Four seasons in one day is a phrase that people don’t truly understand until they visit Melbourne, Australia. There’s an old joke that if you don’t like the weather when you leave your Melbourne house in the morning, just go back inside for a moment and it will have changed by the time you come out again.
Jokes about the weather aside, Melbourne is a beautiful city, but it can be hard for your roof to cope with that much change. The traditional Australian corrugated iron roof isn’t really a great fan of change.
Thankfully Colorbond was invented, which means that Melbourne homes can enjoy a roof that doesn’t need to be painted every few years, you can see website here for lots of tips.
What Roofing Material Is Best?
The Australian sun is notoriously hot, as any British traveller who has turned bright red after a day at the beach can confirm. While corrugated iron, generally made of a galvanized steel now, has long been a favourite for use as a roofing material, it has a few drawbacks. Regular repainting is required, which is not a fun or easy job, and a rusty roof can cause a lot of damage.
Other roofing options such as concrete, slate or asphalt tiles are not as popular in Australia. Predominately due to the lack of local manufacturing suppliers, which means that these need to be imported. The tyranny of distance unfortunately is a large reason behind the lack of popularity of these as roofing materials. The cost of importing tiles in from Europe or America, on top of the actual cost for manufacturing, makes these options prohibitively expensive for the Australian market. Particularly as they are mostly untested in conditions similar to a Melbourne summer, so how long they will last before needing to be replaced or repaired is an unknown that many homeowners in Victoria seem to be unwilling to test.
Painted, Powder coated, Or Something Completely Different
Although the traditional corrugated iron roofs have been painted (and repainted), more modern options have included powder coating which provides a longer lasting colour for the roof. However, overtime the powder coating will still tend to fade and peel off, just as roofing paint will. With the Colourbond process Bluesteel doesn’t share their patented technology, but they do assure consumers that it is not a powder coating process.
One of the interesting developments from companies like Bluesteel is that they have started to research and develop roofing options that provide a greater level of comfort for the residents who use their products as roofing materials in their homes. For windows we are starting to see research into clear solar panels that can be installed instead of traditional glass. For roofs we are seeing paint and metal technology that is able to shield the occupants from the extreme temperatures.
Being able to develop a roofing material that reduces the number of times an air-conditioning unit is turned on not only saves the residents money on their electricity bill, but also improves the sustainability of the roofing system. Reducing electricity consumption is better for the environment.
Because of the amount of sunlight that Australia sees each year, solar energy is increasingly popular, and great leaps are being made in the country for increasing the efficiency of this as a supply of electricity. Not only is there investment from large electrical supply companies, but you are seeing an increase in the number of homeowners that are installing solar panels onto their roofs and actually contributing back to the national grid. Read more on installing solar panels: https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/construction/green/install-solar-panels.htm
The next development has been in the type of roofing material, with Colourbond style options including developments that are able to work in conjunction with solar panels. If you can use a roofing material that is able to help keep the solar panel cool or direct sunlight towards the solar panel by increasing the solar reflectance of the roof, why would you want to get a standard corrugated iron roof that will end up costing you more than it could ever save you.
What Is The Cost Of A Roof?
This is really the biggest question most homeowners start with. Unfortunately, it is an answer with multiple variables. However, if you can find a good roofing contractor in Melbourne, they will be able to give you a no obligation estimate or quote. Not only will the price depend on the type of roofing material you want to use, but also if you are looking at replacing an old roof, a new build, trying to put new roofing iron over an existing roof (a practice that is more common in America than it is in Australia). While you are looking at putting the new roof on, it is also a good time to consider what sort of insulation you could have – insulation keeps your house warm in winter, and cool in the summer, so is an excellent investment that can work well with your new roofing material.