Looking for the Best Residential and Commercial Roofing Company in High Point
We believe that a roof is the most integral part of a home. It’s what holds your walls together and keeps your house, your possessions, and your family safe and secure.
Roofing Supplies - What Supplies Are Needed For a Roof?
In Australia, roofing materials usually fall into one of two possibilities: concrete roof tiles; or corrugated metal roofing with a bonded paint finish (known in Australia as Colorbond, or CB). Which option is best for your situation? Both will keep the weather out, so weigh up the factors below before you decide.
A Bit of History: The concept of bonding paint to a galvanized base originated in Chicago, and was further developed in Australia into a product that has remarkable corrosion resistance and is aesthetically interesting: Colorbond©. It comes in many standard colours and is resistant to the elements. Whereas a galvanized corrugated roof might last 20 years, a Colorbond roof would have a 50 year life or longer.
Terra cotta tiles are also an option; they literally last forever. Think archaeological dig. There are examples of terracotta roofing that have been around for 1000s of years. However it is about double the price of a concrete tile roof.
For our purposes, we will compare concrete roof tiles and Colorbond roofing, and will focus on Melbourne conditions. Both products do an admirable job at what they're designed for (keeping the weather out). Concrete roof tiles have been used in Melbourne for at least 75 years and there are many houses in older suburbs such as Heidelberg and Camberwell that still have their original concrete tile roofs.
Why would you select one product over another? It comes down to personal taste, lifestyle, a few other factors... and COST.
Architectural Merit: This is a personal matter. Colorbond has a modern stylish look with clean lines. However, there are many concrete roof tile profiles that give a different architectural result than a standard half-pipe tile. For a small addition in price, you could (for instance) select a flat shingle style. There are also many colours in concrete roof tiles.
Noise: This is an important consideration. Insulation and ceiling notwithstanding, you will hear rain on a Colorbond roof. While we might think of raindrops falling on a metal roof as a pleasant sound, it can be disturbing to some people, especially in heavy downpours. Tile roofs are much quieter.
Water Collection: If you want to collect roof water in a tank for household use, Colorbond is the best option. You will harvest more water because concrete tiles have a level of absorbency. Also they tend to retain dirt, dust and so forth which washes into the water tank. During the recent 10 year drought in Melbourne, home owners were encouraged to collect rain water for household use. This influenced the demand for Colorbond roofing.
Weight: Colorbond is a fraction of the weight of a concrete tile roof (10% to be precise!) So your roof framing can be much lighter. Also, a Colorbond roof is no heavier wet than dry. A concrete tile roof will absorb water before it runs off, so a wet tile roof is heavier and engineering specifications need to allow for this.
Rodents: It is simpler to make a Colorbond roof pest-proof by nature of the way the product is installed.
Bushfire: Melbourne is a city adversely affected by summer bushfires. If you are building in the outlying fire-prone areas, BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) regulations will make it in your interest to choose a Colorbond roof, as they are easier to seal against external ember attack.
Resilience: If you need people to climb on your roof for maintenance reasons, Colorbond is more resilient. However, if you need to penetrate the roof (for instance for a vent or air conditioning) this will be more expensive with CB.
Eaves or Veranda. If you have extensive verandas or eaves, a Colorbond roof will be more desirable because of its lighter weight. With verandas you want a shallower roof pitch, and this can only be achieved by some form of sheet roofing. Typically roof tiles are not recommended on a roof pitch of less than 20 degrees. And because Colorbond is a descendant of old-fashioned corrugated steel, this delivers the traditional Australian veranda look.
Cost: Concrete tiles are over 20% cheaper than Colorbond, which is why more than 90% of homes built in Melbourne have a concrete tile roof. The advertising might have you think that CB is as cheap as tiles, but this is not the case. Designers sometimes prefer Colorbond. One client paid to have plans drawn up by a designer. When seeking quotes, they were horrified to see thousands of dollars extra for a Colorbond roof, when they actually preferred a traditional tile roof.
Which roof is best for you? Look at each factor as it relates to your situation. Weigh up its degree of importance, and then decide which roofing material best serves your particular needs, tastes, lifestyle, and budget.
Roofing - Common FAQ Sheet
Roof valleys are a frequent source of leaks in older houses. Installation procedures differ depending on the roof type and materials used. We will look here at the basic installation of an open lead lined roof valley.
A roof valley is basically a gutter set between two meeting pitched roofs. Depending on the roof area it serves, the valley is the exit point for a large volume of water so extreme care should be taken with installation. If the roof has been leaking for a while or if there are any signs of rot, you will need to start by replacing the valley boards. Lead sheet is not self supporting and should be placed on treated roofing boards of sufficient strength to hold a large person. (Most roofing contractors are big guys!) Fit boards of sufficient width to accommodate the lead plus 100mm either side. This will give you something to nail the roofing batons to.
The top of the valley boards should be at the same level as the top of the roof rafters. If you lay the boards directly on top of the rafters it may cause the roofing tiles to kick up and restrict water run off. You will need to cut the valley boards to fit in between the rafters. Support the valley boards with studs or noggins. The valley should finish on an even plane at the eaves. It should not kick up higher than the bottom rafters. If it does, you will need to cut the fascia board or adjust the gutter to suit. It is a good idea to fit a tilting fillet each side of the valley. This angled strip of wood runs along the valley length and should be a minimum of 150mm from the centre of the valley. It should sit no higher than the roofing batons with the thinnest end closest to the centre of the valley.
It is common practice to fit a single sheet of roofing underlay the entire length of the valley. The adjacent roofing underlay will rest on top of this sheet. I recommend you use one of the new advanced synthetic underlay materials. The older bitumen based felts are fine for normal roofing situations but are not suitable for valleys. Over time the bitumen will bond the lead to the boards and restrict thermal movement. You should ensure you buy lead of a sufficient grade/code for valley applications. This should be between 1.80mm and 2.24mm thickness. If you are unsure ask your roofing merchant of the correct grade. The lead should be cut into sections no larger than 1.5 meters in length to allow sufficient thermal movement. Bend a welt into the lead 25mm each side. This acts as a last line of defence for water penetration. It also has the added benefit of stiffening the lead, which makes carrying it up the roof a lot easier.
Starting at the bottom of the valley, dress the lead neatly onto the valley boards and over the tilting fillets. The bottom of the lead should allow correct drainage into the gutter. Fix two rows of nails at the very top of the flashing. Use copper or stainless steel nails. Never use galvanised or aluminum nails which will just react with the lead and corrode. I recommend you use the minimum amount of fixing possible to hold the lead in place. If you over fix lead sheeting it will eventually split due to thermal movement. So don't nail the sides. When you have successfully dressed the first sheet you can move up the roof laying subsequent sheets. Overlap each sheet a minimum of 150mm. On lower pitched roof valleys you will need to increase the lap. Where the valley ends at the ridge, you will need to dress the lead so it can sit neatly under the ridge tiles. You are now ready to start fixing the batons and laying the roofing tiles. The key points to remember are to keep the sheet lengths down to 1.5 meters and don't over fix. If you follow the procedure outlined and take care with the dressing you will produce a durable maintenance free valley.
Roofing is one of the most important investments you can make. Improper, aged or substandard roofing can lead to a host of other more expensive problems. If you are selling your property, a well-chosen roof can yield a solid return on your investment. Whatever your budget or design desires, whether you want architectural shingles, tile roof installation or something in between, a Roof Master consultant will work with you to make it a reality.
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