Storm season is upon us once again, so the reality of destructive hail or debris versus a Solatube Skylight Dome has some homeowners concerned after the recent Queensland storms. Extreme Australian weather can be unrelenting and has great potential to damage properties, at Solatube we’re very aware of the harmful elements thrown at our country and preparation for that is a priority. Solatube skylights and ventilation products are deemed to comply with stringent cyclone codes to provide customers with piece of mind when home renovation meets a storm.
There are many skylight products on the market claiming to be hail resistant however when it comes to plastic domes there is only 3 factors which can impact the strength and resistance to hail OR other storm related elements.
1) Material used
The most common of these are high impact acrylics with UV stabilizers. High impact acrylic is the most versatile plastic which is ideal for skylight products, meaning:
- Depending on the wall thickness this material can with stand substantial impact
- It can be easily shaped into a “dome” shape that allows it to capture more light
- Includes UV stabilizers which stops the dome from decomposing under the elements
- UV inhibitors which stops harmful UV that would otherwise cause material within the home to fade
2) Size and Shape
By having a small dome with a continuing curved surface, there is less chance that debris will hit the dome at a direct perpendicular angle at which a skylight dome is most likely to break.
3) Manufacturing Process
The manufacturing process is the final element to providing strength in a dome skylight. The first process for manufacturing a dome is Vacuum forming, where a flat piece of plastic is heated and stretched to form the dome shape. This process is similar to stretching a piece of bubble gum where it can make the wall sections very thin.
Injection Moulding is the second process and limited to only a few manufactures due to cost of building the mould. This is a process of injecting melted plastic into a mould that is then cooled to form the Dome shape. This process provides the most high quality parts allow more shapes to be created with uniformed wall sections, but is usually limited to smaller skylight domes.
Mother Nature is always going to be extreme and unpredictable, but by manufacturing our Skylight products with the best materials and latest technology, it might just be one less thing you have to think about this storm season.