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Why polycarbonate rooves are bad for conservatories

Why polycarbonate rooves are bad for conservatories

Monday, March 23, 2020

We all love sitting in the sun. But sadly we live in the UK, where chances to do this are fairly rare across the year. So instead, millions of people enjoy the outdoors from behind a wall of glass, thanks to the humble conservatory. Conservatories are still one of the most popular home improvements in the UK, and they have been for many, many years. This might be the fact that, in a country known more for rainy days than sunshine, conservatories provide something that just wasn’t achievable before – the opportunity to enjoy your garden whatever the weather. But the roof you choose is incredibly important, and we’re here to tell you that polycarbonate doesn’t cut it anymore.

Why is my conservatory roof important?

The idea behind a conservatory is that you can regulate the temperature within the glass room, so you can keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer while still enjoying the outside world. A key part of achieving this is the materials you’re choosing to use. Heat in any room is lost through the roof as it rises, so the conservatory roof is arguably the most important part. If the roof material doesn’t perform properly, then it can compromise the whole point of the conservatory. But the older conservatories from the 80s and 90s were often built with a polycarbonate roof. This was an inexpensive material at the time, but it had its fair share of problems.

What's wrong with polycarbonate?

Don’t get us wrong, polycarbonate is a great material for some things. But when it comes to conservatories, and specifically the roofs, it does have a lot of problems. Including:

Too hot in summer, too cold in winter: This is the most common problem suffered by polycarbonate conservatories. Mainly because polycarbonate isn’t a great thermal insulator, so it can’t keep the warmth in when temperatures drop. But it also can’t keep the sun out, so in the summer you will feel like you’re sitting in the worlds biggest greenhouse. Combine that with the suns glare off the material, and a lot of people end up completely abandoning their glazed extensions for over half the year, which is a crying shame.

Loud rain: Rain can be loud. But the point of the materials that make up your home is to deaden that noise and to make sure you can enjoy your home peacefully. And if you’ve got a glazed extension, it can be very relaxing to sit out in it and watch the rain fall. But polycarbonate doesn’t do that, which means even the lightest of drizzles will sound like a torrential downpour. Not very peaceful, and it can make such a racket that it echoes through the house and disturbs you and your family.

Leaking: Polycarbonate roofs need to be sealed properly, and to avoid particularly violent weather. Given the level of storms we’ve been experiencing recently, it’s no surprise we’ve seen a bit of an increase in this kind of roof needing repairs! If your original polycarbonate roof is leaking, it’s a pretty clear sign that it needs replacing, and has reached the end of its life.

What about glass roof instead?

Now, there are a lot of different materials you can use for a conservatory roof, and polycarbonate is just one of them. And you might be forgiven for thinking that glass conservatory roofs would suffer a lot of the same problems that polycarbonate does. But you would be mistaken! Using modern energy efficient glass, you can still enjoy an abundance of light, gorgeous views and none of the drawbacks we’ve talked about above. A glass roof means you get good insulation, with only the right amount of energy from the sun entering the roof – so you won’t overheat and the warmth won’t escape. So if you’re looking at replacing your polycarbonate roof, glass may well be the best way to go.

At Truglaze, we’re firm believers that conservatories should be enjoyed all year round, and not just in the summer. We stock only the best quality, energy efficient glass and other materials, which means we can build you a conservatory that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, so you can enjoy it any day of the year. We have a range to suit even the most modest of budgets, and experts on hand to help tackle things like planning permission. So, if you’d like advice on your conservatory, please get in touch with us today