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Roofing – Replace Tiles with Colourbond

By PB_Lyneham 9 September 2014 28

I am looking at replacing our tired and cracking tiled roof with Colourbond. I have recieved two quotes which are reasonably comparable.

One quote came from a small business: Simply Guttering and Roofing.

The second came from WR Engineering.

I am hoping people can let me know if anyone has either positive or negative comments about either of these two companies based onwork tyhey have done in the last year or two.

Many Thanks


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Roofing – Replace Tiles with Colourbond
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rommeldog56 4:44 pm 27 Feb 15

I have to have may roof tiles replaced (with used ones for matching) + ridgecapping re bedded/re pointed (flexipoint). Tiler recommended metal flashings to gable ends colour coded to facia colour. 18.5 sq house and separate brick double garage.

But have been ball park quoted $20+K to replace tiles with colorbond. Would like to do that but cost is prohibitive Im afraid.

So, does anyone have any recent positive experience with roof tilers for this work + how has the job you got done 5+ years ago standing up ? there seems to be a common complaint in CBR that the rebedding/repointing may only last 5 years or so ?

Not interested in painted roofs.

I dont mind paying fair money for a good, long lasting job.

All contributions greatly appreciated.

davo101 9:44 am 15 Sep 14

Russ said :

davo101 said :

No, I think you were correct. It sounds like they were thinking of Kirchhoff’s Law but forgetting that a house roof is not a gray body. While a white roof does have a much lower absorptivity than a black roof for the incoming short-wave radiation, for the outgoing long-wave radiation the emissivity of a painted surface is almost independent of its colour.

I don’t believe emissivity of the roof surface is that relevant to a house’s thermal performance as the roofspace typically isn’t designed to hold in heat. Absorptivity would govern how much heat is gained in the roofspace in both summer and winter, and so the principle would still apply that a dark roof is better in winter as it will absorb more heat, leading to a hotter roofspace reducing the heat lost through the ceiling. Similarly a white roof will absorb less heat, leading to a relatively cooler roofspace in summer.

That said, most would regard reducing the roofspace heat in summer as being the greater priority, in which case you’d typically run foil-backed fibreglass blanket under the roofing, combining the benefit of the bulk insulation of the fibreglass with the low emissivity of the foil. Only downside of that is the roof doesn’t sound as nice when it rains due to the damping effect of the blanket.

Yeap, that’s what I said. Thanks for the executive summary 🙂

Maya123 said :

So does that mean that in summer a light roof is better to keep a house cooler, but in winter it doesn’t matter what colour the roof is to keep the house warm? If that is the case the pale roof is the better suggestion, because at least in hot weather it has some effect, while in winter the colour is irrelevant.

I haven’t seen any calculations specifically for Australia, but in general the forgone solar gain in Winter is not that great so you are better off with a light coloured roof, as the effect on cooling loads in Summer is significant.

dungfungus 11:27 am 13 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

davo101 said :

No, I think you were correct. It sounds like they were thinking of Kirchhoff’s Law but forgetting that a house roof is not a gray body. While a white roof does have a much lower absorptivity than a black roof for the incoming short-wave radiation, for the outgoing long-wave radiation the emissivity of a painted surface is almost independent of its colour.

Careful, you’re starting to sound a bit complicated and scienc-ey.

The peasants will be out with their pitchforks and torches if you keep that up.

Torches? Only a few days ago you were mentioning fire sticks. Are you a closet incendiarist?

Russ 10:30 am 13 Sep 14

davo101 said :

No, I think you were correct. It sounds like they were thinking of Kirchhoff’s Law but forgetting that a house roof is not a gray body. While a white roof does have a much lower absorptivity than a black roof for the incoming short-wave radiation, for the outgoing long-wave radiation the emissivity of a painted surface is almost independent of its colour.

