New tiled and metal roofs are both long lasting and aesthetically pleasing. Generally speaking a well built roof tile roof will outlast a metal roof. Most tile manufacturers guarantee their tiles for 50 years, whereas most metal sheet manufacturers offer a 25 year warranty.
Prior to the 1960’s ‘tin’ roofs were made from soft galvanized iron that came in short lengths leaving gaps that could become leaks. The ‘tin’ roof has made a comeback and is now made from zincalume or Colorbond. It is supplied in continuous lengths to banish the horizontal gaps that could become leaks.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s the tile was the popular choice. Concrete tiles were slightly cheaper than clay or metal roofs. The traditional roof tile was considered sturdier and more robust than a metal roof. There was plenty of labour available to install tiles. Metal sheet roofs are now very affordable, durable and can be installed fast, which makes them extremely popular.
Steel roofing must be installed by a licensed plumber.Roof tilers undergo apprenticeship training to become fully qualified in their trade.
Concrete tiles are one of Australia’s most popular roofing materials. They offer value for money and a wide choice of colours. Terracotta tiles offer natural durability in both colour and quality. Pigments can be blended to produce virtually any colour. Architects may select tiles of all one colour, blended colours or combinations of two or more shades placed in a uniform or random pattern.
Made to Australian Standards terracotta and concrete tiles are manufactured to withstand harsh climatic conditions. Concrete tiles are not glazed so they are subject to UV radiation and atmospheric pollutants. They will weather with age to a matt finish and will lose some colour over time. Terracotta tiles are kiln-fired with a vitreous coating that makes them resistant to the harsh sun. The water collected from a tile roof is as suitable as water from any other type of roofing material.
Following exhaustive testing tiled roof systems have now been given the all clear for use in new construction in high risk bushfire zones. All new Australian roof tiles are fully compliant with the residential building standard, Australian Standard 3959-2009, introduced after the February 2009 Victorian bushfires.
Metal roofs are often used to cover large areas because of their high strength to weight ratio.This means that you can have long, column free spans and lighter structures that use minimal framing material. The thickness of sheeting is measured as its BMT (base metal thickness). Steel with a higher BMT generally means the sheet can span further between supports. Soft or lower strength steels are generally thicker than hard, hi tensile steels. These are commonly used in applications where tight curving is required.
The most commonly used metal roofing materials are zincalume, and Colorbond. They are both available in all profiles and have a coating on the base metal. Low profile styles will increase the durability and strength of the sheeting. Zincalume is more reflective than Colorbond and for this reason many local government planning departments will not allow its use in urban areas. Colorbond is used predominantly in residential applications as it adds colour and character to the house. Its oven-baked finish resists chipping, peeling and cracking. Steel roofing is noncombustible and weather tight. Metal roofing suits both heritage and modern homes.
Steel roofing gives the home builder the opportunity to use light colours for good thermal efficiency design, an opportunity to save on your energy bills. ‘Cool roof’ pigments can save 20-30% in air conditioning costs due to reflecting away much of the sun’s heat. You can compliment your home with mix and match colours in Colorbond by using it on your fencing, fascia, guttering, and downpipes.
Metal roofs are hail, fire and spark resistant. The different profiles are used by home owners and architects looking for a point of difference. It can be used in more situations than the traditional tile roof. When installation involves a flat roof the use of metal is the only viable option. Steel can be used in pitches from 1 degree to 90 degrees.
It is vital that the performance of the screws and rivets used to fix metal roofing have the same service life as the product used. Care must be taken with all metal roof products to avoid incompatible materials. Dissimilar materials can cause unexpected and rapid corrosion.
During severe downpours tiles absorb negligible amounts of water. This does not affect the tiles weatherproofing performance. In some climates moss and lichen can grow on tiles. They will opt affect the tiles in any way. If the clean line of the tiles is preferred they can be easily cleaned using high pressure water and a stiff broom.
Most metal roofing requires very little or no maintenance. Some metal roofs are designed to be ‘non-trafficable’, meaning that they are not designed to be walked on. This should be marked on designs and plans. You should take into account the manufacturers recommendations about where to place your feet on the profile top reduce deformation.
Terracotta and concrete tiles offer more resistance to wind suction in storms than lighter weight metal roofs. If damage is sustained in a storm you only need replace the damaged tiles. A benefit of a tiled roof is that one or two cracked or broken tiles can be easily reshuffled around. The modular natural of tiles makes them a cost effective material over the long term. Tiles are heavy and sag over time. They also get brittle and can be easily broken.
Tile roofs provide highly effective thermal insulation. When fixing a metal roof into place insulation is installed during construction. Reflective foil laminates known as sarking is commonly used. It provides not only heat insulation under roof but can serve as a vapour barrier from the condensation that forms when the sheeting becomes colder than the air in contact with it. Water vapour carried in the air then condenses on the colder surface of the roof sheet.
A tiled roof has a significantly higher sound reduction potential than steel roofing. Aircraft, road noise, rain and hail are examples of external sounds. Some would consider the sound of rain on the roof as a benefit of metal roofing. The insulation installed directly under the roof will assist to dampen vibrations and reducing noise.
Care must be taken on large metal roofs to provide for thermal movement. This is caused by differences in temperature which may cause loud noises, particularly in curved surfaces. Tile roofs won’t creak and groan in reaction to changing temperatures.
Metal roofing is very durable and has a long life. Steel doesn’t rot, split, warp twist or burn. This means that steel products can be reused without reprocessing, saving on energy and resource use. At the end of its useful life steel can be recycled. Steel is 100% recyclable and is the most recycled material in the world. Steel roofs are designed and made in such a way that they can be dissembled and reused for any number of applications. This saves the cost and energy of making new products or the costs associated with recycling products. When properly estimated there is very little waste material. Sheets can ordered and cut to exact lengths. Steel sheets can also reduce the cost and impact of transport as the more material a truck can carry to a building site the fewer the total number of deliveries.
Metal roofs offer good security. The potential burglar must come equipped with a noisy angle grinder or other tools to remove whole sheets of steel, where tiles can be easily lifted from the roof and access can be gained through the manhole into the dwelling.
Metal roofing can applied over an existing tile roof but tile roofing cannot be installed over metal, without major structural alterations. Especially in situations where labour cost cutting is essential, the added value of not having to remove the existing roof material can be a large help. When a home is designed the framework is engineered to carry a certain load. If considering replacing a roof always be aware of the load that the structure is supporting and replace with the like or lighter material.
It’s entirely individual choice as to what materials you choose for roofing material.Different styles and colours can create a mood or make a statement. In many cases the design determines the choice. Often people designing a new home are so focused on the house plans and the interior and exterior living areas they forget about the importance of the roof and the overall impression. The roof is possibly the single most prominent feature of a house therefore the style and material choice for the roofing can make a big difference. In the end it is a matter of personal preference and sometimes you don’t have the option of tiles.