Metal doesn’t seem like a very good option for your roof. After all, metal is heavy, susceptible to rust, and a really good conductor of heat, which means unless you use heavy-duty insulation, your house will be scorching during the day and freezing at night. So why is it suddenly becoming the most popular roofing material in Australia?
Well, for one thing, the kind of metal used on roofs isn’t heavy. It’s light corrugated sheeting. Of course this sounds like a problem too. You may have seen videos of metal roofing sheets being blown off in bad weather. In some of the less fortunate neighbourhoods, residents weigh down their metal roofs with stones and heavy rocks, just in case. Fortunately, there are plenty of advances in metal roofing technology, and these roofing developments offer lots of benefits. Let’s explore a few of them.
Two of the most popular types of metal roofing are Colourbond and Zincalume. Zincalume is stainless steel sheeting coated with a layer of zinc-aluminium mix that gives it superior rust protection. Colourbond is a step above that. It takes Zincalume, coats it with a conversion layer to help it adhere better, then bakes a coat of polyester primer onto the roofing sheet.
Finally, a layer of colour is baked onto the primer. It comes in 22 colours, and contains reflective UV protection and a glossy shine. These two metal roof options are designed and manufactured right here in Australia and come with a 25 year warranty. Even if you want to forego the colour and expense of Colourbond, Zincalume has a stylish grey appearance.
It’s easy to customise
If you’re worried about the temperature control problems of metal roofing, you can lay down an anti-condensation blanket between the roof’s wooden supports and the metal itself. It’s a simple form of insulation and can be installed in minutes. Similarly, you can add skylights for natural lighting, whirlybirds to enhance cooling, and guttering for roof protection and rain collection.
To make your roof waterproof, you can install valley gutters, flashings, and roll-top ridge capping. Guttering your roofs is far easier than installing them on tile or other forms of roofing, because metal is lighter, less cumbersome, and easier to work with. It’s also a lot less expensive than tile, and more easily available.
It’s quick to install
In any construction project, roofing is the most arduous section. It’s delicate, labour-intensive, and delays can jeopardise the whole project if the weather changes. Metal roofing solves this problem because it can be installed in 2 to 5 days. It’s equally easy to repair, because replacing a metal sheet is easier then fitting a single metal shingle.
Metal roofs also solve one of the biggest problems in the roofing industry – asbestos. In the past, it was commonly used as a form of insulation, and was considered a roofing revolution. These days, we know that asbestos is toxic and can lead to breathing problems and even cancer. Many old buildings are repairing asbestos infestation by replacing them with metal roofing sheets. You can also use metal sheets to change your home’s colour scheme.
When you buy roofing tiles, you’re basing your selection on the reputation of your shop you bought it from. There aren’t that many roofing tile manufacturers, so many construction teams just buy generic tile. However, if you buy metal sheets – especially in Australia, you can make a point of buying Zincalume or Colourbond. These well-known products are respected and distributed nationwide, so you get a better amount if quality control.
Also, once you buy the sheets, your crew doesn’t need specialised tools or expertise to install them. Laying metal sheets is universal. You do – however – want to find a certified roof plumber. They are more likely to give you a labour warranty, which means if something goes wrong, they’ll come back and fix it for free instead of just blaming the roofing.