In Perth and Western Australia in general new homes have always been built with double brick and terracotta or concrete roof tiles. It seems that is something that makes Perth somewhat unique to the rest of Australia. Even The world. In the late 90s, COLORBOND® roofing made its impact. However, there are still hundreds of thousands of tiled roofs in Perth Western Australia.
A lot of the time the importance of these roofing tiles is overlooked. Don’t leave it until you find a noticeable leak to check your first defence. Get a free roof inspection from Powerdrive Roofing Perth today!
Roof Tiles Do Not Last Forever!
Concrete and terracotta roof tiles don’t last forever. Although if you do the right thing and keep up your roof maintenance, they will last a long time. Roof maintenance is the difference between your roof tiles lasting 25 years and potentially lasting up to 75 years.
- Tile’s break.
- Waterproofing capabilities break down.
- Tile supports need to be replaced.
- Caution if you swap to metal roofs.
- Tiles break down.
Throughout this blog, we will discuss this and other subjects, we will start by discussing the different types of roofing tiles. In Perth Western Australia the main tiled roof cover options are Terracotta and concrete roof tiles. However, we do also have the option of slate. Also, relatively new to the Perth market are the solar roof tiles.
At Powerdrive Roofing Perth, we do not put much emphasis on solar or slate roof tiles. Slate is very rarely used anywhere in Australia mainly due to the price. Between $200-$500 per sqm you can almost build another house for that price.
Similarly, solar roof tiles are not budget-friendly. Also, personally, they have not been around long enough to know how they will perform in our Australian climate. So as below we will stick to the two popular roofing tiles on the Perth market.
Terracotta Roofing Tiles
Terracotta roofing tiles are essentially that is moulded and baked. Two key factors will determine the density of your roof tiles:
Baking Temperature of Which the Roofing Tiles Are Heated.
The typical firing temperature is around 1,000 °C, though it may be as low as 600 °C.
The Length of Time in The Kiln
The average baking time for terracotta roof tiles is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.
Terracotta roof tile Properties
Terracotta roof tiles in general will come in a variety of styles and colours. The most common is leaving the natural look like a terracotta. Although adding enamels or glazing during the baking process can deliver some beautiful earthy tones to an already great product.
Enamel Colour Process
As touched on earlier. With the addition of enamel in the process, you can get nice earthy tones. It is also important to note that spraying the Enamels prior to the roof tile actually entering the bake.
Additionally, ensuring that the kiln is set to a higher baking setting. Closer to 1,000 °C you will be confident in that binding to the clay. Attaining a great finish that won’t fade or peel for many years to come.
Due to this enamel or otherwise known as ceramic binding. Binding a colour is now more popular giving homeowners a greater variety. Not only of profiles but now also colours too. This makes Terracotta roofing in Perth a very good choice for your new roof.
More Info on Terracotta Roof Tiles
Again, as touched on earlier terracotta roof tiles are produced using natural earth materials. So, it does make them an environmentally friendly option.
Out of the two tile options that today we are discussing the terracotta roof tile range are slightly more expensive than their concrete roof tile counterparts. Here is the part where I should be raving on about how terracotta roof tiles will have a better life span than concrete roof tiles.
But I can’t, if I was to talk about the clay roof tiles from the 1900s then I would have no problem. We are not using tiles from the 1900s though, we are using newly manufactured clay roof tiles. I must say, this is just the opinion of Powerdrive Roofing Perth. However, the new terracotta roof tiles are a lot thinner, they are warped coming out of the oven, I truly do not believe they have the lifespan of the terracotta roof tiles of old.
Chemical Delignification a Structural Defect in the Roof Frame
One other factor with terracotta roof tiles is chemical delignification. This is a problem with the timber roof battens underneath. The roof battens leach salts out of the clay which in turn breaks down the lignin. This causes a structural defect in the roof structure.
Concrete Roofing Perth
Your second option of course is concrete roof tiles. These are made using a combination of water, cement and sand. Once mixed they are moulded to the correct profile under high pressure, While being baked in a high-temperature oven. The top side of the roofing tile is coated with an oxide or paint-like substance.
