When choosing which roofing sheets to use in your project, it is important to consider the longevity and durability of the material. With such a wide range of different roofing products available on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to narrow down the search and find a long-lasting roofing sheet you can rely on.
A more budget-friendly option may seem like a good idea at first, but it may not be worth the investment in the long run. Cheap materials are more likely to need to be replaced sooner, which can lead to costly repairs. Investing in a high-quality roofing material that is built to last will save you money over time.
In this article, we have compiled a range of comparisons to give you the clearest idea of which roofing sheets will last and which won’t. If you are on the hunt for the longest lasting roofing materials for your next project, read on.
The roof sheet options covered in this article include:
Skip to: Which Roofing Sheets Last Longest?
Polycarbonate Roofing Sheets
Polycarbonate roofing sheets are a popular choice because of their strength, durability, and transparency. With a generally simple installation, they are a great option to consider.
The lifespan of polycarbonate sheets will vary depending on a few factors, including the quality of the material, the type of installation, and the climate in which it is used. However, in general, polycarbonate sheets can last for 20 years or more.
Great for a huge range of applications such as garden pergolas, carports, and more. Polycarbonate sheets come in a selection of tints and thicknesses which gives you the flexibility you may not find with other options. You can also choose between solid polycarbonate sheets and twinwall polycarbonate as suits your budget and style.
When considering polycarbonate roof sheets for your project, it is important to also consider the various fitting options available as this will have a big impact on the longevity of your roof. A high-quality aluminium glazing bar system, for example, can greatly improve the lifespan of a polycarbonate roof.
Life Expectancy: 20+ years
Acrylic Roofing Sheets
Acrylic sheets have a similar visual appearance to polycarbonate but cost slightly less so are sometimes thought of as the budget clear plastic sheet option.
However, despite having a similar clear look there are three big disadvantages of acrylic to be aware of: Strength, lifespan and ease of installation. Firstly, they are not shatterproof so can crack at only 17 times stronger than glass, compared to polycarbonate at 250 times stronger. This strength deficiency also means that they have a comparatively short lifespan of 5 – 10 years, depending on where they are installed.
Most critically, they can be hard to install as crack and splinter easily when drilling. In general, they are hard to install as also crack when cutting and can splinter when fixing if not done correctly. For more information read our blog about the 4 disadvantages of acrylic sheets.
An important point to note is that people often purchase Styrene sheets thinking they are similar to Acrylic, however, they are vastly different. Styrene Sheets should not be used outside and have a very limited estimated lifespan of less than 5 years. That said, acrylic sheets don’t last that much longer at 5-10 years so are also best avoided if you are looking for longevity.
Life Expectancy: 5-10 years
Stormproof Roofing Sheets
Corrugated Stormproof Sheets are the strongest and most durable clear plastic corrugated roofing sheets on the market today. They are made from a very robust plastic resin that is 200 times stronger than glass of the same thickness. The sheets provide a high-quality finish and are virtually unbreakable.
Unlike cheaper alternatives, Stormproof corrugated sheets have a UV Protection layer, which ensures they don't go brittle and provide superior light transmission and unrivalled clarity for many years. This UV protection makes them the best option for outdoor areas. When installed with the correct flashings and fixings, these Corrapol Stormproof corrugated sheets can often have expected lifespans exceeding 20 years or more!
In addition to all these excellent qualities, Polycarbonate corrugated sheets are relatively lightweight and easy to cut and install. This makes them a win-win solution for both DIY and Trade corrugated roof projects!
Life Expectancy: 20+ years
PVC Roofing Sheets
Corrugated PVC sheets are often considered a cheaper alternative to Corrapol Stormproof sheets, as they are typically more affordable. This makes them a good option for budget-minded projects that require clear corrugated plastic roofing.
While PVC corrugated sheets are not as durable as Stormproof, they are still a great lightweight solution for many different applications at home. For example, they can be used to create a pergola or gazebo that provides light and visibility without great expense.
In short, corrugated PVC sheets are an ideal solution for areas that do not require high-impact resistance but still need to allow plenty of light. This makes them a popular choice for smaller roofs in the garden and outdoors.
