Comparing Glass and Acrylic Skylights

Opening up a building and increasing the amount of natural light that flows into it has been found to have a number of very important benefits, particularly in a commercial environment, such as boosting productivity and raising concentration levels. For that reason, architects have been asked to integrate skylights into building design on an ever more frequent basis in recent years, but there's always been one highly debated question: Are glass or acrylic skylights better? Aluplex has been involved in the installation and repair of skylights in the Toronto area for many years and it's a question we've personally been asked on countless occasions, which is why we're going to point out some of the pros and cons of each option below.

Acrylic Skylights: Are They Better than Their Glass Counterparts?

Neither option is really "better" than the other option, it's just a case of selecting the option that is most suitable to your requirements. Here's some of the main pros and cons of both acrylic skylights and glass skylights to help you do this.

  • Roof Pitch - The shape of your property's roof is one of the main factors to consider when choosing between glass and acrylic skylights. Acrylic or plastic skylights as they're otherwise known can be installed on just about any type and shape of roof, including flat roofs. However, a glass skylight cannot be installed on a roof that doesn't have at least a 2/12 pitch without some serious modifications, which naturally drives the overall cost of the project up.
  • Colour and Coating Options Available - This is where glass skylights have the upper hand. Acrylic skylights are typically only available in a limited range of colours and coatings, and the choice you make will usually influence the amount of light that enters the property, the amount of heat loss and the amount of heat gain. However, with glass skylights there are many more options available and these options can be used to manipulate the performance of the skylight to meet your requirements.
  • Maintenance Requirements - Acrylic skylights are very easy to maintain (use a soapy dishwater mixture and wipe them), but you have to be more careful in terms of the cleaning solutions that you use as many store bought options contain chemicals that can cause damage to the plastic. These solutions can usually be applied to glass skylights without risk of damage however.
  • Longevity - How long a product is expected to last is an important factor in any buying decision and glass skylights, probably unsurprisingly, will usually outlast acrylic skylights. Glass skylights are generally expected to last 30 years or more, while the life expectancy of acrylic skylights is usually around the 20 year mark.
  • Cost - If you find yourself wanting to invest in skylights installation but you are on a limited budget, acrylic skylights are available from most contractors in the industry for much lower prices and considering their expected lifespan, they represent genuine value for money.

With years of experience in skylights repair and installation in Toronto, if you have any questions relating to either glass or acrylic skylights don't hesitate to get in touch with the team at Aluplex Skylights.

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