Tiles Concrete Roof Tiles Colours and Styles
When it comes to concrete roofing tiles you are really spoilt for choice. A huge variety of colours and profiles are available that will fit in with the aesthetic properties of any home.
There are flat profiled concrete roof tiles that mimic the look of slate tiles. There are more contemporary profiles of the Monier Elebana. Which has been around for years and is one of their most popular range.
There are these and many different ranges in between. Even the tiles texture changes from a nice smooth texture on some to a more rough and rugged finish on others.
Cost Of Concrete Roof Tiles
If budget is a factor in your decision-making process, then you are looking in the right place. Concrete roof tiles are the cheapest option when it comes to roofing materials in Perth. It was colorbond up until recently, however like everything once its popularity increased so did the cost of materials.
One thing Powerdrive Roofing Perth has noticed. People see that concrete roof tiles are the cheapest option and straight away assume they are the worst option. In my opinion, this is not the case. Concrete roof tiles have a life expectancy similar to that of a terracotta. Maybe even longer now. Most concrete roofing tiles come with a 50-year guarantee on performance.
Chemical Delignification, Lichen Mould and Other Problems
Concrete roof tiles are a lot less likely to attract lichen mould as opposed to their terracotta counterparts. Also, chemical delignification is a problem that is only associated with terracotta roof tiles. It does not occur in any other roofing material. These are just a couple of problems that make concrete roof tiles a better option.
Weight Difference New Home
Concrete roof tiles weigh in at around 60 kgs per sqm as opposed to around 48-50kg for terracotta. Weight should not really play a part in your decision on which tile to choose when building a new home. Engineers will take into account whichever roofing material you have chosen and assure the roof structure is constructed accordingly. We will cover different weights of roofing materials further down on roof replacements.
Quotes and Customer options
Powerdrive Roofing Perth will always inform their customers, so they have the relevant information prior to making any decision. However, I will provide 3-5 options on the quote I supply.
A lot of the time I get to a property and the request will be for a roof replacement or re-roof. The customer will inform me they have had someone out to do a roof repair and have been told that a roof replacement is the only option. This really annoys me.
Options are as follows:
- Simple Roof Repairs. If there is just a couple of broken roof tiles. A lot of the time if the customer has spare on site our guys will change up to ten while we are there free of charge.
- Roof Maintenance. This would generally involve changing broken tiles, roof pointing. Checking valleys and flashings, replace or relip as required. Cleaning and flushing gutters and down pipes.
- Terracotta Roof Restoration. Would include all of option 2 as well as high pressure cleaning of the roof.
- Roof Restoration. This would include all of option 3. Additionally, our 3-coat painting system.
- Complete Roof Replacement. Powerdrive Roofing Perth will only quote on a re-roof in two instances. 1: if the customer actually wants a re-roof or 2: if the options above are not viable due to deterioration of either the tiles or the roof structure itself.
Common Roofing Perth Issues
Just about every homeowner at some stage has had to deal with water ingress of some kind. Whether it be major or minor it can still create big problems if left unattended. So, anything that prevents the roof tiles from doing their job and guiding the water down to the guttering system is a concern. This needs to be addressed by a professional at Powerdrive roofing.
Possible Causes of Water Ingress
When discussing a tiled roof, be it terracotta or concrete roof tiles. There are many ways water can penetrate. The most common are.
- broken or cracked roof tiles.
- Slipped or Dislodged Roof Tiles
- Roof Bedding and Pointing Deteriorated.
- Split or Torn Lead Flashings
- Rusted or Worn-out Valley Trays
- Unmaintained Roof Plumbing
What we at Powerdrive Roofing Perth have noticed a lot over the years is do it yourself type roof repairs. Not only is it dangerous getting on a roof without the correct knowledge and safety training. There is also the fact that 3 times out of 4 there is $20 worth of silicon spread across tiles and ridge capping. This generally makes matters worse for the roof tiler when he gets on site.
The guys at Powerdrive roofing Perth are pretty reasonable with our prices so it is a much better option to give us a call. Take advantage of our free roof inspection service.
