Cleaning and Maintenance of Polycarbonate Roofs

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    Polycarbonate roofing materials are durable. They will not crack or chip, unlike roof tiles and glass panels. However, they can lose their beauty and shine if you allow dirt and grime to build up on the surface. They can suffer from severe discoloration if you are remiss in cleaning them. 

    The following are tips to help you clean the polycarbonate roof panels and walls of a greenhouse or any installation, when to give them more attention, and when to replace them if needed.

    How often should you clean polycarbonate roof panels?

    Autumn and winter months are the times when more debris falls on the roof, as trees shed their leaves. Ideally, clean your greenhouse roof at least once a year. But it should be a thorough cleaning, giving more attention to the corners as you clean the glazing bars and the polycarbonate panels.

    If the roof of your greenhouse is low pitch, schedule the cleaning twice a year because the roofs will not shed debris and water easily compared to steeper pitched roofs. It is vital to clean them to prevent debris build-up and surface discoloration.  

    How to clean polycarbonate roof panels

    Cleaning polycarbonate roof panels will extend their life. This is an important step to make sure that the roof of your greenhouse remains intact, free from leaks and other damage that will downgrade its usefulness. Here are the basic steps to clean the roof.

    1. Remove all the large debris such as sticks and leaves. You can use a broom or a leaf blower. However, see that you do it gently so as not to scratch the protective layer. 
    2. Remove dry debris from the guttering system and detach the water collection unit. This will prevent pressure on the filtration system. Afterward, you can wash the roof with water. 
    3. Prepare a combination of lukewarm water and mild detergent. Make sure that the detergent does not contain abrasive or harsh chemicals that can damage the coating on the polycarbonate panels. The mixture can help break down any tough dirt. Prepare the mixture in small amounts.
    4. Use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to avoid damaging the coating. Wash the panels in a vertical direction.
    5. Tiny particles of dirt and debris that may have sharp edges can cling to the sponge and scratch the coating as you wash the panels, so wash the sponge often. Change the soapy water regularly for the same reason. Also, using dirty water will leave water spots on the panel surface.
    6. Check the gutters again after rinsing the panels. Make sure you leave no debris or dirty water in the system that can cause blockage. Attach the water collection unit when you are done.

    Replacing polycarbonate roof panels

    Occasionally, you may need to replace a roof panel, even if their life expectancy is between 15 to 20 years. You should replace the affected panel immediately so as not to interrupt the light transmission. Further, you do not want leaks to develop, which can affect other parts of the roof. There is no need to replace the glazing bars. Replace the rubber gaskets, instead, to prevent the water from seeping through.

    Polycarbonate roof panels last for several years. But you have to clean them once or twice a year so that their clean glass-like appearance, translucence, and aesthetic appeal are not diminished.