Are you looking for a replacement for your old roof? Are you building a new home and wondering what kind of roof would best suit it?
A roof is one of the most significant investments in your home. It is the armour that covers and protects the entire house along with its valuable contents. Because of this, you must pay extra attention when it comes to choosing which type of roof you want to put over your head.
One of the most important considerations that you have to factor in is the roof’s durability. You have to determine how long it will last so you can make sure that it is worth your money. But as we all know, different roof types are not created equally. Some last longer while other types have a shorter lifespan. One type that is well-known for its durability and longevity is the metal roof.
But there is a wide variety when it comes to Colorbond and metal roofs as well. So in this article, we will explore what the different types of metal roofing materials are, how long they last, and offer a few tips on how to extend their lifespan.
Why Choose a Metal Roof?
While many homeowners may prefer the traditional look of tiles or shingles for their roof, there are plenty of reasons that more and more people are choosing modern metal over a more classic look. Here are just a few of them.
Metal roofs lend a modern look to any home.
One reason that homeowners are now leaning more towards the metal roof is because of its modern appearance, which can undoubtedly improve not just the beauty of your home but its curb value as well.
Metal roofs are energy efficient.
More than the modern appearance of metal, one of the things that homeowners love the most with this kind of roofing is its energy efficiency. The insulation properties of a metal roof allow it to retain the heat during wintertime and reflect heat during the summer season. As a result, your heating and air conditioning systems will work more efficiently which also means lower bills.
Many modern metal and Colorbond roofs now have blankets insulation installed under the metal sheets. Not only does this provide a thermal insulation to the roof it also adds an acoustic barrier that helps to block noise from rain and hail.
Earthwool® Roof Blanket provides thermal and acoustic insulation for commercial roofs. Supersoft to handle and install, Earthwool is made using up to 80% recycled glass.
Metal roofs are low maintenance.
Another way you can save money by installing a metal roof comes down to maintenance. This type of roof only needs cleaning and surface-level maintenance every 18 months. And cleaning a sleek metal roof is much more straightforward than shingles or tiles, which have more of a tendency to collect debris and are more delicate to work with.
Metal roofs are highly durable.
As compared to all the other types of roofing material, it is metal that is considered to be the most durable. This is because the metal is more resistant to mould and mildew, rodents and pests, strong winds, falling debris, hail, ice, and snow. In fact, experts claim that a well-maintained metal roof can last for 40–80 years.
Metal roofs allow more slope variation.
As compared to tiles, metal roofing is less strict with regards to its minimum slope requirements. If your roof requires low slope applications, the best type of metal roofing for you would be mechanically seamed double-lock metal roof systems.
Metal roofs are highly recyclable.
A metal roof is not just right for your pocket; it is good for the environment as well. All of the parts of the metal roofing—scraps, old panels, or other metal pieces—can be scraped and reused decades down the line rather than thrown into a landfill.
The Different Types of Metal Roofing and How Long They Last
Now that you are well-versed in the different benefits that metal roofing has to offer, it’s time to explore the different types of metal that are commonly used in roofing.
The distinct feature of aluminium roofing is its ability to resist saltwater corrosion, so it doesn’t rust easily. Because of this simple feature, this is the metal roofing option of choice for those living in coastal areas.
In addition to this, this type of metal is also highly malleable, which offers added structural strength to the roof. Last but not least, this type of metal is highly recyclable. In fact, most aluminum roofing material already contains a high percentage of recycled material.
However, the downside of this material is that it is more expensive than steel. And while it is resistant to saltwater, it cannot resist hail. Because of this, it is not recommended to be used for houses in areas that are prone to hail, high winds, and other environmental stress.
How long does an aluminium roof last?
There’s no universal lifespan for an aluminium roof. But many experts claim that it is not the best metal roof when it comes to durability, so you can expect it to last for 40 to 50 years.
This is a type of steel material that is coated with zinc and aluminium alloy. The addition of aluminium alloy gives this type of steel the benefits that you can experience with using an aluminium roof. This means that it is resistant to corrosion. But the addition of alloy leaves the steel susceptible to scratches.
