There are lots of things to consider when choosing the right roof for your home including the style and shape, longevity, suitability to climate and of course what fits in with your tastes and budget. Last week’s blog we went into detail about a few different styles and shapes available and this week we are looking at some of the most popular roof materials there are on the market.
Buildings in Australia have to withstand some challenging weather conditions from extreme heat to cold snaps, storms, wind and hail. Choosing the right roof to suit your home is one of the biggest decisions you will need to make so you want to get it right.
Terracotta tiles are a very popular durable roofing type in Australia and have been used since the 19th century.
Terracotta, meaning ‘baked earth’ in Italian, is a natural clay product which provides protection against the elements while its natural density helps to even out temperature fluctuations resulting in great energy efficiency.
You can find a wide variety of different profiles and colours of terracotta tiles on the market these days, and while they are the most flexible choice for homeowners they can sometimes be slightly more expensive than other options available.
Also a popular choice in Australia, concrete is a resilient material which can fit in with all architectural styles and provide longevity. It can heighten your home’s sound insulation, reduce energy consumption, control internal temperatures and provide fire resistance.
They’re a cheaper option to the terracotta tiles and while they have all of the above benefits, you will find that they will lose their colour as they age and will fade faster than terracotta. Aside from that they will retain their protective properties.
Steel roofs are widespread on homes across Australia with Zincalume and Colorbond being the most popular steel. The main advantage to using steel is that it’s very durable but also lightweight and low maintenance.
Colorbond – is a painted polyester coated steel which comes in a wide range of colours. It resists corrosion and eliminates having to repaint your roof regularly. It will give a neat, modern appearance to your home, is lightweight and flexible and has a low thermal mass (cools down fast when no longer in direct sunlight). If properly insulated, a Colorbond roof will keep the warmth inside your home during the cooler months.
Zincalume – is a shiny metallic coated steel available in a range of profiles and offers two to four times the corrosion resistance of galvanised steel. It is a combination of aluminium and zinc, is strong, durable, flexible and easy to maintain. High ceilings are good to have in your home with this roof material as it can get a little hot at times under the good old aussie sun.
Both of these options will provide a weather-resistant, non-combustible and a visually pleasing roof to complement your home.
Slate tiles are perfect for Australia’s harsh conditions as they are robust and fade resistant. They are available in shades of blue, grey and green/grey and give a lovely natural, high-end appearance.
Slate tiles are energy efficient, provide longevity and look polished and refined. They suit modern contemporary homes as well as traditional style homes.
Financially they may leave a bit of a dent in the budget but they are well worth the investment aesthetically and for long term plans.
Shingles are different to tiles as they are thinner and flatter in shape. They are installed onto the roof in an overlapping pattern to ensure there are no leaks. There are a range of shingles but generally they’re made up of asphalt and fibreglass and they can resist fire, rain, hail and strong winds.
Be mindful when selecting your roof material, shape and colour to ensure that it is not only conducive to your style of home but that it also matches or complements your windows, wall cladding and other external fixtures. Consider things such as the lighter the roof the greater the heat reflection, but also if your roof is too light it can make your house stand out unnecessarily. Mid-range colours are generally the best option, but not always. If you are unsure on how to make the right decision then it is probably best to leave it up to the professionals.