Why metal roofing leaks less compared to tile roofing

Choices for residential roofing services

When you’re looking for residential roofing services, you want a company who can really understand your needs and provide the best options. So, what are your choices when it comes to a new roof for your home?

Metal roofing is by far the most popular in Australia, mainly because it’s so durable, cost-effective and built for Aussie conditions. But that’s not to say it’s the only style of roof out there. Tiles are still popular in Australia too, however they’re now mostly found on older homes.

One of the reasons metal roofing is so popular is because it’s less prone to leaks. But why exactly is that? Let’s find out why metal roofing leaks less than tile roofs.

There are less seams on metal roofing

Basically, this is where size really matters. There are less seams on metal roofing because the sheets are so much bigger than tiles. When we talk about seams, we mean the part where two pieces of roofing join together.

Naturally, with potentially hundreds of tiles being used for a roof, that’s a whole lot of seams that are prone to degrade or let water seep through. Metal roofing on the other hand, comes in much larger sheets. This means there are way less seams to deal with, and the ones that do exist are capped to prevent leaks.

Metal roofing doesn’t crack like tiles

While there’s no such thing as an invincible roofing material, metal roofing is generally considered the most durable. In Australia, manufacturers like Bluescope Steel are known for delivering great products like Colorbond and Zincalume, and they’re built to withstand tough Australian conditions.

Tiles, on the other hand, are more prone to cracks and breaks, especially in severe weather conditions. These cracks can cause significant leaks, and they can be frustrating to repair because once one breaks, you might find you’ll be calling your roofing contractor back regularly for further broken tiles. So, while metal roofing isn’t completely impervious to damage, it’s generally considered a lot less likely to crack and leak in the way that tiles do.

Tile ridge capping is less reliable

On all tiled roofs, there’s a point where two sloped areas meet. This is called the ridge, and it’s very unlikely that tiles line up perfectly to seal tight. That’s why ridge capping is used on tile roofs, to prevent water from leaking in through the gaps.

When ridge capping is laid, there is usually a bedding underneath. Over time, the capping itself or the bedding can crack. This can cause a range of problems. If water leaks through, it can pool behind the bedding and leak into the roof cavity. The water can also find a drainage path but ultimately get stuck somewhere, causing an overflow or leak. Needless to say, these leaks can be extremely damaging and costly to repair, because it can cause a host of issues in your roof cavity.

Less entry points

Similar to our point about less seams on metal roofing, the same can be said in general about entry points. It’s a common misconception that leaks occur because something has broken or created a hole in your roofing. Sometimes, it’s simply a case of water leaking through entry points that were always there.

Now, metal roofing also has a lot of entry points too, such as the spaces where panels join, gutters, and around other penetrations like chimneys and ventilation. However, tiles have an incredible amount of potential entry points too, because there are just so many of them.

In both cases, it’s important you only deal with qualified, experienced roofing contractors, because many leaks are simply a case of poor installation.

Leaks are easier to find on metal roofs

In theory, leaks on a metal roof should be easier to find, partly because of the reason above. There are less entry points, so checking for poor installation or faulty roofing materials should be easier. With a tiled roof, if there’s no obvious cracked or broken tiles, you could spend a lot of time searching for a leak.

Obviously, if your roof has been damaged by a storm, for example, the source of a leak should be pretty easy to spot regardless of the material, however it’s generally a lot easier to pinpoint on a metal roof.

Metal roofing has a long warranty period

While this doesn’t really serve as evidence that metal roofing leaks less than its tiled counterpart, it’s certainly something to consider when roofing or re-roofing your home. Metal roofing from reputable suppliers is backed by a huge warranty. As an example, Colorbond has a warranty of 30 years, which in most cases is longer than you’ll stay in your home.

Combine that with a workmanship warranty from your roofing contractor, and you’re going to be pretty safe even if something does go wrong with your metal roofing. Unfortunately, tiles don’t usually come with such warranties, leaving you out of pocket if you need tiles replaced.

Other benefits of metal roofing

Aside from experiencing less leaks, there are a few other benefits to metal roofing.

Metal roofing is lightweight

If you’ve ever tried to pick up a stack of tiles, compared to a large sheet of metal roofing, you’ll know the difference in weight. Tiles are much, much heavier than metal roofing, meaning there’s a lot more pressure on all the supports.

Cheaper labour on residential roofing services

Partly because of how lightweight it is, but also because of the installation process required, metal roofing is much easier to install. It still takes time to ensure it’s done properly, but laying large roofing panels is a lot quicker than laying hundreds of individual tiles.

Aesthetics and colour choices

Finally, you should also think about your home’s aesthetics. Tiles are somewhat outdated, and while they look great on some older homes, they don’t normally suit a sleek, modern architectural home.You’re also a bit limited when it comes to tile colours, however metal roofing comes in such a huge range of colours that you can get it to match any home.

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