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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Key Roofing Materials

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When looking at the different roofing materials out there many are overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. To make it simple for you we’ve taken the most popular roofing materials in Australia and broken them down by their advantages and disadvantages. 

Metal Roofs

For years metal roofing was considered the cheapest and lowest quality material on the market. Today however, advances in installation techniques and metal roof treatment have made aluminium and steel roofing increasingly popular in Australia as a premium, high quality choice. 

Advantages

  • Metal roofs are lightweight, highly durable and have a long life expectancy, making them an excellent long term investment.
  • Perfect for hot and dry conditions, metal roofs are energy efficient and fire resistant.
  • Metal roofs have a variety of styles and a wide range of colours available, making them suitable for most homes.
  • Metal roofs can be recycled and can even be laid over an existing roof.

Disadvantages

  • Metal roofs are on the expensive side and require professional installation to make them a viable choice for residential homes.
  • They require painting periodically to maintain their colour.
  • If not installed correctly they can be noisy during rain or other weather events. 

Slate Roofing TilesExperts in Roof Restoration

One of the classic roofing choices, slate roofing tiles have been around for more than 500 years. This makes them one of the most tried and tested materials still in use today.

Advantages

  • One of the most durable materials for roofing, with a very long life expectancy. Slate tiles are known to be very resistant to weather and events such as wind, rain and even hail. This also makes them very low maintenance over the long term.
  • Highly attractive, slate tiles provide unmatched curb appeal and a variety of colours.

Disadvantages

  • Slate tiles are expensive and difficult to install, meaning that they require serious professional work to get right. 
  • The tiles can be brittle. While they are very good at withstanding extreme weather, the tiles themselves can break if someone walks on them or they get hit by something heavy like a tree branch.
  • Slate tiles are also heavy, which means that the roof will require extra support to remain upright.

Terracotta Roof TilesSelection of different roof tiles, including brown, red and green tiles

Around since the age of the Ancient Greeks, terracotta tiles have always been a popular roofing choice for European homes. Today, it is still one of the most common choices for Australian homes.

Advantages

  • Terracotta tiles have a life expectancy of over 100 years, which means that aside from occasional maintenance they will be around a lot longer than most of us once they are installed.
  • Extremely durable against weather events, highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Disadvantages

  • Much like slate tiles they are expensive and require professional installation.
  • Terracotta tiles can be brittle when walked upon and the colour may fade over time requiring repainting.
  • They are heavy and require extra support.

Asphalt Shingles

A popular choice for people looking for something on the cheaper side, asphalt roofing is popping up all over the country.

Advantages

  • Asphalt shingles are very affordable compared to other roofing options and provide easier installation.
  • They are fire resistant and easy to repair, which make them popular amongst DIYers.

Disadvantages

  • Asphalt roofs only have a life expectancy between 15 to 30 years, which means they will require replacement more often and a higher degree of maintenance than most other roofs.