While we are on-site, we will take lots of photos and sometimes even videos of the problem area to help you understand what the problem is. Helping you decide the best options moving forward.
Lichen Mould on Your Roofing Perth
When we talk about Lichen mould we think about clay or terracotta roof tiles. This is because Lichen mould is much more common on the very porous terracotta roof tiles. Lichen mould can become a big problem causing several different issues. This is where a roof cleaning professional can come in handy. Roof cleaning is an important part of roof maintenance, especially with terracotta roof tiles.
Blocked Water Channels
Lichen mould is known to grow within the overlaps of the roof tiles. These overlaps are also known as water channels. They catch and direct any water that drops between the roofing tiles to the row of roof tiles below.
When the lichen mould forms in these water channels it prevents the water from flowing through. In turn, it falls back into the roof void and can cause damage to the internals.
Tile Deterioration or Spalling
Another less known about or talked about element of lichen mould. Its ability to break down or deteriorate the terracotta roof tile. Now it isn’t the lichen mould itself but instead, the lichen mould contributing to the terracotta roof tile retaining moisture.
When the clay/terracotta retains water, it gets a problem known as efflorescence. This efflorescence will eventually cause tile fretting. On its own would not be a huge factor, but it goes on to cause a major structural defect in your roof framing known as Chemical Delignification. When the two combine the roof tiles are deteriorated rapidly, eating away at the lifespan of your roof cover and roof frame.
The Structural Defect Chemical Delignification
The phrase chemical delignification to most people doesn’t mean a thing, that is until they have had a building or pest inspection. Chemical delignification has been around for many years. It’s nothing new, nothing about chemical delignification has changed at all.
Nothing other than the fact that we now have more knowledge and have done more extensive laboratory testing. We now have a better understanding on what chemical delignification is. What causes chemical delignification and how it systematically breaks down your roof structure.
Terracotta Tiles and Efflorescence
As mentioned earlier, terracotta roof tiles are extremely porous, they retain a lot of moisture, when this happens, we get a problem known as efflorescence. It is during this efflorescence that the timber roof battens. (which is the structural element that carries the dead and live loads of the roof cover).
The roof battens absorb the moisture in turn they leach the salts from the clay roof tiles. The salts are sucked into the timber through the veins also known as the lignin. Lignin has another especially important role to play, it also acts as the glue that bonds the timber together.
Roof Battens Structural Integrity
In other words, lignin is what gives timber its structural integrity. So, we now have salts being absorbed into the lignin which causes a chemical reaction and literally begins to break down the structural integrity of your roof structure.
It can take many years for chemical delignification to cause a roof to collapse but make no mistake, if left untreated it will eventually collapse under the stress of the roof tiles.
SoftWoods and Chemical Delignification
With the introduction of softwoods. Powerdrive Roofing Perth is seeing chemical delignification in homes only seven to ten years old. This shows as our lab reports state that softwoods will adsorb the salts much quicker and break down quicker as they too are more porous.
This means we are only going to see and hear more about chemical delignification in the coming years.
How to Fix Chemical Delignification
Powerdrive Roofing is proud to say we have developed a treatment process for chemical delignification. Our treatment process has been perfected over the course of several years. Finally in 2020 Powerdrive Roofing had our patent approved for the treatment of chemical delignification.
Powerdrive Roofing Perth is the only company in Australia with a proven treatment for chemical delignification. Over the years others have come and gone trying with different processes, the most common attempt was linseed oil.
Not only does linseed oil not work as a treatment (Linseed oil has the least resistance to any sealant towards water absorption). It has been shown to be extremely dangerous. Linseed oil is a combustible liquid, which means it does not require an ignition source to start a fire.
Powerdrive Roofing Perth Chemical Delignification Treatment
As above Powerdrive Roofing Perth has a unique Patented treatment for chemical delignification. The treatment revolves around a chemical that is specially manufactured by Powerdrive Roofing for the treatment of delignification.
When it comes to chemical delignification and roof tile spalling/deterioration, the best people to talk to are the team at Powerdrive Roofing Perth. We are the only ones in Australia that are going to be able to tell you outright with conviction what stage your roof is at.
