With a history dating back to 1938 fiberglass roofing is not a new product. It has stood the test of time for several good reasons: cost, doesn’t rust, many fiberglass roof panels allow natural light through and some even have a UV filter within the panel. They’re a little bit tricky to work with, but the results make up for that!
Fiberglass roof panels can also be used for other projects such as a pergola, small greenhouse/garden shed or “heat grabbers” that use the dark or smoke colored panels. Fiberglass panels are typically 2-3 feet wide and can be in a variety of lengths from 8-16 feet while some heavy panels can be up to 38 feet long for barns and industrial buildings. Fiberglass roofing is a viable way to keep rain and snow out while letting some natural light in, reducing the amount of electricity needed.
One of the more common types of panels found is a corrugated fiberglass sheet often found in DIY hardware outlets. These let the rain funnel into the channels and drain to the end for those wishing to add a gutter on the end it’s easy to divert the water into a tank that recycles water for plants, pets and other uses around the home.
Many people discount these for a few reasons they can crack if a tree limb or other object falls hard on them and if they do the ability to shed water, even if repaired, is never quite the same. However they are also inexpensive and easily replaced, removing one sheet and inserting the other. When installing roof panels it’s best to use washers and drill, rather than drive, holes to keep it from splintering and breaking near the edges under stress. If you’re using it as a “poor man’s skylight” on a deck with a metal roof, for example, an easy extra security is tucking the edges of the fiberglass sheet UNDER the metal one, allowing for extra stability all the way down the sheet.
Many people find the cost and usefulness of a fiberglass roof attractive as well as the low maintenance, but simply don’t like the panels for a roof. You’re still in luck! Fiberglass shingles offer an alternative and, as a relative newcomer to the building world, offer alternatives in design and colors. They can offer fire resistance and are light weight with good wear against hail, snow and ice. Of course every building option can have drawbacks and these do too. Thermal splitting can be an issue and, as with the panels, nailing and placement instructions should be followed for maximum durability of the roof.
There are many advantages to a good fiberglass roof that make it an option worth checking out for your next project.