When you think of a roof, you probably think tiles. Tiles are the most common roofing material in Australia, and indeed in the world, for many reasons apart from their durability. But did you know that the roofing designs have developed so much over the years that you now have multiple roofing solutions that compare very favourably with concrete roof tiles at a pocket friendly price?
This article isn’t just about cost-cutting when building or restoring your roof. There are many other considerations that come into play when choosing a roofing solution that will suit all your needs. Key amongst them is how the roofing material performs under different types of weather.
In this article we look at the three most common roofing designs used in Australia and how they compare against each other when facing various weather conditions.
Anyone shopping for a roof for their home is likely to be faced with a choice between concrete tiles, Colorbond sheets and the newest kid on the block – terracotta tiles.
Below is a description of each roof type, as well as the pros and cons that come with owning them.
Colorbond is corrugated metal roofing finished with bonded paint applied to the galvanized roof surface. This material has been refined over the years in Australia to create a fire proof roofing material that can resist chipping, cracking, and shedding, properties which make it highly durable.
In terms of thermal insulation and extreme weather, colorbond roofs have proven to be extremely resilient especially compared with traditional concrete tiles. Colorbond roofing offers the house protection from the scorching summer heat experienced in Australia. A word of caution here, though: adequate ventilation should be provided for in the roof space to avoid condensation which tends to build up whenever the weather changes from rainy to hot.
Colorbond is the lightest of any roofing in the market – up to 3 to 6 times lighter than the heaviest tile for roofing, which makes it more suited to wet weather compared to concrete tiles. However, buyers are advised to be careful when installing vents or air conditioning after roof installation as the material is very difficult to cut and requires a high level of expertise.
A drawback with colorbond roofs is the noise created during a downpour. Although some people tend to enjoy the gentle pitter patter, the noisy environment is quite distracting if you’re teaching in class or trying to study. This can however be minimized by fitting various insulation materials such as foil and acoustic blankets.
At Amazing Roof Restorations, we restore colorbond roofs with special considerations for aesthetics, ensuring that our clients have a wide range of colours ideal for all roofing tastes, whether contemporary or traditional.
For more than a decade terracotta has gained popularity as an alternative roofing, material mainly due to its attractiveness and durability. Terracotta tiles are made from clay, which is brittle and porous. This problem is normally solved by surface-burnishing the clay before firing as well as adding a layer of glaze to make it watertight.
Terracotta has the added advantage of being able to collect rain water and has good insulation properties against noise. It is also a low maintenance product, as it comes with in-built chemical and dirt blockers which also help keep insects and other undesirable elements out of the house.
Our terracotta roof tiles are made from carefully selected clays of the highest quality. They are created at a precise temperature of 1,100°C ensuring that the end product is a highly durable.
Concrete tiles have served Australia’s roofing needs for the last 75 years, and remain the most preferred roofing choice for many homeowners. Tiles are loved for their durability and their thermal insulation properties, which make them ideal in all types of weather. Thermal insulation is made possible by two factors: concrete possesses natural thermal resistance, and tiles laid individually have natural airspace around them which allows for ventilation between the tiles and the roof deck.
That is not to say that concrete tiles do not come with challenges. For starters, concrete tiles (and terracotta for that matter) are fragile and break easily compared to colorbond roofing. The spaces between the tiles, while good for ventilation, also provide a passageway for water during extreme rainy weather thereby causing leakages in your roof- especially in areas where the roof overlaps or on the ridge capping. Tiles are also naturally heavy and absorb rainwater during downpours which makes them even heavier, creating a great strain on the trusses.
Although traditional tiles tend to fade more quickly with time as they are exposed to the vagaries of weather, modern methods of permanent colouring have been devised including adding a pigment, or applying a dense color glaze over the tile surface (or a combination of the two), to make the colour last indefinitely.
Amazing Roof Restoration goes to great lengths to ensure that your tile roof is in great shape and able to protect your house from any damage that may be caused by the vagaries of weather.
Other considerations in roof ownership
Other roofing designs that are affected by the type of weather are the pitch of the roof, as well as the type of gutters put in place. In areas, such as northern Australia, which have a wet summer you may need to factor in the heavy downpours in your roof design by having a steeper pitch to redirect water away from the roof, and minimize any percolation that might result from water standing on the roof.
Roof repairs and maintenance
Whatever the type of roof you have, we at Amazing Roof Restorations are always at hand to ensure it is great shape.