I don’t believe emissivity of the roof surface is that relevant to a house’s thermal performance as the roofspace typically isn’t designed to hold in heat. Absorptivity would govern how much heat is gained in the roofspace in both summer and winter, and so the principle would still apply that a dark roof is better in winter as it will absorb more heat, leading to a hotter roofspace reducing the heat lost through the ceiling. Similarly a white roof will absorb less heat, leading to a relatively cooler roofspace in summer.

That said, most would regard reducing the roofspace heat in summer as being the greater priority, in which case you’d typically run foil-backed fibreglass blanket under the roofing, combining the benefit of the bulk insulation of the fibreglass with the low emissivity of the foil. Only downside of that is the roof doesn’t sound as nice when it rains due to the damping effect of the blanket.

HenryBG 8:11 pm 12 Sep 14

davo101 said :

No, I think you were correct. It sounds like they were thinking of Kirchhoff’s Law but forgetting that a house roof is not a gray body. While a white roof does have a much lower absorptivity than a black roof for the incoming short-wave radiation, for the outgoing long-wave radiation the emissivity of a painted surface is almost independent of its colour.

Careful, you’re starting to sound a bit complicated and scienc-ey.

The peasants will be out with their pitchforks and torches if you keep that up.

Maya123 6:41 pm 12 Sep 14

davo101 said :

Maya123 said :

Paint it a pale colour though if you want to save on heating and cooling costs. Don’t ask me the physics of this, but I have had a couple of people with relevant science backgrounds independently attempt to explain this to me. The pale roof in summer is easy to visualise assisting to keep the house cooler, but a pale roof in winter also assists to keep the house warmer in winter. I had thought a darker roof would be better in winter, but I was wrong.

No, I think you were correct. It sounds like they were thinking of Kirchhoff’s Law but forgetting that a house roof is not a gray body. While a white roof does have a much lower absorptivity than a black roof for the incoming short-wave radiation, for the outgoing long-wave radiation the emissivity of a painted surface is almost independent of its colour.

So does that mean that in summer a light roof is better to keep a house cooler, but in winter it doesn’t matter what colour the roof is to keep the house warm? If that is the case the pale roof is the better suggestion, because at least in hot weather it has some effect, while in winter the colour is irrelevant.

davo101 12:07 pm 12 Sep 14

Maya123 said :

Paint it a pale colour though if you want to save on heating and cooling costs. Don’t ask me the physics of this, but I have had a couple of people with relevant science backgrounds independently attempt to explain this to me. The pale roof in summer is easy to visualise assisting to keep the house cooler, but a pale roof in winter also assists to keep the house warmer in winter. I had thought a darker roof would be better in winter, but I was wrong.

No, I think you were correct. It sounds like they were thinking of Kirchhoff’s Law but forgetting that a house roof is not a gray body. While a white roof does have a much lower absorptivity than a black roof for the incoming short-wave radiation, for the outgoing long-wave radiation the emissivity of a painted surface is almost independent of its colour.

dungfungus 8:14 am 12 Sep 14

Canberroid said :

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

switch said :

dungfungus said :

Make sure you get at least a 30 year warranty on the product.
I have seen a couple of 20 year old Colourbond roofs lose their colour in my suburb. At least one has been replaced.

Must be climate change.

Personally, apart from obviously fixing tiles that are broken and leaking water into the roof space, I’d save my money and leave it alone.

Climate change is harmless – it’s more likely to be electrolysis caused by using the wrong fixing screws.
Tiles and ridge caps generally need pointing every 20 years and you can even get a grotty tiled roof pressure cleaned and painted (looks better than new).

Paint it a pale colour though if you want to save on heating and cooling costs. Don’t ask me the physics of this, but I have had a couple of people with relevant science backgrounds independently attempt to explain this to me. The pale roof in summer is easy to visualise assisting to keep the house cooler, but a pale roof in winter also assists to keep the house warmer in winter. I had thought a darker roof would be better in winter, but I was wrong.