Life Expectancy: 5-10 years
Bitumen Roofing Sheets
Bitumen roofing sheets are a popular choice for roofs because they are inexpensive and easy to install. They provide a very low cost of reroofing your shed or garage. However, bitumen roofing sheets do have a limited lifespan and will eventually need to be replaced.
The lifespan of bitumen roof sheets will vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the materials used, the climate in which the roof is located, and the level of maintenance that is provided. In general, however, bitumen roofing sheets can last for anywhere from 10 to 15 years.
Bitumen roofing sheets are a good option for budget-conscious projects where impact resistance and longevity are not the main concerns. However, if you are installing corrugated bitumen roofing sheets for a longer-term project, it is recommended to use a more durable premium bitumen sheet to maximize its lifespan.
Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
Corramet Roofing Sheets
A great alternative to bitumen and metal roofing sheets is Corramet sheets; made of a specially formulated plastic compound resin, they are designed to provide a strong and durable roofing solution. With a very simple install process like other solid corrugated sheet options like bitumen, but with a life expectancy of 20-plus years and completely non-corrosive.
Unlike similar solid corrugated sheet alternatives, Corramet corrugated is available in lengths up to 4m. This helps with longevity as avoids the need for overlapping to achieve longer lengths. With greater spanning capability, less support is needed at shallower pitches where other options may require lots of support or even a fully boarded substructure.
Corramet is a great option for a wide variety of roofing projects, especially in the garden. A great option is looking for a low maintenance shed roof or garage covering.
Life Expectancy: 20+ years
Metal Roofing Sheets
Metal roofing sheets are a durable and long-lasting roofing option however, their lifespan depends majorly on the type of sheet used. They can last for up to 30 years with maintenance but are susceptible to rust and corrosion. Metal roofs are resistant to wind, like Corramet which makes them a choice for areas that experience extreme weather.
However, while metal roofing sheets are durable, they are not impervious to damage. Over time, they may develop dents or scratches which can lead to costly repairs. Unlike plastic roofing sheets, metal sheets are also prone to rust, especially in areas with high humidity or salt air. Corrosion is one of the biggest factors that affect a roofing sheet’s lifespan.
There is also the cost factor to consider. Metal sheets are some of the most expensive on the market and manufacturing lead times can often stretch to weeks or even months in some cases.
Life Expectancy: 30 years* (depends majorly on the type due to rusting)
Fibre Cement Roofing Sheets
Fibre cement roofing sheets are a type of roofing material that is made from a mixture of cement, cellulose fibres, and water. They are a popular choice for agricultural roofs because they are long lasting and have good impact resistance. The lifespan of fibre cement roofing sheets is typically 40 years.
Fibre cement roofing sheets have an industrial style that is not popular for public or residential applications. The sheets are typically made in a corrugated style and are painted a dull grey or brown colour. This style of roofing is most common in agricultural buildings like barns where appearance isn’t a big factor.
Despite their drawbacks, fibre cement roofing sheets are a durable and long-lasting roofing material. They are a good choice for roofs that need to withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Life Expectancy: 40 years
In conclusion, which Roofing Sheets last longest?
Considering all factors, Corramet roofing sheets and Corrapol Stormproof Corrugated sheets are the best long lasting roofing sheet options. These robust corrugated sheets offer a great lifespan and are all non-corrosive, alongside a host of other benefits. Longevity is one of several key factors to consider when purchasing your roofing materials so with these you can have peace of mind.
|Best Long-lasting Clear Corrugated Plastic||Corrapol® Stormproof Sheets|
|Best Long-lasting Solid Corrugated Sheets||Corramet® Corrugated Sheets|
|Best Long-Lasting Clear Flat Roofing Sheets||Polycarbonate Sheets|
If you are looking for a transparent roofing sheet for your project, then Stormproof is the clear winner. This will offer the strongest and most durable clear plastic corrugated roofing sheets on the market with a life expectancy of 20-plus years! In terms of roof sheets that let light into your space, you won’t find a better option!
However, if you are looking for solid-coloured sheets, then Corramet roofing sheets and metal roofing sheets are both good options. Corramet sheets, however, come in at a much lower cost and do not have the same lead-time challenges as metal roofing sheets. Available to your door in just 1-2 working days.
No matter which roofing sheet option you ultimately choose. There are things you can do, both during installation and once your roof is installed, to ensure you achieve the maximum lifespan possible.
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