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5 min read

Everything to Know About Clear Roof Panels


5 min read

Everything to Know About Clear Roof Panels

RoofEverything to Know About Clear Roof Panels

Are you looking for a robust roofing material that’s also resistant to harsh weather conditions and allows you to fully benefit from natural light? Then it’s about time you consider installing clear roof panels!

Clear roof panels, which differ from skylights, can be mounted on an entire surface or strategically placed. Garages, terraces, and winter gardens are some of the favoured spaces to install clear roof panels. Whatever their shape, they’ll never cease to lend a home a modern and elegant appeal. To know whether or not it's the right option for you, keep reading for more information on the materials used to make this type of roofing, as well as its benefits and pricing.

Clear Roof Panels: Light Transmitting Materials

Source: Canva

The 3 most commonly used materials to create a clear roof that allows natural light to seep through are glass, plexiglass, and polycarbonate. 

  • Glass roof panels: This material allows for a maximum amount of light to shine through, which minimizes the amount of artificial lighting required, and simultaneously reduces your electricity bill. This type of clear roofing is made with laminated or tempered glass tiles for additional resistance, and is increasingly used for most buildings. Glass roof panels can be mounted over the entire length of a roof, but can also be used solely in a few select areas, for garages, pool enclosures, rooftops, and balconies. In most cases, glass roof panels feature stainless steel components or aluminum frames, giving them a more elegant look that's perfect for those who are especially keen on modern and trendy decor.

  • Plexiglass roof panels: Acrylic roof panels aren't just see-through, they're also flexible and heat-resistant – perfect for structures that are subject to high levels of heat. What's more, they're durable, unbreakable and very easy to clean.

  • Polycarbonate roof panels: This material lets in a maximum amount of natural light while blocking out harmful UV rays, since this panelling features a unique protective coating. Polycarbonate is a strong yet lightweight thermoplastic material that can withstand harsh temperatures. While this practical and durable roofing material is perfect for porches, patios, sunrooms, and decks, it isn't especially convenient when it comes to covering an entire rooftop. Polycarbonate roof panels are available in lots of different shapes and styles: flat, corrugated, transparent, coloured, etc. During installation, if you use a metal roof paint or a liquid-rubber roof coating, your roof will then adequately filter the sun's rays and resist Quebec's harsh weather conditions.

Advantages of Clear Roofing

Source: Canva

There's quite a long list of perks, but let’s start by stating that you’ll save massively, energy-wise. Other key advantages include:

High-temperature resistance

These roofing panels can withstand harsh environments better than standard-issued building materials for commercial properties. Moreover, clear roofing like polycarbonate panels can be manufactured to handle extreme stresses and are virtually shatterproof. What’s more, they're used to manufacture police ballistic shields.

Furthermore, this material can withstand all four seasons; heat, sunlight, snow, and rain. These roof panels will last for years without fading or warping. 


If you're looking for added privacy, and a bit of peace and quiet within the confines of your personal or commercial space, polycarbonate, glass, or plexiglass roof panels are ideal choices. If you happen to live near a construction site, airport, or busy factory, clear roofing provides the ultimate soundproofing solution.


One of the main reasons why clear roofs (polycarbonate and plexiglass) are such a popular alternative to metal roofs is their light weight. And, unlike asphalt composites, which require more manpower for transportation and installation, in due part to their brittle nature and heavy weight, plexiglass and polycarbonate roof panels are easy to handle and can be installed by two people only.


See-through roof panels create a bright environment, even on overcast days. Due to the coatings applied during the manufacturing process, clear roof panels also filter out the sun's harmful UV rays, which can cause sunburns and other harmful side effects.


If a clear, all-white glass aesthetic floats your boat and suits your structure, you can find this type of material almost anywhere. However, if you prefer something with a bit more character, clear roof panels are also available in a few different shades of bronze, blue, silver, opal, and more.


By hiring contractors who are directly affiliated with polycarbonate and plexiglass suppliers, you're guaranteed high-quality products, and at a very reasonable price. Furthermore, because this material is so durable, it'll be years before you need to replace any damaged materials.  

Increases overall property value

A properly designed glass or polycarbonate roof can increase the market value of your home, provided, of course, that it's been properly installed in accordance with Quebec's construction code.


A clear, UV-resistant polycarbonate panel that's 18 inches wide and 36 inches long is roughly $66. It's best used for projects that don't require special abrasion and UV protection, but it's just as heavy-duty as it’s effective.

On the other hand, corrugated PVC panels are durable and highly resistant to chemicals. They're commonly used as roofing or siding renovation projects for walkways, decks, carports, and more. As for their price, a 12 feet long corrugated PVC panel, which is resistant to UV rays, harsh weather, impacts, and corrosion, is about $37.

How to Make a Clear Plexiglass or Polycarbonate Roof

Source: Canva

In this section, you’ll be guided, step by step, through building a simple, clear roof over a small area; such as for a 3m X 3m patio, with a steel, aluminum, or wood framework. For the sake of this example, we'll opt for a 3-inch slope, which provides optimal drainage.

First and foremost, gather the necessary materials: 

  • Plexiglass panels (polycarbonate);

  • Scissors;

  • Electric nail gun;

  • Cleaning tools;

  • Protective gear;

  • Shingle tear-off tool;

  • Nail and tool bag;

  • All-purpose retractable blade knife;

  • Measuring tape;

  • Chalk;

  • Lever;

  • Ladder;

  • etc.

You’ll either need a ladder or a step ladder to install the frame of your choosing. Next, take the exact measurements of the rooftop that'll be covered to determine the number of panels needed.

Once all measurements have been jotted down, cut the clear panels accordingly with a saw.

Then, with a drill, puncture the frame where you’ll want to screw the glass or polycarbonate panels.

The remaining steps are fairly straightforward and consist of installing the panels in the right places. With the help of someone else, proceed as so: one person is to climb on the roof, while the other person remains below to guide the panels up, one by one.

Position and screw the panels to the frame at the same time. Also, if you want, apply a protective coating that'll prolong durability, such as a roof coating.

Quick Tip: The roof panels should overhang by at least a foot outside the frame to allow for better drainage and foam strips should be placed along the frame to secure the panels.

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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