FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Questions
I’d like to build my own greenhouse. What are my options?
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For hobbyists and homeowners, our sister company, Palram Applications, offers easy-to-assemble greenhouse kits. These products are available through many online stores and select garden centers throughout North America.

If you plan to design and build your own home structure, consider our Suntuf corrugated polycarbonate panels or Sunlite multiwall panels. Suntuf is widely available at Home Depot's throughout North America, as well as many independent retailers. Sunlite is available at select Home Depot's and some independent retailers.

For commercial applications, our DynaGlas and ThermaGlas panels are a great choice. DynaGlas and ThermaGlas are available from commercial greenhouse manufacturers and greenhouse supply distributors. Contact our Master Distributor, Green-Tek, for a dealer near you.

You can also contact us with your specific needs and we'll help you make the best decision for your application.

What adhesive should I use for polycarbonate panels like Suntuf or Suntop?
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First off, don't use PVC cement. PVC cement and polycarbonate do not react well. Also, generally speaking, Suntof/Suntop panels are not recommended to be "glued" together. For sealing polycarbonate, use a 100% silicone caulking.

What adhesive should I use to bond two sheets of Palruf PVC corrugated roofing where they overlap?
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First, do not use adhesives or caulks that contain silicone when working with PVC.

If waterproofing is your primary concern, use a PVC-specific caulk/sealant. Unlike adhesives, PVC caulks are meant to fill gaps and create a water-resistant seal between materials.

If bonding is more important, don't use PVC pipe glue, which is often colored blue. Instead, choose a PVC-to-PVC adhesive such as Weld-On 705, OSI Quad, Christy’s Red Hot or PVC TrimWelder.

What are “closure strips”?
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Closure strips match the corrugation pattern of the panels of Suntuf, Palruf, Sun 'N Rain and Suntop panels. The closure strips are attached to the purlins, which are horizontal supporting members that support a roof. Sometimes purlins are used with rafters, which run perpendicular to the purlins.

See the document section at the bottom of each product's web page for complete installation information.

 

What considerations are there for fastening Palram products to ACQ treated lumber?
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The new guidelines by manufacturers of ACQ lumber call for heavily galvanized or stainless steel fasteners due to the corrosive nature of the ACQ treatment.

You have two basic options for using Palram products with ACQ lumber:

  1. Use a comparable fastener made from an ACQ approved material. Make sure that such a fastener uses either a neoprene or EPDM washer, and that it is installed per Palram’s recommendations.
  2. Use Palram’s fasteners. Initial tests with ACQ have shown no adverse effect on our fasteners. This is added to the fact that the fasteners are being used to secure a light weight plastic panel (rather than connect structural members). If you use Palram fasteners, our 10 year warranty will still apply.

What fasteners should I use with Palight Trimboard?
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For the cleanest look, use Palight Cortex® fasteners, which come with a countersink drill bit and color-matching plugs for our white, sand and clay trimboard. With Cortex, no pre-drilling is necessary. Cortex fasteners are designed to cut through both the EverClean Film and the trimboard, enabling you to insert the matching plugs with the film in place.

Nail guns also work well with Palight Trimboard. Fill nail holes with a PVC putty or wax fill-stick. (Keep the EverClean film in place to provide masking.) Color-matching Mohawk® Fil-Stiks® for our sand and clay trimboard are available. Click here to get the correct color codes to use at your favorite lumberyard.

What is the best way to fasten Palram rigid PVC and polycarbonate panels in place?
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The best way is to use Palram-recommended screws fastened through pre-drilled holes that are slightly larger than the diameter of the screw. Pre-drilling insures that the panels will have room to expand and contract properly with temperature change. Skipping this step can lead to distorted or warped panels.

Whatever you do, never use nails. Unlike wood fibers, which compress when a nail is hammered in, Palram's rigid PVC and polycarbonate panels do not compress. That means there is significant risk of cracking and impact damage in the area of the attachment. Also, nailing the panels in place prevents them from safely expanding and contracting with temperature change, resulting in warping of the product.

For exact hole size guidelines and other important installation instructions, see the documents at the bottom of each specific product's web page.

What is the difference between DynaGlas and Suntuf?
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DynaGlas branded products are engineered specifically for commercial greenhouse applications. Panel widths, thicknesses, pigments, and special greenhouse-specific features (such as guaranteed condensate control) are consistent with commercial growers' needs.

Aside from commercial greenhouse-specific features, DynaGlas is the same as Suntuf (for equal thicknesses, weights, corrugation profiles, and panel widths). Outside of North America, Palram uses the Suntuf brand instead of DynaGlas.

What is the purpose of the protective polyethylene films on certain sheets?
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The protective films in flat (non-corrugated) Palram sheets are for protection against dirt and scratching during the long journey from manufacturing to the job site. In some cases, the film also carries important installation and other product information.

The film will also indicate which side is UV-protected. This side should be installed facing outwards (extremely important).

In most cases, we recommend peeling off the protective films after installation. If this is not possible for practical reasons, always mark the UV protected surface, if there is one, so that the sheet will not be installed upside down.

