Q: I’d like to cover my deck shade with clear polycarbonate panels. Do the panels handle snow loads in the winter?
A: Your local building codes should provide the details for design loads that you will have to follow for your deck cover. A wide range of polycarbonate sheets are available and are engineered differently, some with multiple thin walls while others have a single thick wall. Consult with the manufacturer rep about the various panels’ specific snow-load recommendations. Another factor is the method of installation regarding sheet spacing, clamping and fastening. Keep in mind that not only should the panels be suitable for handling the snow load, but the underlying structure should be constructed to support the extra weight as well.