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Plastic corrugated roofing sheets are used for a wide range of applications. They provide a high level of durability and are easy to install by professionals and DIYers. However, this kind of roofing does require certain knowledge and understanding to ensure that corrugated roofing sheets are cut and handled in the right way. In many instances, the plastic roofing will need to be cut so that it can be installed correctly and can, therefore, protect the structure from the elements. 

Fortunately, using the right methods and tools, you can cut and install corrugated roofing relatively easily. This means that you can take care of the job yourself, however, it is important to remember that you will need to handle power tools and take the necessary safety precautions to ensure you remain safe. 

Safety Tips

PPE – The right PPE will help to reduce the risk of injury that can occur when you cut this kind of roofing. Therefore, you should make sure that you have everything that you need. This can include footwear and clothing as well as protective goggles and a dust mask.

Follow Guidelines – You should make sure that you follow all of the advice that is provided with the likes of equipment and guidelines should be followed where provided

Work in Space – When you cut this kind of roofing, you should ensure that you have sufficient space. This means enough space to place the roofing on a table and enough space to cut with ease. If you have more space to use then you will find that you are not restricted in your movement as this could result in injury.

Use a Sturdy Workbench – As you will be placing your roofing on a workbench, it should be placed on a flat and stable surface, this will ensure that the roofing can be cut with ease and with confidence knowing that it won’t collapse or fall during use.

Find a Reliable Source of Electricity – If you do require the use of an extension lead then make sure it is not going to cause a tripping hazard as this could result in injury. 

Corrugated Plastic Roof Cutting Tools

To ensure that you complete a neat and tidy job, you should make sure that you have the necessary tools to ensure that you can take care of cutting with ease. The panels have to be cut using the right tools as that will enable you to achieve a perfect finish. Furthermore, the right tools will enable you to carry out a safe job. 

  • Tape measure – This will enable you to determine the exact measurements of what needs to be cut.

  • Felt-tipped pen – This will allow you to mark the measurements and where you need to cut

  • Straightedge – You will be able to draw a straight line on your plastic roofing sheet

  • Carbide saw blade – This will be used to make the cut

  • Circular saw or multipurpose cutting tool – This will enable you to cut using the carbide saw blade.

  • Emery cloth

Step By Step Guide To Cut Corrugated Polycarbonate Sheets

When it comes to cutting corrugated plastic roofing, it is especially important to ensure that you follow the right approach. While the task itself is not challenging, you might find that you waste time and effort making small errors. When completed correctly, corrugated plastic roofing will retain its looks and its durability, so we have a step-by-step guide that can help you learn how to cut corrugated roofing with ease.

  1. It is important that you secure the plastic roofing sheet as this will ensure it remains in place during cutting. It will also help to prevent vibration as that can cause issues with the cutting process.
  2. You should have measured the size of the corrugated roofing that you require. The sheets will have a cover film and you can use a marker to mark the measurement on the roofing. You have to make sure that you measure correctly as once it has been cut, you cannot alter it if the corrugated plastic roofing is too small. So, measure twice and cut once as this will ensure you have a clear idea of what you need. 
  3. Once you have marked the measurement, you will need a straight line to draw a line along the cutting length. The line should remain straight from one side of the sheet to the other so you achieve a straight cut. 
  4. When cutting corrugated plastic roofing, you should make sure that you leave the cover film on. Corrugated roofing panels will be coated on one side with UV protection. This means that there is a correct and incorrect ways to install the panel. The cover films will normally inform you of which way the sheets should be installed and which side has the UV protection which is commonly the side with the cover. 
  5. Once you have used the circular saw to achieve a straight cut, you might find that the swarf has entered the sheet and this is common when you use power tools to make the cut. This will stick to the sheet as a result of static charge and can prove challenging to remove. These should be removed using an air compressor to blow them out of the polycarbonate panel. It can also be done using a strong vacuum or by washing them through the sheet using water. 
  6. After you have cut the sheet, ventilation tape should be applied to the gutter end of the sheet, and aluminium tape should be placed at the top end of the corrugated roofing panel prior to the PVC sheet closures being applied.

Installation Of Corrugated Roofing Sheets

Cut corrugated roofing panels to the right length – As explained above, cut the panels to the right length. Most PVC sheets will come in a length of 32 feet. If you need to lap to complete the run then you should allow for a minimum of 18 inches.

Pre-drill Holes – Some panels will come with holes pre-drilled. If you don’t have pre-drilled holes then you will need to drill them yourself. The holes on the ends and the sides should have a spacing of between 6 and 8 inches.

Panel Installation – The roofing panels will need to be placed directly on purlins that are attached to the roof trusses and you should begin installing the roofing on the outside. The ends should be closed off or sealed using a wood or plastic strip under the panel at each end. This will prevent rain, wind, and pests from getting under the roofing.

Fix the Panels in Place – Using the pre-drilled holes, you should use 10 x 2-inch screws as well as polycarbonate washers. You should then work across the roof until you have covered it, lapping over the previous roofing panel by a minimum of 2.5 inches. The lap should be adjusted so that the final roofing panel completes the coverage without the need to make a cut lengthwise.

Work on the Opposite Side – If you have a 2-sided roof, then the installation will need to be completed on the other side. 


The process of cutting corrugated roofing is not difficult. However, it does require the right planning, safety precautions, and equipment. With everything in place, you will be able to cut the roofing and install it with minimal effort and you will also reduce the risk of errors or problems at the same time.

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