as siding. Some types are reinforced with fiberglass threads.

This roofing material is lightweight and is easy to install. As compared to some other types, like the corrugated fiberglass roofing, these plastic panels are inexpensive. However, they can be weaker than other types, like the corrugated sheet metal roofing. So, avoid walking over these plastic panels. Even accumulation of snow and other debris must be removed regularly. However, they are resistant to corrosion and weather damages. They can also be painted afresh, if the color fades off. Before installation, you have to make sure that the roof is having a pitch of at least one inch per foot, so that the water will drain properly. Otherwise you have to opt for some additional waterproofing measures.

Installation Tips

Cutting: If you want to cut corrugated plastic roofing, use a fine-toothed hand-held power saw or a table saw. Measure and mark the sheet, as per the required dimensions. Use table clamps to attach the edges of the roofing panel to the surface of a table, so that the part of the panel you want to cut hangs off the table. Put on the safety goggles and gloves, before cutting the roofing panel through the markings. It will be always better to use the blade with the smallest tooth, for this purpose.

Fastening: You have to use round molding strips on vertical rafters and corrugated molding strips on cross braces. Use a nail gun and attach the molding strips to the rafters and cross braces, using aluminum nails. In order to nail the roofing panel to the wall, you have to drill holes, beforehand. It is often recommended to drill holes on every fourth corrugation, that too, at the higher points. The holes must have a diameter of eight to ten millimeters. The diameter of the holes must be wider (around 2 mm) than the diameter of the fasteners, because the sheet may expand slightly, during hot weather. There are various types of fasteners with water sealants, and it is better to opt for such versions, rather than the regular ones.

Sealing: There are certain basic factors that have to be taken care of, in case of corrugated plastic roofing installation. If you go for side by side installation, make sure that the panels overlap properly. You should also caulk the seems with a silicone sealant, throughout its length, so as to prevent water from entering inside. It is always advisable to overlap the ends of the adjacent sheets, by one corrugation. If you are installing them one above another, then, it will be better to work from bottom to top.

In short, corrugated plastic roofing can be a perfect choice for greenhouses, patios, carports, and other such constructions. You must understand its pros and cons, before investing on this product. If you find it not suitable for your purpose; go for other types, like metal roofing or fiberglass roofing.
Exterior of a modern building
Construction Worker Using a Framing Nailer on Job Site
Carpenter using electric saw in carpentry
Corrugated sheets of plastic