If you’re looking to allow more natural light into a space, while cutting down on utility costs, fiberglass roofing panels are an efficient, durable and low-cost solution. Read on to learn more about this versatile roofing material.
What Are They?
Sometimes called skylight roofing panels, fiberglass roof panels are thin, translucent, lightweight panels installed on roofs primarily to let more light into a building.
Fiberglass roof panels (FRP) are made of a durable polyester resin reinforced with strong fiberglass. The addition of fiberglass makes the panels more durable compared to roofing panels made of polycarbonate or PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Designed to withstand severe weather conditions, fiberglass roof panels are easy to install, low maintenance and corrosion resistant.
Fiberglass roof panels offer several compelling benefits that make them attractive to many consumers.
Better Indoor Lighting
Because they are translucent, fiberglass panels allow sunlight to penetrate, increasing the natural brightness within a structure. This limits the need for artificial lighting, helping to cut down on energy costs.
Fiberglass roof panels are capable of absorbing more heat which helps regulate interior temperatures in colder climates. This can also translate into noticeable energy savings by reducing the need for heating systems.
Fiberglass roof panels have the ability to withstand a much broader temperature range compared to other roof panels, such as PVC, without cracking, warping, or excessive contraction or expansion.
Resistant to Corrosion
Because they are resistant to corrosion, fiberglass panels are highly compatible with coastal marine environments. Unlike traditional steel roof panels, FRPs will not rust when consistently exposed to saltwater in the air.
Like every other roofing material, fiberglass roof panels come with limitations and downsides, including:
You Can’t Walk on Them
Unlike more durable metal panels, fiberglass panels won’t hold up to foot traffic. In fact, if you try to walk on them, you will likely destroy the panels and suffer a serious fall.
They Must Be Installed Over Open Frames
Since they are designed to increase light, fiberglass panels must be installed over open frames, since a wood substrate would prevent light from shining through.
They Will Yellow Over Time
Fiberglass roof panels will change color over time. Even in the best of circumstances, the panels will develop a yellow hue in response to UV rays.
Colors Are Limited
Because colors can interfere with light penetration, fiberglass roof panels are generally only available in clear or white.
Fiberglass vs. PVC
The answer to this particular question depends on each customer’s specific needs and budget. If you need a long-lasting, durable roof that’s easy to maintain, fiberglass roof panels may be a better choice. That said, if you are working within a limited budget, PVC roof panels might be a superior option.
Fiberglass roof panels are more costly than PVC roof panels, but they’re also a more durable roofing material. With proper maintenance, FRPs can last up to 50 years, while PVC roof panels usually only last 20-30 years. FRPs can also be recycled, making them a more eco-friendly option in the eyes of many.
Whichever kind of panel you select, it’s important to do your research to make sure you are getting a reliable, high-quality product.
Are FRPs Right for You?
There are many considerations to make when selecting a roofing material for your commercial structure. Every building has unique traits that help determine an appropriate material choice. Your budget will also play a major role in determining the best option for your individual needs.
This is why it’s critical that you work with a reputable local commercial roofing contractor with decades of experience installing all kinds of roofing materials. At A to Z, we can help you determine the absolute best roofing material for your commercial structure, whether it’s polycarbonate panels, PVC, fiberglass or something else entirely.
With decades of local experience, we’ve developed a well-earned, widespread reputation as one of Colorado’s premier roofing contractors by providing skilled workmanship and attentive, honest customer service. Contact us to learn more.