I am sure HenryBG will be able to explain this simply by supplying dozens of links and writing a few short tomes.

And I’m sure you’ll be able to explain that he’s wrong because you don’t understand the information he provided and that you were once in a warm house with a dark roof during winter.

If there is a simple explanation forthcoming from the sage then I will consider it and if I agree I will confirm that.

JC 11:31 pm 11 Sep 14

fabforty said :

There is apparently a ‘they say’ belief that firies think tiled roofs are safer because when there is a fire they can just rip off a few and put the hose into the ceiling whereas they can’t do that to a metal roof.

Thoughts ?

Sounds like horse sh$t. If the fireies wanted to put a hose through a roof to put out a fire they would simply give it a few wacks with an axe to make a hole.

Besides I reckon if your house is on fire to the extent that through the roof cavity is the way to put it out, the house it probably a write off anyway.

Canberroid 7:10 pm 11 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

switch said :

dungfungus said :

Make sure you get at least a 30 year warranty on the product.
I have seen a couple of 20 year old Colourbond roofs lose their colour in my suburb. At least one has been replaced.

Must be climate change.

Personally, apart from obviously fixing tiles that are broken and leaking water into the roof space, I’d save my money and leave it alone.

Climate change is harmless – it’s more likely to be electrolysis caused by using the wrong fixing screws.
Tiles and ridge caps generally need pointing every 20 years and you can even get a grotty tiled roof pressure cleaned and painted (looks better than new).

Paint it a pale colour though if you want to save on heating and cooling costs. Don’t ask me the physics of this, but I have had a couple of people with relevant science backgrounds independently attempt to explain this to me. The pale roof in summer is easy to visualise assisting to keep the house cooler, but a pale roof in winter also assists to keep the house warmer in winter. I had thought a darker roof would be better in winter, but I was wrong.

I am sure HenryBG will be able to explain this simply by supplying dozens of links and writing a few short tomes.

And I’m sure you’ll be able to explain that he’s wrong because you don’t understand the information he provided and that you were once in a warm house with a dark roof during winter.

fabforty 6:54 pm 11 Sep 14

There is apparently a ‘they say’ belief that firies think tiled roofs are safer because when there is a fire they can just rip off a few and put the hose into the ceiling whereas they can’t do that to a metal roof.

Thoughts ?

dungfungus 5:51 pm 11 Sep 14

I strongly suggest you read the following (about electrolytic corrosion):
http://www.bluescopesteel.com.au/files/dmfile/CTB25june2008.pdf

Maya123 5:00 pm 11 Sep 14

I found this comparison between colour bond and tiled roofs.
“Is a colorbond metal roof better than a tile roof?

It depends.
Tile roofs are more common – so people must like them.

There are differences. Just like some people love Holdens and others love Fords, It can be a personal thing…

But there are times when a colorbond metal roof is the only viable option. Colorbond metal roofs vs tile roofs in Sydney. Which one is better?See my blog post on problems with flat tile roofs to see why this is so.

Generally, the differences are:

Weight: A colorbond roof is much lighter that a tiled roof. This will mean less weight stress on the roof structure and the walls – leading to less movement induced cracking.
Insulation: A higher rated insulation can be laid under a colorbond roof to enhance the insulation rating of the roof cavity. Tiled roofs only get a layer of aluminium sarking.
Noise: The sound of raindrops is more pronounced on a colorbond roof. Tiled roofs are relatively quieter.
Cosmetic appearance: Colorbond roofs can provide a more ‘modern’ look whilst tiled roofs give that ‘traditional’ look. This is very much a personal choice.
Life of roof: Roof tiles have a longer warranty (50 years) because they do not rust. They generally do not get any weaker as they age – although terracotta roof tiles can ‘fret’ over time or if they are close to a marine environment. So, roof tiles will generally outlast a colorbond roof which generally lasts about 40 to 60 years…
Maintenance requirements: The ridge capping on tiled roofs require repair/maintenance every 15 to 20 years. This is because the bedding and pointing will crack over time due to roof movements. This cracking can lead to water leaks. Roof tiles at the valleys do not get very firm anchoring and these can slip over time and leave a hole in the roof – causing a leak. Leaves gathering on a tiled roof will choke the drainage laps on the tiles and cause water leakage – so a tiled roof is better off without overhanging branches (dropping branches will also usually crack roof tiles). Colorbond roofs in comparison do not need the same maintenance as tiled roofs – they are virtually ‘maintenance free’.
Design and construction versatility: Designers can bend and curve colorbond roofs as well as making them steep or flat. Tiled roofs are limited to certain slopes to work. It is also very difficult to curve or bend a tiled roof. You can do more with a colorbond roof.
Hail protection: I have seen huge hailstones put holes in colorbond metal roofs – although this is very rare. Hailstones usually just leave dents and the roof stays water tight during hailstorms. Dents on colorbond roofs do not usually affect the life or performance of the roof. Large denting on flat roofs may cause a problem with ponding – and in this case, local replacement od roof sheets are recommended by Bluescope. Roof tiles simply crack when there is a decent hailstorm – causing large amounts of water damage to the house. Tiles offer little protection against large hail stones.
Spare parts: There are numerous shapes and sizes of roof tiles and as manufacturers go out of business or decide on a new marketing campaign, tiles are phased out. So, over time, some types of roof tiles will only be available if it is taken off an existing roof. Replacing a few roof tiles can sometimes prove very difficult. Corrugated metal roofing have stayed the same since inception – so you can find a piece of corrugated roofing quite easily.”
http://theroofingprofessionalswestside.com.au/help-to-fix-roofing-problems-in-western-sydney/

This was an interesting quote too from a member of the SES:
“Personally I am a big fan of colorbond roofs, in 1999 in Eastern Sydney they were the only roof type to survive the BIG hail storm, by the way that storm was by far the most expensive storm in Australia’s history. Every roof that used tiles, fibro, slate etc, was destroyed, the secondhand price of tiles went from 50c to $2 overnight, and just about every roof tiler in Australia made a beeline for Sydney. ”
http://www.ata.org.au/forums/topic/749

KB1971 3:58 pm 11 Sep 14

Horses for courses.

We have had a few hail storms come across our house in the last few years. One wrote my car off the hail was that big.

The other filled the gutters which backed up water into the house.

After the one that wrote my car off I got up on the roof and had a look. Hardly any of my tiles were cracked. I did have to replace 4 sheets of plasitc roofing though.

The one that filled the gutters? It flooded the house and the insurance guys found 9 tiles (189m2 house mind you) cracked and I suspect that they were cracked before the storm, probably through heat damage. Before that, in the normal summer storms that drop a crapload of water on the place we had no water inside.

The guy across the road from me has a colourbond roof, he had the same issue. Flooding inside the house. The hail stones on his house were nearly to the peak of the roof, the water had no chance of getting away.

Depending on the hail, niether roof is waterproof.

Captain RAAF 12:58 pm 11 Sep 14

+1 for the Colorbond roof being better in a hail storm.

If you searched the archives here you will find an article where I recieved an insurance payout of about $30000 for damage caused to my Colorbond roof from a hail storm. I took the cash because there was little or no visible damage to my roof unless you squinted, tilted your head and peaked between your fingers. I took the entire family to the US for a bang up holiday, thanks NRMA!!!!!

Meanwhile, my neighbours were replacing tiles and grout and having plaster inside the house replaced from where the water got in. We did not have a single drop of water enter the house.

Maya123 10:17 am 11 Sep 14

Holden Caulfield said :

John Moulis said :

I can’t understand why anybody would want to get a Colorbond roof. The house down the street is getting it done and it just looks like the old galv (corrugated iron) with a bit of paint. Wouldn’t it rust and create a din when it rains? I’d rather stick with tiles.