- Can it be saved with a treatment?
- Will a treatment and roof maintenance be sufficed?
- Has it already got to the point where the only option is a roof replacement?
Roof Pointing – Roofing Perth
Roof ridge caps are the apex tiles that cover the cap where the two sides of the roof meet at the peak. The ridge cap is sat on a bed of cement called, of course, the bedding. Ever since the mid-90s ridge caps have been doing roof pointing with a flexible compound. This is referred to in the industry as flexi.
Flexi roof pointing plays a few vital roles on a tiled roof. firstly, it helps keep out dirt, dust and debris. Secondly, it prevents any water from penetrating the roof void and causing internal damage. Additionally, Flexi roof pointing secures the ridge tiles or ridge caps to the top course of roof tiles.
When completing any roof maintenance roof pointing is normally a high priority. The ridge capping is definitely one of the first things checked when called out to a leaking roof repair.
Roof pointing should be updated every 10 to 15 years as general roof maintenance on any tiled roof. Concrete roof tiles or terracotta both require similar roof maintenance routines. People are made to believe that colorbond is maintenance-free, this is not true, however, that is a story for another blog.
Roof Restoration – Restoring Your Old Roof Tiles
A Powerdrive Roofing roof restoration is always a go-to option before a full roof restoration. If your roof is looking a bit tired, old and worn out. It could likely benefit from a bit of a makeover.
At Powerdrive Roofing our main goal is to give our customers choice. Options rather than going straight to the extreme. A lot of the time a roof restoration will give your concrete roof tiles a whole new lease on life. With a good roof restoration, you could get an extra 10 to 20 years out of your old roof tiles.
Roof Restoration Warranty
Powerdrive Roofing Perth offers a full ten-year warranty on our roof restoration service. We use either Nutech or Dulux roofing membrane. Both these products also carry a ten-year warranty which is passed on to our customers.
Roof Restoration Rip Offs
People need to be aware that not everyone that claims to be a roof restoration expert is actually a roof restoration expert. Unfortunately, over the years people have found the roofing restorations industry an easy way of scamming people.
There have been countless times where our team at Powerdrive Roofing Perth has been called out to fix a shonky roof restoration throughout Perth. Then there is the article we all see on the news or a current affair every couple of years about the guy’s doorknocking selling roof restorations.
These guys are generally backpackers, the ones I have personally come across were Irish, now they didn’t actually initially set out to scam these people, they were actually roofers back home. However, they had never used flexi roof pointing before, it is not like sand and cement at all and they just couldn’t get the hang of it.
But what they did next was where it went wrong, rather than admit fault and say “ok, we have messed up, here are your deposits back”. They skipped town.
Do your homework on the company you choose, or just choose Powerdrive Roofing Perth. You know We’ve Got You Covered!
The roof restoration cost should be a good indication of whether you are going to get a good job or not, however, you should always ask for references and check reviews, even ask for previous addresses to drive by and have a look at,
Now the Roof Replacement
When all other options have been exhausted and the only move left to make is the roof replacement. This means your concrete or terracotta roof tiles have reached the end of the road. The roof tiles are no longer salvageable and now the decision needs to be made for a new roof cover.
What Roof Cover Should Be Chosen?
Generally, a roof replacement will go like for like. So, if we remove concrete roof tiles, we replace with concrete roof tiles. Terracotta roof tiles come off; terracotta tiles go back on. But more and more common we are seeing people switch from terracotta or concrete to metal such as colorbond roofing.
This is where issues can happen. A Colorbond roof weighs around 5 kg per sqm. The common response is “oh that’s great, it will easily take the weight”.
The problem is. It is no longer a matter of supporting the load of the roof cover.
It has become a matter of holding the roof cover down. If done correctly tie-downs are installed and tied into the house framing. So “what’s the problem”? you say.
Ok, you have a solid structure that has had 60 kg per sqm on it for 50 years. Not only do you remove all that weight, but you actually start pulling it in the opposite direction.
When this happens, it is like a chain, it will find the weakest point and it will start to break down. It may not happen straight away, but over time it will eventually find and break down the weak spots in your home’s structure.
