Why Replace a Tile Roof with Colourbond

Becoming so much more common and popular around Adelaide is to replace an old tiled roof with new Insulated Colourbond roof sheeting. As many houses built in the 60s, 70s and 80s were clad with a tiled roof many of these are now reaching 40 to 80 years of age and really at the end of their serviceable life. The options at this point aren’t many but it usually makes the most sense and provides the best value to undertake a full roof replacement and convert to an Insulated Colourbond roof.

Before After

Above: A heavily deteriorated concrete tiled roof replaced with Insulated colourbond Monument roof sheeting

By far the most popular tiled roof in Adelaide and any state of Australia is the concrete tiled roof. These come in many different profiles and colours and can be found on probably every suburban street in Australia. The concrete tiled roof certainly has a longer serviceable life than it’s Terracotta equivalent. With regular roof painting or roof restoration a concrete tiled roof can virtually last forever however the average Australian home owner is rarely this proactive in roof maintenance and restoration. For most people the roof is ignored until leaks start to appear and this can sometimes be too late to restore a concrete tiled roof. If a concrete tiled roof has been left in a porous state for many decades it can become quite brittle and have many broken tiles. The tiles may also start to release sand and grit from the tile surface. This can make a roof restoration or roof painting unviable and give no other option but to replace the roof with Insulated colourbond.

Above: A Glazed Terracotta roof tile showing heavy fretting. This tile was around 40 years old at the time of the photo. Entire roof was replaced with an Insulated Colourbond. (See next picture)

Terracotta Tile Roof Replacement

Terracotta tiled roofs are the second most common type of tiled roof in Australia. They certainly have their benefits, probably the biggest being that Terracotta tiles never fade. Being made from a natural clay material they always retain their colour regardless of age often just needing a pressure clean to reveal the original colour again. This benefit is fortunate considering that a Terracotta tile can’t be painted. The official advice from Dulux is that they give no warranty of any kind when coating or painting a Terracotta tile. This is while offering a 15 year warranty on all concrete tile roof coating and painting. Some downsides of Terracotta are that it naturally tends to grow moss and lichen and needs cleaning every few years if the homeowner does not want a mossy look to the roof. The biggest issue of all with a Terracotta tiled roof is “fretting”. Fretting is not just what the owner of a house does when you tell them their roof is falling apart but is the process of a Terracotta tile effectively crumbling and breaking away. The tiles progressively just turn back into the very Terracotta clay soil from which they were made. When a Terracotta roof starts fretting it will be extremely brittle to walk on, so much that the roof may no longer be trafficable. The roof tiles may become so brittle that with just a few steps on the roof surface tiles are broken. When a Terracotta roof reaches this state the only logical action to be taken is to replace the entire roof with a nice new Insulated Colourbond roof.

Above: Heavily fretting glazed Terracotta roof during the process of roof replacement. Photo taken at around the halfway point.

Tile roof replacement process

The process is really quite simple. Initially the entire roof surface is removed and thrown tile by tile into a large heavy skip bin. The tiles are then taken away and crushed to be used as road base. Once the roof tiles have been completely removed the entire roof is re-framed with metal roof battens fitted at 900mm centres. The original tile battens are left in place and serve to hold the insulation blanket up to the underside of the new roof sheets. Following this the Insulation blanket is rolled out over the new metal battens and roof sheeting fixed over the top. The average 4 bedroom single story house takes around one week to be fully complete. Houses that are 2 storey or have a more detailed type of roof typically take longer than this.

Above: The Oz-Roof team cutting Insulation blanket and roof sheeting to size on a recent concrete tile roof replacement.

Benefits of replacing tile roof with Colourbond

The benefits of this type of roof replacement are many. The longevity and warranty periods of new Colourbond are fantastic and usually around 30 years in duration. There is a massive weight reduction on the walls and structure when changing roof type and this can help with minimising future wall cracks and timber sagging. The ratio of removed roof vs replaced roof material is 10 to 1. This means for every 10 tonne of roof tiles removed only 1 tonne of Colourbond roofing is put back on. The aesthetic improvement to the house can also be dramatic, with many properties appearing decades newer. With an insulation blanket being installed directly under the Colourbond roof surface it is most effective at insulating your home, stopping the penetration of heat right at the roof edge before it enters the roof space. The roof is also significantly quieter in rain events when lined with an insulation blanket.

Above: A 9 cubic metre skip bin full of Terracotta roof tiles. Each skip bin takes around 8 tonnes of tiles. On the particular job 3 skip bins were filled.

If you have a house with a tiled roof, either Terracotta or concrete and suspect its past its serviceable life then give us a call. We can usually give free advice over the phone and can often give you a budget figure to replace your tile roof with Colourbond.

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