It is also at risk of the phenomenon called tension bend staining that causes it to form microscopic cracks which can lead to rusting and eventually, deterioration.
But the best feature of this type of steel is its affordable price and that is why a lot of commercial establishments opt for galvalume steel roofs.
How long does a galvalume steel roof last?
When corrosion has already penetrated the sheet steel substrate of the galvalume steel roof, it is already prone to deterioration. Because of this, they often only last for 40 years on average.
Because steel is prone to corrosion, it is made more durable with the use of a metal or alloy coating. Galvanized steel is created by coating the steel material with zinc. This is the most commonly used type of metal in the roofing industry as the addition of zinc into the metal material slows down the corrosion process.
Besides, the zinc also provides galvanic protection which can protect its scratches from rusting. However, please keep in mind that this type of steel is not resistant to saltwater corrosion, so it is not a great option for houses in the coastal areas.
How long does a galvanized steel roof last?
Since this material is not prone to tension bend staining, its cracks are protected from rusting and preventing corrosion from seeping through. This is why it lasts longer—up to 50 years.
This is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and longest lasting metal roof materials that is on the market. However, it is also the most expensive metal roof option that you have. Because of its price, you will rarely see this material being used as a roof for an entire house.
Instead, you can see it being used to add a touch of elegance in dormers and windows. The types of establishments that commonly use this material are churches and other historical buildings.
Copper is known for being lightweight, so transportation and installation are easy. Being lightweight also means it places less stress on the building structure. In addition to its weight, a copper roof is also soft, malleable, and easily solderable.
The beauty of this material is the blue-green patina that grows over aged copper. However, it can take 8 to 15 years before fully developed.
How long does a copper roof last?
As mentioned, the best feature of a copper roof is its long lifespan. A quality built, well-maintained copper roof should last you a lifetime, up to 80 or 100 years.
Colorbond roofing is a type of coated steel roofing material that is produced by Bluescope Steel. Recently, this material has risen in popularity due to the vast array of benefits that it can provide the user.
COLORBOND® Steel undergoes corrosion testing, durability testing, application testing and outdoor exposure testing across Australia, exposed to all sorts of environments.
This roofing material has five layers of protection;
The first layer is the steel base that has been manufactured following strict standards, ensuring that it is of superior grade and highly durable.
The second layer is a metallic coating with Activate Technology that makes the roofing material resistant to corrosion. Because of this, it is one of the best choices for coastal regions.
Third, it has a thin pretreatment layer which facilitates better adhesion of the succeeding coatings.
The fourth layer is a primer that can also inhibit corrosion. Last but not least, we have the topcoat, which is an exterior grade paint designed to deliver resistance against flaking, chalking, and blistering, This ensures that the finish of the roof lasts longer.
Additional benefits of a Colorbond roof include fire protection, thermal efficiency, and 100% recyclability. Above all, it is easy to maintain as it only requires regular washing using water and hosing down hard-to-reach areas every six months. Colorbond roofs basically combine all the benefits of the other metal roof types without the drawbacks.
How long does a Colorbond roof last?
With the five layers of protection that this roofing material has, you can expect it to be highly durable and long-lasting. A Colorbond roof should have a life expectancy of up to 70 years. While this might be shorter than copper, it’s about as long as any homeowner realistically needs. Plus, the expense of copper generally puts it beyond the budget of most people.
Does Colorbond roofing fade?
One thing people love about this roofing material is the wide array of Colorbond roof colours available—ranging from neutral shades to dark tones to reddish ones. But when it comes to coloured roofing material, the primary concern of homeowners is the fading of the roof paint colour.
If that’s the case, does Colorbond roofing fade? In short, yes—but roofing science hasn’t yet invented a coloured roof that doesn’t fade. The great news about Colorbond, however, is that it is considered to be more colourfast than any other roofing material on the market. This means that you can expect your colour to be vibrant for many years of use.