It is, for this reason, I do not overly promote the change from tile to metal roof replacement.
What You Should Know About Roofing Perth
Basically, what I am trying to get across in this article is that not every roof repair requires a roof replacement. At Powerdrive Roofing Perth, we don’t have salesmen driven by commission doing our quotes. Our quotes are carried out by actual tradesmen that know what they are looking at. Not just giving a sales pitch to upsell.
Roofing Perth Inspection
When the Powerdrive Roofing Perth team member does the initial roof inspection they will always take photos of the areas of concern. We have found this helps the customer get a better understanding of the roof repairs that are going to be undertaken.
We like to be as transparent as possible. Now is the time to call the team at Powerdrive Roofing.
Talking About Transparency. Cost of a Powerdrive Roof Restoration
Powerdrive believe in complete transparency so below we will discuss some of our prices such as:
Cost of a Roof Restoration.
A Powerdrive Roofing Perth roof restoration is charged out at $18 per sqm. This cost covers tile replacement (up to 30). Valley replacement (up to 5 Lm). Rebed ridge capping (up to 10 caps). Roof pointing of all ridge capping. High-Pressure cleaning at 4000psi. clean and flush all gutters and downpipes. Finally, apply our three-coat paint system to clean up any ground mess and leave you with a roof that is the envy of the street.
Cost of Roof Pointing.
When choosing Powerdrive Roofing Perth for your roof pointing you are guaranteed the cost will fall on or between $6 to $8 per cap. There are a couple of factors that dictate this price. One is ridge cap type, obviously, a butt ridge with no collars to point is going to be quicker and useless material.
Bedding depth is another. The same reasoning, it uses more material and is more time-consuming.
Thirdly, is the pitch or height of the roof, some work at heights works demands a slightly higher rate, especially when fall protection is required.
Cost of a Roof Replacement
The cost of a roof replacement is a bit harder to give an exact price for there is a lot of variables.
Roof Replacement Concrete Roof Tile Off Concrete Roof Tiles On
Concrete roof tile to tile Roof replacements starts at $80 per sqm with some companies charging in excess of $100 per sqm.
With a roof replacement of concrete roof tiles swapping with the same the cost of a Powerdrive roofing Perth roof replacement would be $85 per sqm.
Roof Replacement Terracotta Roof Tiles Off Terracotta Roof Tiles On
Terracotta roof tile to tile replacement starts at $98 per sqm and can range up to $110 per sqm.
A Powerdrive Roofing Perth terracotta roof tile roof replacement would in most cases be at the lower $98 per sqm. So, when it comes to the cost of a Re roof in Perth. It is easy to see why your first call should be to Powerdrive Roofing.
Roof Replacement Tiles to Metal
This one is a little bit trickier. With Tile to metal roof replacement, there is no easy route. Well, not when you do it properly anyway.
We discussed earlier the weight difference when changing from terracotta or concrete roof tiles to metal such as colorbond roofing. The possible implications it could have on the structure of your home. Before it is changed over there needs to be engineering done and council approval obtained.
When it comes down to the physical work side of it the cost of a roof replacement is $105 per sqm (this does not include engineer or council approval, we can arrange at a cost.).
Powerdrive Roofing Perth Structural Defect Repairs
When Talking about roof repairs most people forget there is more to a roof than just what you can see. Powerdrive Roofing Perth has you covered on every angle. One of the main things in your home that is hidden away and forgotten about is your roof frame.
Roof Frame and a Few Common Structural Defects
- Lack of collar-ties
- Base of struts not chocked.
- Struts not bird-mouthed
- Split struts
- Twisted/bowed underpearlins
- Improper connections to roof battens
- Chemical delignification
- Of course, Termites
- Sagging rafters
Powerdrive Roofing Perth Structural defect repairs can solve all these issues. Our carpentry division handles anything from small structural defects to new home construction, additions and much more.
We have had our roof carpentry division in place for many years now. However, with the building boom we are experiencing in Perth we have decided to expand and start not only roof framing. Additionally, we are moving into all structural framing. It is a move that just makes sense to us. We have the skillset, why not put it to use.