Monday, July 20, 2009

Re-Roofing a Greenhouse with Corrugated Fiberglass Sheets and Panels

Fiberglass Sheet for Roofing - Patio, Greenhouse, Car Port or ?

It is Summertime and there are a lot of homeowners looking into re-roofing the house, putting on or replacing a patio roof, or maybe building a greenhouse, flat or corrugated fiberglass sheet roofing materials might be the answer to what you are looking for to meet your needs.

Fiberglass sheet roofing offers flexibility and is usually bought in sheets or panels made of synthetically produced fine glass fibers. Panels are weather-glazed, providing a waterproof seal and a tough, durable roof structure. Fiberglass sheet is very resistant to corrosion and chemicals, is shatterproof, and will not rust, rot, or mildew. It requires a low level of maintenance, is much cheaper than other types of roof paneling, and can have a life expectancy of about 20+ years. The better grades have 20 year warranties. And fiberglass sheeting is very easy to install due to its light weight. Typical sheet sizes are 26" wide (to allow for a 24" overlap) and 96" or 144" long. If you have enough need, you can get the manufacturer to run a special length for you.

Fiberglass sheets for roofing are available in a clear or white color. With orders of over 8000 sf, any color can be run to match a specification.

Special NAILS and aluminum trim are available for building a greenhouse to seal the top and sides. Even wood strips are available for securing the corrugated sheets to the cross beams and end-walls.

Corrugated fiberglass roofing can be purchased in a heavy duty form that withstands high winds, heavy snow, and extreme outdoor temperatures. With interlocking between sheets, this type provides good water run-off.

Industrial and Metal Buildings use a special wide 1/16" thick panel for their skylights called an "R-Panel" that are 37" x 144" or larger. These come in a translucent white - and a great alternative for homeowners and condo associations looking for a really high strength carport or patio roof replacement! A good amount of light will come in without the heat gain of a clear or thinner white sheet.

The designs and possibilities of use for fiberglass sheeting for roofing are improving constantly. Another very interesting application is the use of the flat fiberglass sheet for solar panel covers such as for hot water solar tanks and systems. Thanks to for the pictures.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How Safe are Plastic Water Bottles?

Here's a hot topic. Plastic Water Bottles. Are they SAFE? Or do they pose a danger to our health?

The chemical in question is bisphenol A - known as BPA - found in polycarbonate containers.

Here is a article contributed by Britney Wilkins who write for :

This has become an interesting debate in modern society, as people become more and more worried about any contaminants that may be polluting their everyday lives. This has therefore resulted in the “green” movement in which many people have opted for products that do not contain any added preservatives, flocking towards more “natural” products on all ends of the spectrum. While there is no real way to get around the plasticity of water bottles aside from simply using a stainless steel container, you can take certain precautionary measures to ensure that you are not imbibing the harmful pollutants.

Water bottles are generally safe unless you plan to use and reuse them time and again. After so many rewashes, the ingredients that make up plastic, such as polyethylene terephthalate and antimony begin to leak out due to the degrading interior. Many moms and parents are trying to teach the importance of conservation to their children and have tried to reuse these plastic containers before realizing that this could cause more harm than good. Most plastic containers are stamped with a number on the bottom to indicate how to recycle or dispose of the plastic, with most water and juice bottles labeled as No. 1, indicating their easy ability to degrade upon multiple washes. In comparison, the harder Nalgene bottles have the number 7 stamped on the bottom, although scientists maintain that this form of plastic can leak out bisphenol A, an endocrine-disrupting chemical. While this is still in debate since the amounts found were well below the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards, other scientists maintain that this type of chemical could cause behavioral and neurological problems in developing fetuses and young children.

This poses many worries about the proper way to drink water: can we no longer use typical plastic water bottles? These findings are not meant to scare us off from our regular water bottle usage, but simply to remind us not to continuously wash and reuse the same water bottles. Once we start to overanalyze every form of plastic and the type of containers we use on a daily basis, we realize that there are contaminants in nearly everything, which makes it almost not worth it to worry about. While many of these findings have brought on increased amounts of worry within parents, the bottom line is to remember to only reuse plastic bottles a handful of times before you throw them out. If you want a container that has staying power, resort to the stainless steel bottles, although plastic still remains the best alternative and is much easier to tote around. (She welcomes your feedback at

OK - interesting take on the BPA worries.

Here's some information just in from "Plastic News" July 20th 2009 issue:

The 6 major manufacturers of baby bottles have agreed NOT to make bottles containing BPA. Health Canada said it would draft regulations banning the import and sale of baby bottles containing BPA. Health Canada issued three separate reports 7/9/09 affirming the safety of bottled water, powdered infant formula and baby foods in glass jars with metal lids - all of which contain BPA.

Health Canada added that BPA levels in bottled water is negligible for the general population and that an adult would have to drink 264 gallons of water every day to approach the safe intake limit for BPA recently established in Canada.

Closer to home, in California, on 7/15/09 the California Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee voted 7-0 not to include BPA on the state list of toxic chemcials regulated by Prop 65.

Well - it is safe to say that the wheels are turning in North America - BPA is on the way out and the levels are very very low in current production containers. There is no level of BPA acceptable for infants - that seems clear.

What about the bottles you ARE drinking from right now? They are safe.

What about re-using a water bottle over and over? They are safe - but the reality is that I would worry more about what is in the refilled WATER than leaching out of the plastic container. After a few re-uses there is bound to be some amount of bacterial contamination in the water that is far more bothersome than a fractional amount of BPA. That bacteria comes from the air, your mouth, the food you eat and the air getting in the bottle when it's sitting around waiting for a refill.

So... I am only refilling my bottles ONCE - and toss the old ones in the recycle bin for cash.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Plexiglass at Home Depot or Lowes

I love Home Depot. I love Lowes. I go there when I need hardware, lumber or a new BBQ. But I don't go there when I need a sheet of Plexiglass acrylic sheet. It's not because I have a plastic company, but because I know the difference between what is being offered for sale there vs a plastic distributor's shop.

For MOST consumers, you are looking for the best value for your money. Something that will last and do the job correctly. Sometimes we just need an inexpensive sheet of clear plastic right now. When the second reason is the case, by all means, go to the big box store (Lowes or Home Depot). The rest of the time, visit your friendly plastic distributor, explain your application, and they will set you up with the correct material - Plexiglas, Acrylite, Optix, Lucite are typical brand names. It's printed on the paper masking. It's on a label under the film masking. No label? Ask for proof it's domestically made (North America).

The material you find at Home Depot and Lowes is an inexpensive "extruded" sheet of acrylic with a typical film masking. Usually it is made here in the USA. But what I don't like about the big sheets is that they are too thin. But - they sell some small sheets too! If you're looking for some small 8x10 or 24x24 sheets of THIN clear Plexiglass - then they are a great source. Most plastic supply companies do NOT want to sell just an 8x10. But at Home Depot you can. Even self checkout!

Should you want to cut the Plexiglass - they usually sell a small Plexiglass scribing tool that allows you to put a groove across the sheet, and then snap it in half right along the groove!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Enclose your patio room with recyclable clear plastic PETG

Check this out: Enclose your patio room with recyclable clear plastic PETG.

This material in an 0.040" thickness is about 50-60% less expensive than 1/16" plexiglass. Maybe $28-33 a sheet. It rolls for shipping. It's clear, and doesn't break. It is not UV stabilized, so I would put in on the INSIDE of the patio room. It will also make a good second pane for insulation glazing/storm window applications.

You can screw right through without drilling. It's the same material as pop bottles. You could even use it for child-proofing on railings. Oh - that's another blog entry.

You can find this material online PETG sheet at