Corrugated Fiberglass Roofing Panels

Have you ever noticed the green and transparent plastic looking panels that cover your neighbors back porch, patio or greenhouse? These are known as corrugated fiberglass roofing panels. Made from fiberglass, these panels are a less expensive way to roof an area outside. With translucent panels, they are often used above plants and the back patio area. These roofing panels are often used for chicken coops and greenhouses too.

These corrugated fiberglass roofing panels are produced by a large sheet of high strength glass fibers that are embedded in an organic resin creating a translucent laminate. For corrugated panels, the formation is then rolled into the distinctive pattern like a wave. Because of its translucent properties (able to let light pass through the material), it is able to filter out the harshness of direct sunlight. In addition, because of its flexibility, they are one of the roofing materials that are easier to install and can be punched, drilled, sawed and nailed on without causing damage to the overall panel. This convenience makes corrugated fiberglass roofing panels a very simple roofing solution.

Corrugated Fiberglass Roofing Panels Installation

Corrugated Fiberglass Roofing PanelsGenerally, when purchasing for corrugated fiberglass roofing panels, they come in different grades of paneling called a “series” ranging from 410 to 800.  Each series has a recommended roof span – that is the distance of your underlying framework for fastening the panels. For example a 410 series has a maximum span of 20, 22, 25, or 32 inches. Knowing the measurements and the overall framework is key to ordering the right series that’s perfect for the job.

In addition, the overall design loads of the panels are governed by local building codes. It is highly recommended to contact your local code authorities for load and stress specifications.

Lastly, the roofing panels should not be used to support any undistributed weight on its surface. Thus, climbing and putting body weight on these panels are highly dangerous and can result in serious injury as they are not strong enough to support the load. During construction and installation of these and any roofing materials, use only approved ladders and planking.

The most important factor in installing corrugated fiberglass roofing panels is to factor the prevailing winds and overlapping accordingly. Start at the leeward end and work toward the wind. Once you have your desired framework built, there are certain things to remember about installing the fiberglass corrugated panel. When installed properly, it can provide weather proofing benefits like any other roofing material.

You should provide a minimum of one corrugation overlap at the sides. Provide 8″ end-lap for a roof with a pitch of less than 4″ to 12″and a 6″ end-lap for pitches or more than 4″ to 12″. Remember to fasten panels through crowns at every second corrugation. Use fasteners with armored Neoprene washers.

Space fasteners 6″ to 8″ on center at panel ends: 12″ to 16″ on center for intermediate purlins and siding applications. Purlins are your beams on your roof that you nail to. Your purlin members should be at the maximum intervals. You can check a load/span chart at the hardware store where you will be purchasing your panels.

Shaping and Tweaking Corrugated Fiberglass Roofing Panels

Shaping Corrugated Fiberglass Roofing PanelsBecause corrugated fiberglass roofing panels are very versatile, you are able to shape and fasten the material into the area in a number of ways. To trim and shape your panel, all you need are basic skills with the hand saws and power saws. The best types of blades and discs to cut theses panels are fine toothed carbide tipped blades or even a safety fabric abrasive disc. With these tools, shaping your panels to fit the desired area becomes relatively easier compared to other roofing materials.

When drilling your fiberglass panels, make sure the drilling be not less than 1 and ½” from the panel ends as any closer to the edges will result in the cracking of the panel. In addition, the holes drilled should be a minimum of 1 and 1/16” larger than the fastener diameter. For quicker installation, it is possible to drill multiple panels at once. If you need to bend your panels for installation do not install them in less than 60 degree weather.

The most common fasteners used in fiberglass panel installation are weatherproof nails or wood screws with neoprene washers. The size depends on the type of corrugation of the panel as well as the framing material. It is best to drill and fasten your valleys first then work on your peaks in the paneling. Make sure any burrs from drilling are cleaned away before using screws to protect the neoprene sealing face.

Remember to follow all safety precautions prior to installing the fiberglass roof panel and do use safety goggles and equipment when installing any type of roofing.

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