1. Corrugated iron can be beautiful when used in the right context.
2. The sound of rain on a tin roof is one of life’s great pleasures!
3. Colorbond doesn’t rust (within reason).
4. Metal roofing is better than tiles, which can be more easily disturbed by thieves and/or strong winds.

Metal roofing also survives a hail storm better than tiles. I read somewhere (sorry, can’t back this up) that it is better (less dangerous to health) to use a metal roof to collect rain water than a tiled roof. Perhaps it might be because tiled roofs grow lichen, etc. If someone can correct my memory here, go for it.
My previous house was built in the early 1950’s with a galvanised roof. I bought it when the roof was over 30 years old and it had never been painted. It was then only starting to look as though it might need a paint. I had the small spots of rust treated and the roof painted. Twenty years later it had never been painted again and was still okay. A metal roof was my first choice when I built a new house. A pale one naturally to keep my energy bills lower. And it has a ‘cleaner’ line on a modern house.

Holden Caulfield 9:55 am 11 Sep 14

John Moulis said :

I can’t understand why anybody would want to get a Colorbond roof. The house down the street is getting it done and it just looks like the old galv (corrugated iron) with a bit of paint. Wouldn’t it rust and create a din when it rains? I’d rather stick with tiles.

1. Corrugated iron can be beautiful when used in the right context.
2. The sound of rain on a tin roof is one of life’s great pleasures!
3. Colorbond doesn’t rust (within reason).
4. Metal roofing is better than tiles, which can be more easily disturbed by thieves and/or strong winds.

Mark of Sydney 8:10 am 11 Sep 14

John Moulis said :

I can’t understand why anybody would want to get a Colorbond roof. The house down the street is getting it done and it just looks like the old galv (corrugated iron) with a bit of paint. Wouldn’t it rust and create a din when it rains? I’d rather stick with tiles.

My house was built around 17-18 years ago with not only a Colourbond roof, but also extensive use of Colourbond for cladding. I love it. Still looks great, no rusting and the relatively dark colour has not noticeably faded. As cladding, it has a very solid feel — with the wall cavity packed with insulation.

‘Creates a din when it rains’ — yes it does, a beautiful sound, and my house guests (particularly my relatives from arid areas further inland) love it as much as I do. And the house is in a much more exposed position than anywhere in Canberra, with very heavy thunderstorms and even hail at times.

Possibly the only downside is that it creaks a bit as the temperature changes — though I stopped noticing that after a week or two. I would definitely use it again.

BTW, I have no material interest in the industry or anything else to do with building and construction.

John Moulis 2:56 am 11 Sep 14

I can’t understand why anybody would want to get a Colorbond roof. The house down the street is getting it done and it just looks like the old galv (corrugated iron) with a bit of paint. Wouldn’t it rust and create a din when it rains? I’d rather stick with tiles.

dungfungus 2:19 pm 10 Sep 14

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

switch said :

dungfungus said :

Make sure you get at least a 30 year warranty on the product.
I have seen a couple of 20 year old Colourbond roofs lose their colour in my suburb. At least one has been replaced.

Must be climate change.

Personally, apart from obviously fixing tiles that are broken and leaking water into the roof space, I’d save my money and leave it alone.

Climate change is harmless – it’s more likely to be electrolysis caused by using the wrong fixing screws.
Tiles and ridge caps generally need pointing every 20 years and you can even get a grotty tiled roof pressure cleaned and painted (looks better than new).

Paint it a pale colour though if you want to save on heating and cooling costs. Don’t ask me the physics of this, but I have had a couple of people with relevant science backgrounds independently attempt to explain this to me. The pale roof in summer is easy to visualise assisting to keep the house cooler, but a pale roof in winter also assists to keep the house warmer in winter. I had thought a darker roof would be better in winter, but I was wrong.

I am sure HenryBG will be able to explain this simply by supplying dozens of links and writing a few short tomes.

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