clear corrugated roofing

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dreamwallaby, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. dreamwallaby

    dreamwallaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Camden County NJ
    Any downside to using the clear corrugated roofing as opposed to the darker colors??
    I was hoping in the winter it would help keep the coop warm by allowing sun in. There is plenty of shade from the trees in the summer.

    Thank You
  2. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Quote:As long as it is completely shaded in the summer, it should work well. The summer sun would turn it into an oven.

    The only downside that I could see is that most hens like a fairly darkish place to lay their eggs. A clear top coop would be a bright inside.

  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You would have to be REAL REAL POSITIVE that the coop will be 100% shaded (not dappled shade) for ALL the daylight hours during ALL the summer i.e. late April through late September. (I grew up just outside Philly, I know the climate [​IMG])

    The difficulty you will run into in the wintertime, though, is that when outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, or if there is for any reason a large difference between in-the-coop and outdoor temperatures in the wintertime, you will get a lot of condensation/frost forming on the underside of any uninsulated roof, which will increase humidity in a way that normal ventilation can't do away with.

    So with an uninsulated corrugated-plastic roof, you will have humidity problems for a significant part of the winter. The solution is of course to INSULATE the roof, but then it isn't clear anymore [​IMG] -- if there is only a minor condensation problem (temps are not too cold, and not too different indoors vs out), and not very many chickens per size of coop, and coop is very well ventilated in winter) then taping a layer or two of bubblewrap up there may give you sufficient margin for error -- but I would totally not count on it. Particularly since your whole POINT in using the clear roofing is to try to heat up the coop in the wintertime. This will make the coop air hold more moisture during the daytime (warm air inherently holds a lot more water vapor than cold air -- its absolute humidity is higher at a given *relative* humidity that's the same betw cold and warm air), which will then condense out the inside of your roofing panels at night and cause problems.

    So, I mean, you can do it, but you won't get all that much benefit out of it, so I am not sure it is worth the (modest) extra expense and the aggravation of fiddling with insulation arrangements. Corrugated metal panels are usually a bit cheaper than polycarbonate (and you would probably not want to use the cheaper pvc, as it is quite vulnerable to hail damage); you will have to insulate them same as the plastic panels, of course.

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I tried it, and here's what I found after one winter. The coop does heat up nicely during the daytime hours from the sun...but loses that heat very quickly once the sun goes down. I tried rigging some insulation panels to put in at night but this wasn't terribly effective. I did not experience condensation issues, but this was probably because I only had a couple of chickens inside and use sand for substrate.

    Now, in the summertime, the coop is an oven during the day (I even switched to white panels which didn't make much of a difference to the inside temperature). Fortunately, I don't need to rely on this coop for summer housing. Even putting a piece of radiant foil insulation on top of the roof during the day makes a difference; the inside of the coop now is only 8 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside. But when the outside temp is 95 plus, those extra degrees are significant.

    When I build my dream coop this fall, it will have a conventional shingle roof.
  5. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    We did 3/4 of the roof dark colored, and the other 1/4 clear. Works nifty, i think.
  6. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2009
    We have clear panels side by side in one section over our run, and then an area of opaque white panels grouped together to give sun and shade. I would be hesitant to use them for the coop, though, as I would worry about condensation, and loss of heat in winter. That could be a real problem.
  7. COOPster

    COOPster Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 28, 2010
    Mt. Airy, MD
    My Coop is half clear and half smoked. What really helps with the temp is to us UV filtering panels, helps keep the heat way down in summer.
    This is a pic of the new coop I am building. The old one is similar and worked so good I decided to do it again. Soffits eliminate any and all chance of condensation.


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