Multi-wall polycarbonate sheets are a durable and attractive solution for a variety of roofing and glazing applications, and they require some care and attention when installing to keep them looking and performing at their best. To get the most out of your polycarbonate project, you’ll want to follow a few basic guidelines during installation to ensure you get the look you want while also protecting the long-term performance of the product. Here are some tips to consider before you get started.
- Most multi-wall polycarbonate sheets come with a standard UV coating on one side that is meant to protect the panel from fading or discoloration caused by the sun. Make sure this UV coating is facing outward when installing the panels. If you install the panels with the coating side in, your panels won’t be protected.
- Position the ribs of each sheet vertically for window and wall structures and parallel to rain flow for roofing structures. Some manufacturers suggest drilling weep holes in the U-shaped finishing profiles at the bottom end of the panels to allow for condensation to naturally exit the channels of the multi-wall structure using gravity.
- The protective film on each sheet should remain in place during installation, but you don’t want to trap the film under screws and other finishing hardware. To avoid this, before installing, partially peel back the protective film from the top and bottom of the panels, so you can attach them and still cleanly remove the coating when installation is complete.
- Remove the protective film as soon as the sheet is fastened in place and installation is complete. Leaving the film in place after installation can cause it to bake on to the surface under heat and direct sunlight conditions, and then it can’t be removed.
- Make sure the ends of the sheets remain covered during installation to prevent dust and debris from entering the channels inside the multi-wall structure. If material does get inside, remove it with compressed air. Cleaning the flutes with compressed air is also recommended after panels are fastened in place and just before the end profiles are attached.
- Use only approved cutting tools to trim your multi-wall panels. These generally include fine-toothed circular saws, jigsaws, table saws, and hand saws. When using thinner sheets, you can also use a utility knife, heavy-duty scissors, or tin snips. Just make sure the blade is sharp if you want a nice, clean edge. Polycarbonate sheets can also be drilled with a power drill. (Liquid cooling is not necessary and is typically not recommended.) Make sure not to drill any less than 1 ½ inches from the edge.
- Measure twice, cut once, and remember to allow room for thermal expansion. Check with the manufacturer to get the most accurate thermal expansion rate for the product you’re using. If you think your project requires sealant, check with the manufacturer first to determine which types of sealant are safe to use with your polycarbonate product.
- Finish sheet ends with U-profiles or aluminum tape to prevent dust and debris from entering the multi-wall channels.
Ug Plast is committed to supporting its distributors and end users with helpful information about the installation, maintenance, and applications of our products. For more information visit ugplast-inc.com/multi-wall-polycarbonate or contact your Ug Plast distributor. If you need help locating a distributor in your area, call us at 717-336-2448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.