- Do we want complete shade?
- Is it cold enough here to warrant a 4-season sunroom?
- Will we be able to add ceiling fans to our patio roofing?
- Should we sell the living room furniture since we won’t venture indoors again?
Those thoughts can often lead to polycarbonate translucent patio cover options. These roofing panels are designed to provide protection from UV rays while still allowing the good stuff in – aka sunlight. Many homeowners love this type of patio addition, after all the material is far advanced from hideous roofs of old.
Still, others see problems with this modern roofing system for their outdoor activities. So let’s take a clear look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of polycarbonate translucent patio covers. Stick around for sunlight facts that could sway your decision at the end.
Price isn’t Light
Back in the 80s, you could buy a clear-ish patio system with fiberglass roofing panels for the cost of a happy meal. But after a year or two, the panels would turn an odd color not found even in a 64-count Crayola box. And fiberglass can stain easily.
Then along came poly materials that looked much better than inexpensive materials like fiberglass. But quality and aesthetics don’t come cheap. The downside of better-looking roofing panels is they will often cost more than other materials. Yet, the value comes into play as these modern polycarbonates can last as long as the home it’s attached to.
If you’ve never been on a roof, count your blessings. Hades is probably one enormous flaming rooftop. And patios are usually on the hottest part of your property. That’s why you’re looking into a gazebo or screen room, of course. So the roofing material has to be able to withstand extreme temperatures.
That’s a big plus of polycarbonate translucent patio covers. This state-of-the-art material doesn’t wither, not even when facing the hottest environments. So, no worries about sun fading or blistering the roofing panels on models like our Fresco.
Tough As Nails, But
You may be amazed by how various forms of polycarbonate are used. That’s right, it has other uses besides making patios comfortable in South Florida summers or rainy Tennessee springs. How polycarbonate is used include:
- Ice hockey rinks.
- Machine protective shields.
- Sound walls.
- Ski lift bubbles.
Clearly, this space-age material is meant to last. But one downside is that polycarbonate roofing panels can be damaged with highly concentrated or abrasive cleaners. And the material is subject to scratching, so we wouldn’t recommend raking leaves off your translucent patio cover. Not that you’d try that… you won’t, right?
The Good Sun
How do you feel when you play golf or go boating on a cloudy day? We know, we know, it’s better than a sunny day at work. Still, you don’t get the ultimate outside vibes when the sun is hidden. That’s why so many folks choose a model like the Renaissance Fresco. It gives rain protection but doesn’t keep them from the most valuable thing Earth has – the sun.
Even better, polycarbonate translucent patio covers do block out the bad sun, while welcoming in the good sun. UV rays can lead to premature wrinkles and dangerous skin cancer. But with translucent patio roofing panels, nearly 100% of these harmful rays are blocked, while still letting the sunshine on you and yours.
It’s true that some polycarbonate patio covers do have insulation – due to the invisible air trapped between the bottom and top panels. But this isn’t as much insulation protection as you get with our other models utilizing foam insulation. Since it’s impossible to see through insulated aluminum panels, studies show, that is the trade-off. Feel and see the sunbeams while being a little less insulated from the elements.
The Missing Link
The one positive that never gets brought up about polycarbonate translucent patio covers is a big one. Yet, it’s unseen until homeowners have already had a different system installed or constructed as a room addition.
Hardly anyone thinks about what the inside of their house will look like with a sunroom or screened enclosure installed. Some regular patio roofs don’t allow light to weave its way into your home. Now, you may not find this important. But for those who prefer not to reduce natural light flowing into their dining room or family room, it is a key point to consider.
Of course, Renaissance offers the option of installing most of our models as free-standing additions. So the light factor inside your home wouldn’t apply there. Feel free to think of some other pros and cons then let’s chat about them. Patio talk lights us up.
Oh, 3 more facts that could sway your sun deck decision:
- Sunlight is a vitamin supplement.
- The sun can improve moods.
- Light therapy has been used to battle seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D)