The biggest factor in determining how long it will take your Colorbond roof to fade is how well you take care of it. The better the roof is maintained, the longer it will take to fade. In addition to regular cleaning every six months, here are some other steps you can take to prevent fading:
- Inspect the roof for fading or other possible problems regularly so you can address them right away.
- Clean your gutters at least once or twice a year so you can prevent leaf debris from scratching the metal finish of your roof.
- Install flashing with the same metal that the roof uses to prevent galvanic corrosion. If this is not possible, you can also try separating the two metals together by using non-metallic and non-absorbent sealants and insulators.
How long is a Colorbond warranty?
BlueScope Steel, the manufacturer of the Colorbond metallic steel roofing, offers a warranty of up to 30 years after the date of installation. The warranty protects the user against corrosion and perforation due to natural elements and weathering.
For the paint system, the manufacturer also offers a warranty period of up to 20 years against flaking and peeling caused by natural weathering.
Other Effective Maintenance Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Roof
As mentioned, metal roofing is highly durable and long-lasting. But a piece of even better news is that there are plenty of things that you can do to extend the lifespan of your roof. Here are some of them:
Clean the gutters.
Debris, falling leaves, and other environmental hazards tend to build up in your gutters. If you don’t clean them, the leaves may cause scratches in your roof and rain or dust buildup may lead to leaking or the deterioration of your roof. Cleaning the gutter will allow you to decrease the wear that the metal experience, thereby prolonging its life.
Trim the trees around your home.
If you want to protect your roof from scratches, it is a must that you trim the trees surrounding your house to prevent tree branches and leaves from coming in contact with your roof.
Keep different metals away from each other.
When different types of metal come in contact with one another and become wet, electrolytic corrosion may take place and may lead to deterioration of the roof. You can prevent this by using the same metals for both your flashing, siding, and roof. If this is not possible, you can keep them away from each other by using a sealing product that does not contain other metals.
Touch up scratches.
If you happen to see minor scratches in your metal roof, you should address the issue right away by wiping it with a soft cloth that contains a small amount of mineral spirits. Rinse it with water and let it dry. After that, touch it up with a metal paint that is of similar shade to your roof.
Remove rust as soon as possible.
If you see rust forming in your roof, you simply must act right away. You can try removing the formed rust by rinsing it with water. If the rust has already caused corrosion, remove it by lightly sanding it. Once the rust is removed, apply metal primer, which can prevent rust from developing in the future. Once again, apply paint in the affected area.
Metal Roof Warranty Advice to Keep in Mind
Next to durability, warranty is another vital factor to keep in mind when choosing your metal roof material. With that in mind, here are some considerations that you need to think about when looking at roof warranties.
Know the terms of coverage of the warranty.
When it comes to checking out a roof warranty, don’t forget to read the fine print. Warranties have two parts—the promises then the disclaimers. Because of this, it is crucial that you also pay attention not just to the coverage of the warranty but look at its exclusions and restrictive provisions as well.
Know that more extended warranties and extensions come with conditions.
The longer the guarantee is, the more expensive it will be. These days, many manufacturers offer an extended warranty period of 30 years, but they often come with the clause that the warranty needs to be renewed periodically, such as every 5 years. Make sure that you understand what the long warranty period entails so you can protect yourself from unnecessary expenses.
Carry out room maintenance procedures following the warranty guidelines and manufacturer’s instructions.
Keep in mind that your warranty may be voided if you don’t maintain your roof correctly. When manufacturers issue a warranty, they usually provide a manual containing information about roof upkeep, maintenance, and repairs. Make sure to follow these guidelines to keep the warranty intact.
As you can tell by now, there are a lot of factors that you need to think about when choosing between the different types of metal roofing material. Aside from features and colours, the most important thing to keep in mind is the durability of the roof material.
If you are having issues choosing the right metal roof for your home, then it might be the right time for you to seek the help of a roofing specialist. At Vivify, we often recommend Colorbond roofing to our customers because its durability and versatility simply can’t be found at such an affordable price in any other type of metal roof.
Get in touch with our expert team today to learn if Colorbond roofing could be the best match for your house.