Important note: The protective films that cover Palram sheets are highly sensitive to heat and direct sunlight. Excessive heat and direct sunlight before taking off the film can cause gluing of that film to the sheet surface, after which it will be extremely difficult to remove it from the sheet.

What is the recommended ceiling height when installing Palruf or Suntuf over a grill?
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There no set height. All grills are different and cook at wide range of temperatures. Customers who wish to grill under Suntuf or Palruf must be certain that the maximum temperature above the grill never exceeds 212°F for Suntuf and 122°F for Palruf.

These temperatures represent the maximum service temperature for both products. If the products are subjected to temperatures higher than these, the product warranty will be voided and damage can occur to the panels.

What kind of adhesive should I use on Palight Trimboard?
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Never use a silicon-based adhesive. A vinyl or PVC cement (white or clear) is required. Always "glue and screw" joints together and to the substrate. Glue alone is not enough – additional mechanical fastening is always required.

Some adhesives have a very limited working time, so read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before use. For best results, surfaces should be smooth, clean and in complete contact with each other. To attain the optimum bond, the Palight material surfaces must be cleaned and degreased using a clean white cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol.

Popular PVC-to-PVC adhesives include Weld-On 705, OSI Quad, Christy’s Red Hot and PVC TrimWelder. PVC-to-substrate adhesives include Liquid Nails Subfloor or Heavy Duty and NPC Solor Seal 900.

Download our installation guide for more details on gluing and fastening Palight Trimboard.

What kind of caulk/sealant should I use on Palight Trimboard?
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Do not use a silicon-based caulk/sealant. A vinyl or PVC sealant is required. We have partnered with OSI® Quad™ and Quad Max™ as well as Color Rite® to create color-matching caulk/sealant for our sand and clay trimboard. Click here to get the correct color codes to use at your favorite lumberyard.

What kind of paint should I use on Palight Trimboard?
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Be sure to specify "siding safe" or "vinyl safe" latex paint when buying paint. A paint with a light reflectance value (LRV) of 55 or greater is required, or you will risk damaging the boards and joints due to excessive heat buildup.

We have partnered with PPG® Paints to create matching colors for our sand and clay trimboard. Click here to get the correct PPG color codes to use at your favorite paint store.

What should I use to clean Suntuf or Sunlite panels?
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Warm water with a mild household detergent should be sufficient to clean Suntuf or Sunlite panels. Gently wipe off any remaining dirt with a soft cloth and wash again.

Never use a solvent-based cleaner (ammonia, etc.), and avoid abrasive sponges or brushes that can scratch the panels surface.

 

What tools can I use to work with Palight Trimboard?
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Just like a good pine board, Palight Trimboard can be worked with standard woodworking tools for cutting, drilling and routing. You can even laminate pieces together and turn them on a lathe (great for making spindles). Our dense HDF2 free foam core virtually eliminates tear-outs or chipping.

Carbide-tipped blades, drill bits and router bits perform best. Avoid using fine-tooth blades that are intended for cutting metal – the blades will heat up and can burn (discolor) the boards.

What’s the best way to make small repairs Palight Trimboard?
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When using our white trimboard, any standard PVC filler or sealant will work, as long as it is not silicone-based. For smaller repairs, we're big fans of wax fill-sticks. We have partnered with Mohawk® to create color-matching wax Fil-Stiks™ for our sand and clay trimboard. Click here to get the correct color codes to use at your favorite lumberyard.

What’s the difference between ThermaGlas and Sunlite?
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ThermaGlas branded products are engineered specifically for commercial greenhouse applications. Panel widths, thicknesses, pigments, and special greenhouse-specific features (such as guaranteed condensate control) are consistent with commercial growers' needs.

Aside from these commercial greenhouse-specific features, ThermaGlas is the same as Sunlite (for equal thicknesses, weights, and panel widths). Outside of North America, Palram uses the Sunlite brand instead of ThermaGlas.

When roofing with corrugated panels, should I insert screws in the “valley” or at the “crest” of the corrugation?
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Crest fastening is almost always preferred, but some of our corrugated products do require fastening in the corrugation valley. See the individual installation guide for each product to see specific instructions.

When roofing with corrugated panels, where should I start?
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It depends mostly on access to your roof. You can choose to install left to right, or right to left, or start at the middle and continue to both sides.

However, never start at both sides toward the middle, or at any two separate points.

Most importantly – always overlap the panels in such a way so that the wind cannot get under the ends of the panel. This can cause "uplift" and, depending on wind speed, can actually pull the panels off the roof.

Why do some polycarbonate sheets have a “UV side” to face outwards?
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Most Palram polycarbonate products feature a very thin co-extruded layer of UV-resistant resins that protect the entire sheet from UV radiation. In most cases, UV protection is applied to one side. However, two-sided UV protection is available for select products.

Polycarbonate inherently blocks UV radiation by absorbing it and not allowing it to pass through the panel. However, UV also degrades polycarbonate over time. Therefore, Palram adds additional UV protection specifically to protect the sheet, not to block additional UV from getting through the sheet.

To ensure the protection of single-sided UV protected sheets, they must be installed with the marked UV protective layer facing out toward the sun. Although sheet products can also be UV protected on both sides, most of the sheets are protected on one side that is marked clearly.