8th November 2018
Guide To Roof Sheeting
When it comes to deciding upon the right type of roofing materials to use for a particular structure, most people tend to choose what is familiar. This usually means looking towards tiling or flat roof coverings although these are not always the best choice available.
However, there are some other options available that will provide great benefits and are more suitable for non-habitable and external buildings. Roof sheeting comes in a number of different materials and is a practical and cost-effective way of covering sheds, storage areas, garages and more. This article is a guide to roof sheeting to introduce you to the most common materials and why they should be used.
Types of roof sheeting
There are 5 main variants of roof sheeting available to use which are PVCu corrugated roofing sheeting, corrugated bitumen sheeting, fibre cement roof sheeting, galvanised sheeting and polycarbonate sheeting. Each one comes with its own benefits and specific uses, so which one you use will depend on the type of roof, the surrounding environment and structure they are being installed onto.
PVCu corrugated roofing sheets: You have a choice between PVCu corrugation profiles – mini or standard. Using either one will still ensure high levels of light transmission and both options are also extremely resistant to yellowing over time. If you opt to work with the standard profile these can also be used with steel and bitumen materials, while choosing the mini profile is often the better option for smaller sized buildings as they fit better with the overall design of a more compact structure.
Corrugated bitumen sheets: In the vast majority of cases corrugated bitumen sheets are installed on buildings which are non-habitable, such as garden sheds or storage areas. It is an extremely light material that is both easy to handle and to fix into position on the roof space. There are options to use it as a primary roof covering, or as an oversheet material to place on top of an old, deteriorating roof. The design also encourages the flow of water from the sheet to avoid water pooling and potential rust and damage.
Polycarbonate sheets: Polycarbonate is a good option for buildings that require natural light through the day. This makes them a good choice for greenhouses in particular. The sheets are transparent and typically come in sheets with multiple layers and can also provide thermal insulation. They can be cut to size where required and also work well with other roof materials such as corrugated and flat roofing if required.
Fibre cement roof sheeting: Fibre cement is becoming an increasingly popular choice for both roof tiles and roof sheeting. It is a compound made from a combination of cement, sand and cellulose fibres and performs with versatility with the surrounding elements. For decades it has been used as siding, but its long lifespan is a great advantage, which can be anywhere up to 50 years or more. The Marley Profile 6 Fibre Cement Sheeting is the perfect example, as it can be used on roofs as low as 5 degrees.
Galvanised sheeting: For a quick, simple and effective solution, corrugated galvanised sheeting is easy to install while still providing long-term value. It can be used to cover large areas and works just as well on smaller roofs like garden sheds and garage tops. They are sustainable and recyclable due to the zinc coating and respond well to a variety of environments. A low amount of maintenance is also required, similar to these Galvanised Sheets.
What are the benefits of roof sheeting?
Deciding on the type of roof sheeting you will need for your building will depend on what it is being used for. The benefits of each one will vary and here is an overview of how each material will add value once installed.
PVCu corrugated roofing sheets: This material is very easy to install and can be fixed into place using PVC headed nails. Even if the roof is not completely flat, PVCu corrugated roofing sheets work well on uneven surfaces while still providing strong resistance against the elements. They remove water quickly and easily from the surface and PVCu is also rust, chemical and rot resistant to ensure you get great value for money over time.
Corrugated bitumen sheets: If you live in an area that experiences high levels of wind, then corrugated bitumen sheets are a great choice as they can withstand speeds of up to 120mph. They are an affordable option and are both easy to handle and install onto the roof. The material will not rust and provides good levels of sound insulation so rain hitting the material will not sound too loud. Their design also ensures rainfall will not pool as it is naturally removed from the surface.
Polycarbonate sheets: Polycarbonate sheets remain a popular option because not only is it a light material to handle but it is almost unbreakable. The material provides strong levels of UV protection and thermal insulation to help maintain an ambient temperature in the space below. Polycarbonate sheets can be purchased with condensation control included which will help reduce the likelihood of it occurring in the building, helping wooden fixtures last longer due to the lower levels of moisture.
Fibre cement roof sheeting: The longevity of the material is one of the biggest advantages it can offer, lasting decades when installed correctly. They are also preferred because they stand up incredibly well to tough environments. Fibre cement roof sheeting can adapt to domestic, agricultural or commercial use and their corrosion resistance is one of its most attractive features.
Galvanised sheeting: The value of installing galvanised sheeting can be seen in its high resistance against corrosion. This means the sheets will need to be replaced far less than other types of material. If the material has not experienced too much use over time it can be reused, and it is an extremely cost-effective material as although it often costs more upfront, it will last for far longer.
When is roof sheeting the best option?
Roof sheeting is best used for standalone buildings that do not require the expense of laying a flat or tiled roof. This makes them ideal for garden sheds or storage areas, tool-sheds on construction sites, farm buildings, garages and carports if required. As mentioned above, although not as expensive as tiled or felt roofing, the materials still provide value for money and when correctly installed will have a very long lifespan.
As you will have noticed, these buildings are non-habitable, so while they provide some levels of insulation and UV protection, they are not designed for use in areas where people will spend extended periods of time inside.