Best Roof Material For Sydney Homes

by AIA
09 September 2019

If you need serious roof repairs and are thinking about replacing your entire roof, you may be wondering what roof replacement options you have – and what roofing material you should use to restore your home.

There are a wide range of popular roofing materials on the market in Sydney – but what’s the most popular choice? What’s the best roof material for Sydney homes? In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know. We’ll take an in-depth look at 5 of the most common roof surface materials, and discuss what type of roof may be right for you.

1. Colorbond Roofing

There’s a good reason that many homes in Australia are topped with Colorbond steel roofs. Steel roofs are available in a wide variety of styles, and can match just about any type of exterior cladding and multiple architectural styles. Whether you have a flat roof or nearly-flat roof, or a steeply-pitched roof, steel roofing may be a good choice for you.

Despite what you may think, steel roofing is also quite corrosion-resistant, even near the salty coast of Sydney. This is because modern steel roofing materials use a painted, baked-on finish and stainless steel, which helps prevent corrosion. Most painted roofs will be able to withstand up to 20 years of blazing Sydney heat before starting to flake or deteriorate.

Colorbond roofing also require very little maintenance beyond periodic inspections and cleanings. Steel has the additional benefit of being completely fireproof. Steel can even be considered a “green” roof, as steel is cheap to manufacture, and steel roofs can be very energy efficient with proper insulation, and a light grey or white finish which reflects the rays of the sun.

In total, you can expect colorbond roofs to last you up to 40 years with proper care. Steel roofing is also quite inexpensive, so this type of metal roof is a great option for the budget-minded.

Colorbond Roof Replacement Job done by City2Surf Roofing


2. Copper And Zinc Roofing

If you’re interested in a metal roofing, but you want a roofing material that is more unique and long-lasting compared to steel, a copper or zinc roof may be right for you. However, this is definitely not a “budget” option. You can usually expect a copper or zinc roof to cost about twice as much – if not more – compared to a steel roof.

This is primarily because of the additional labor costs required to install copper and zinc roofing. Most copper and zinc roofs use a plywood substrate, and hand-seaming techniques that bend the metal to fasten it to the roof, joining one panel to the next. You can expect it to take up to 3-4 times longer to have a copper or zinc roof installed, compared to a steel roof.

Copper and zinc roofs share many of the same great qualities as steel roofs, but are even more resistant to corrosion, wear and tear, and premature failure. Both copper and zinc roofs can last up to 80+ years when properly installed, making them a great long-term option.

Copper Standing Seam in North Sydney done by NSW Slate Roofing


3. Terracotta Roof Tiles And Concrete Roof Tiles

Terracotta roof tiles and concrete roof tiles are quite similar. Concrete roof tiles are a more budget-friendly option, and last about 20 years or longer. They’re made from a blend of sand and cement, and use a special color coated top layer for color.

Terracotta is similar, but it is made from kiln-fired natural clay, and it usually has a deep, orange-red color. With proper care, a tile roof made from terracotta will have a lifespan of 50+ years.

Terracotta and concrete tiles are both very low-maintenance, and due to their weight and density, they are great insulators. In warm weather, the heavy tiles will help prevent heat from reaching the inside of your home. And when things turn chilly, they will work to keep warm air from escaping through your roof.

These tiles are a good choice for coastal areas, as they won’t be corroded by salt. Another benefit of concrete and terracotta tiles is that, if one cracks or breaks, the individual tile can be easily replaced without a full-scale roof repair.

4. Slate Roofing

Traditional slate roofing is the gold standard when it comes to durability, a beautiful and natural appearance, and overall lifespan. Synthetic slate is available, and has a lifespan of about 50 years. However, natural slate like Welsh Penrhyn or Canadian Glendyne has a lifespan of more than 100 years when used in slate roofs, and properly cared for.

Not only that, but natural slate is extremely durable, resistant to the elements, and has fantastic insulating properties. It’s also completely non-combustible and fire-resistant. In addition, because the color of the slate is inherent to its structure, it will not fade as much as a tile that has been painted or glazed with enamel. Some change in color is natural over the decades this helps add a rustic appeal to your home.

The primary drawback of a slate roof and slate tiles is that they are very expensive. Slate roofs are one of the most expensive types of roof on the market, and you’ll need to hire an experienced slate roofing contractor in Sydney. However, if you have the budget for it, slate is worth every penny.

Welsh Penrhyn Slate Roofing job done in Avoca Beach by NSW Slate Roofing


5. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roof shingles are typically the cheapest option for restoring your roof, and are usually even cheaper than steel roofs. However, asphalt roofs tend to have a very short lifespan of 15-20 years, at most.

Despite this, though, they are quite cost-effective and easy to maintain. There are also an enormous variety of textures, colors and styles available, due to the ease of manufacturing asphalt shingles. However, they are not that cost-effective if you plan on staying in your home for a long time. For long-term durability, we would recommend a different roofing material.

What’s The Best Roofing Material In Sydney? It Depends On Your Needs!

So, what is the best roofing material for you? The answer is… it depends! There is no “right” answer. Each type of roofing has its own benefits and disadvantages. If you want the longest possible lifespan, slate roofing is the best – but if you need an inexpensive, yet durable roof, steel or asphalt shingles may be better.

Need a blend between the two? Terracotta or concrete roof tiles may be right for you! It all depends on your situation, which is why we recommend consulting with experienced, local tradesmen in Sydney. Roofing professionals can help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each material in further detail – and ensure that you make the right choice for your roof repair or replacement.



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