For many decades, plywood boarding has been used to temporarily replace glass panels in windows. This is either due to damage to the windows, or for more long term periods where residential or commercial premises are unoccupied due to many reasons including foreclosure or long term building activities.
Plywood has developed a reputation for being a blight due to its appearance and its role as a magnet for graffiti. In addition, as plywood is not transparent, it can attract unwelcome visitors, who will not be visible inside the vacant property.
In the US, where house foreclosures saw a dramatic rise during and after the Global Financial Crisis, many financial institutions, as well as governmental authorities, have placed restrictions on the use of plywood for boarding up windows. Instead, alternatives such as steel, painted plywood, window decals on plywood or transparent materials such as acrylic or polycarbonate have been encouraged. These alternative materials provide the necessary security without the problematic appearance of plywood.
Polycarbonate is by far the best of these options. This is due to its superior toughness (250 times the strength of glass), its UV resistance and clarity, and the fact that it can be cut to size on site using power tools. As a transparent material, polycarbonate glazing is more aesthetically pleasing than plywood or timber. This transparency will also reduce the possibility of squatters entering vacant properties or abandoned buildings, as well as protecting neighbourhoods by reducing crime rates and providing stability. Polycarbonate cannot be cracked or shattered by rocks or bricks, making it the ideal choice for environments requiring clear yet tough glazing.
Allplastics cuts and supplies polycarbonate sheets from 1.5mm to 12.7mm thick, in a variety of sheet sizes and variant coatings depending on the application. For more information, visit www.allplastics.com.au.
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