The type of roof cover you put on your house is very important. It must be functional and work with the design of your house adding to the overall protection, theme and curb appeal.
Normally your architect will follow the estate’s aesthetic guidelines when designing a new house but if you are in the position to choose your own roof cover here are a few popular roof covers that can be considered.
The roof covers we would be looking at include slate roofs, concrete tile roofs, and metal sheeted roofs.
Slate Roof Tiles
Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock that is formed under intense heat and pressure underground.
Due to the pressure imposed upon it, slate rock has developed a foliation or sheet-like layers.
To form the slate roof tiles the rock is split along these layers into smooth, flat pieces.
Slate has been used for hundreds of years and has withstood the test of time. It is versatile and strong and can be used for wall, floor, and roof covering’s.
Typically blends of grey’s, yellows, rust, reds, and browns, of the slate tiles lends itself to fit in with most applications.
Advantages of a slate roof
Slate roof tiles are 100% natural stone and exceptional resistance to weathering. If installed correctly it can give a watertight roofing system that will outlast the live time of the building. Slate tiles are also fireproof and environmentally friendly. The dense tile can also help to insulate the house and regulate the temperature that in turn will reduce energy cost. Slate roof tiles are also eco-friendly and can be recycled and used again.
Disadvantages of a slate roof
The three biggest disadvantages of a slate roof are the cost, weight, and installation of the slate. The extreme dense nature of a slate roof tiles makes it a very heavy roof cover and when doing a roof replacement it is important to take the weight into account that the slate roof cover will add to the roof structure and the house.
The slate itself is also very expensive putting it over budget for many roofing projects. A stronger roof truss system is also required to help carry the heavy load, pushing up costs even further. It is very important to find a reputable slate installer who can do the work properly.
Specific installation steps must be followed to assure a watertight system. The slate roof must also be inspected every couple of years and the inspection certificate must be handed in at your insurance to prove that your roof is in good order.
The maintenance cost of a slate roof could add up over the years. After heavy storms, roofs must be inspected and any loose or broken tiles must be replaced.
Concrete Roof Tiles
Concrete roof tiles are extremely durable and have long been considered as one of the favorite roof coverings in South Africa. Concrete tiles are designed to be strong & durable and because of the nature of concrete, it becomes stronger the older it gets.
Concrete tiles are also available in a number of designs that comes in a variety of sizes, profiles, and colors making it easy to get the perfect tile to complement the architectural design of your house.
Advantages of concrete roof tiles
Concrete roof tiles are strong, durable and fire-resistant. When installed correctly, concrete roof tiles can withstand harsh weather conditions and heavy storms.
The design of the concrete roof tile allows for easy replacement of chipped or broken tiles. New tiles can simply slide into place making roof repairs easy. Concrete tiles are also available in a number of designs that comes in a variety of sizes, profiles, and colors to suit any architectural style.
Concrete roof tiles require very little maintenance. Should a section of the roof be damaged only the affected tiles require replacement. The concrete roof tile and timber roofing structure combination is one of the most cost-effective choices for roofing available in the South African market
Disadvantages of concrete roof tiles
As with the slate roof tile, the concrete roof tile is also very heavy and you need to make sure that the roofing structure on your house is designed to carry the heavy load if you are doing a roof cover replacement.
However concrete roof tiles are much lighter in weight and cost less than slate roof tiles. Concrete roof tiles are not suited for a long span, low pitch roofs and it is not advisable to use concrete roof tile on a roof with a pitch lower than 17.5⁰. Concrete tile roofs with a pitch lower than 17.5⁰ will be prone to leaking.
Metal Roof Sheeting
Metal roof sheeting is primarily used for a long span, low pitch roofs but it is becoming more popular in modern developments. Sheeted roofs are much lighter than slate and concrete roofs and are being used more and more due to its versatility and attractive curb appeal.
When it comes to roof replacements metal sheeting is the preferred choice and can be used on roofs with a flat or steep roofline. Roof sheeting materials are available in the widest range of profiles, a variety of thicknesses, finishes, and colours. Profiles for roof sheeting include Corrugated, IBR & Kliplock sheeting.
Advantages of metal roof sheeting
Available in a wide variety of designs, textures, styles, and colors the metal roof sheeting is attractive and versatile. If correctly installed the metal roofing systems can withstand extreme weather conditions like heavy rain, hail storms, and snow.
Sheeted roofs are considered “green” because they can be recycled and used again. The metal roof sheeting is also lightweight making handling and installation easier.
Less timber is also required for the roof trusses and support. It is also non-combustible and resistant against molds and mildews. Sheeting is also more secure than roof tiles and doesn’t permit easy access to the roof.
Disadvantages of metal roof sheeting
Using metal roof sheeting is not the most affordable roofing option in the market and it is definitely more expensive than a concrete roof tile and timber structure combination. Sheeted roofs are resistant to all weather conditions in South Africa but can be very noisy during a rain or hail storm.
To prevent rot and truss damage a ventilation system of some sorts is required to prevent rising moisture turning into a liquid when the roof cools down in the evening. It is also not advisable to use a metal roofing system within 5km from the ocean
Do you need a new roof?
Each roof type has its own advantages and disadvantages that should be considered carefully. Many of the potential issues can be addressed by consulting with a professional roofing expert.
The roofing experts at ECO Built can help you determine which type of roofing system will work best for your new roof.
Contact ECO Built at 082 540 8464 or request a free quote at the top of this page. Visit our roofing section to get more answers on your roofing requirement.