It’s no secret that the roof of a house is a major investment. Since it is one of, if not the most important of a home’s components, the price of a roof usually amounts to a considerable chunk of a house’s total building costs. Most people don’t realise the significance of their roof, especially considering that it is one of the key components of the home which provides shelter. This means that it’s incredibly important that a roof has durability, integrity and longevity – qualities which are not only determined by the roof covering you select but also by how regularly inspections and maintenance are performed on the roof during its lifespan.
What to consider when choosing roofing / cladding material
When it comes to selecting roofing material which has the three qualities mentioned above, metal roofing is an excellent choice. Modern metal roofs act like a mirror, reflecting the sun’s energy instead of absorbing it. This heat reflection means that your home remains cooler in the summer while also keeping its internal temperature more constant.
It’s also advisable to consider lighter coloured roofing material to help reflect the sun’s rays. This is especially true if you live in a region of South Africa which experiences higher than average temperatures in the summer.
Another advantage of metal roofing is that it’s not porous and therefore less prone to the collection of debris, growth of algae or unsightly discoloration of the roof’s surface. Metal roofing is therefore ideal for harvesting water, installation of solar products and is also resistant to fire and wind damage.
Although metal roofing in itself is well protected from the elements, maintenance is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Preventative maintenance includes periodic inspections of the roof fasteners as well as regular washing down of surface areas which are not exposed to direct rain or where pollution or debris typically collects (behind fixtures on the roofs etc).
A roof endures more from the elements than any other component of a home and the frequency of roof inspections and maintenance should therefore be dependent on its geographical location. For example, if your house is close to the sea or located in similarly harsh conditions, it will need greater care than one positioned inland. As a general rule, roofs more than 1km from the ocean or a highly industrial setting require a 6-monthly washdown while those less than 1km from these two environments require a 4-monthly washdown.
Here are some additional tips to prolong the service life of your roof:
• All fasteners should have rubber sealing washings which are free of carbon fillers.
• Fasteners should be as durable as the roof sheeting (a minimum Class 3 should be used for both Zincal® and Colorplus®).
• Class 4 fasteners must be used within 5km of coast, river and corrosive environments.
• Touch-up paint is not recommended.
• Never use abrasive or solvent type cleaners.
• Don’t use rough cleaning cloths, wire brushes or steel wool to clean the roof.
• Zincal® and Colorplus® are compatible with other materials such as aluminium, galvanised, or equivalent aluminium/zinc coated steel; however it is advisable to avoid mixing different types of material on one project to prevent the possibility of accelerated corrosion.
• If you have solar panels, ensure that there haven’t been any bi-metallic reactions between them and other products on your roof during your periodic inspections.
Invest in the best
One of the longest-lasting roofs money can buy is the Zincal® coated steel roofing and cladding solution from Safintra. In Zincal® the durability and service life of modern coated steel is extended even further due to the innovative methods and production techniques used in its design. The aluminium-zinc coating on this profile protects the low carbon steel base in two ways: the aluminium coating component provides a tough physical barrier while the zinc in the coating provides sacrificial protection and also protects the steel at the cut edges. This superior corrosive property increases the life of the steel core up to four times longer than that of galvanised steel.
Furthermore, the thermal mass of Zincal® is significantly lower than most other roofing alternatives on the market. This increases the reflection of the sun’s rays creating a cooler home in summer and a warmer building in winter, not only contributing to higher comfort levels inside the house but also extending the lifespan of its roof.
By selecting a durable roofing material, performing regular maintenance and following best-practice guidelines, you can substantially extend the service life of your building’s roof. Visit our contact page to speak to a Safintra professional for more maintenance tips or assistance in selecting the right roofing material for your next project.