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What You Need to Know to Maximize Your Roofing Investment

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when installing a new roof for the first time, upgrading your old roof, or assessing the roof of a property you’re looking to buy is the type of material used in the home’s roof construction. The roof is the most crucial part of your home’s defense against nature, especially harsh Australian elements like rain, heat, fires, dust, and wildlife.

Not all roof types should be considered, especially when discussing roof types for Australia. The roofing material you choose will ultimately affect your home’s value and aesthetics as well as your and your family’s quality of life and wallet.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few relevant roof materials, their expected shelf lives, what makes them so durable, and ultimately which one will last you the longest

What Should You Consider When Evaluating Roof Life?

Chiefly, you’ll be considering the type of material the roof is going to be made of; and the type of material is going to be heavily dependent on your environment. Your roof is the barrier between the outside elements and the interior of your home, you’ll want something that can stand against the seasons in your neck of the woods. Density, natural chemical reactive properties, and added technological enhancements are all key factors that will determine the longevity of your new roof.

How will this roofing material handle periods of heavy rain?

How will this roofing material handle increased heat stress due to a warming climate?

How much long-term maintenance will this roofing material require

These are all questions you should be asking yourself, so let’s take a look at some roofing material options then decide on the best.


Stone Roof Types

Stone is where it all started. This organically occurring source for our home construction over centuries is still used to this day for a reason. Naturally durable–there are still stone houses standing in Northern Europe that date as far back as 3700 – 3500 BCE–stone offers heat, water, and debris resistant properties. These primal benefits when combined with modern technology give stone roof types the function you want with that difficult-to-replicate cosmetic profile.


Slate is a naturally occurring stone with some very beneficial properties when it comes to roofing tiles. It’s naturally durable which makes it great against debris, corrosion, insects, and animals. It also has some properties which make it a great choice for the Australian climate.

  • Waterproof.
  • Fire-resistant in cases of human-accident or natural-born fires.
  • Dense and therefore keeps heat out during hot cycles.
  • Dense and therefore keeps heat in during colder cy

Slate roof tiles are a low maintenance roofing material option that lasts from 60 – 150 years. In addition, it’s also very naturally aesthetically beautiful.


Concrete is a man-made composite of sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, and other recycled concrete mixed with a cement paste to harden. In its rawest form concrete is porous which can lead to more water absorption and thus poor maintainability when compared with slate. This isn’t a factor to worry over. Modern concrete roofing tiles are now treated in a way that increases durability, and the technology is only getting better.

The concrete roofing material you’ll find on the market is:

  • Highly resistant to fire.
  • Waterproof.
  • Insect and animal proof.

Concrete roof tiles are a low-maintenance roofing material option that lasts about 50 years. Unlike slate, depending on your view concrete can have a displeasing aesthetic-especially when wet.


Roofing & Guttering Work?


Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil material containing clay minerals. In its rawest form clay can be very porous and, once wet, hold a lot of water; when dry it can also become very hard and brittle. There’s nothing to worry about though. With an added glaze, clay roofing tile durability approaches that of slate roofing tiles. However, it should be warned that clay, of the three stone materials listed here, is the most fragile.

The clay roofing material you’ll find on the market is:

  • Waterproof.
  • Corrosion-resistant.
  • Heat resistant.

Clay roof tiles are a very low-maintenance roofing material option that lasts from 50 – 100 years.


Metals in and of themselves will always absorb a lot more heat and react with water (salt included) when compared with their stone option counterparts, so keep this in mind when considering metal roof types.

It’s critical that if you do choose metal roofing material it gets treated to help provide the best shield against the weather elements in your area which in turn maximizes the metal roof’s life. Luckily, this is more the manufacturing norm than not.


Aluminum is a very light and physically flexible option. This can make it susceptible to dents and scratches. Despite this, aluminum roofing is a great material choice that provides multiple benefits:

  • Wind resistant.
  • Waterproof.
  • Heat and rust-resistant if treated correctly.

Aluminum is low maintenance, typically lasting from 40 – 50 years, but needs to be carefully considered because of its expensive cost compared with other options.


Copper is a fundamental element used in everything from phones, jewelry, and musical instruments, to pots and pans, doorknobs, and wiring. Because of these many demands, copper is the most expensive option among the roof types listed here–especially for large roofing projects. Copper, after being treated, provides all the benefits you’d need for your new roof construction. Here are some properties of copper manufactured for roofing.

  • Naturally rust-resistant.
  • Fire-resistant.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Heat resistant.

Copper is an expensive, almost luxurious, roofing material option that lasts for up to 100 years.

One last thing to consider is the natural discoloration that happens over time with these roofs when exposed to the elements

Colorbond Steel

ColorBond is a brand of steel created by BlueScope that’s specifically manufactured for roofing, walling, guttering, and other home building tasks. As a result, you can expect it to be tailored to the unique challenges of protecting your home. ColorBond is designed for all of your Australian weather needs:

  • Highly durable.
  • Heat resistant.
  • Cold-resistant.
  • Waterproof.
  • Debris and dust resistance.

So, how long does a Colorbond roof last? 70 years and increasing with advancements in the technologies used to create the material.

If going for a metal option, know that ColorBond technology is constantly being updated to adjust to the ever-changing environmental conditions in Australia which makes it a low maintenance cost-to-quality option.

What Type of Roof is Best?

Now that we have an idea of what potential roof materials are out there,

What type of roof lasts the longest?

It has to be slate. Its 60-150 year shelf life due to its natural heat, fire, rain, and damage-resistant properties makes it the best low maintenance, long-lasting option.

Not to mention its natural beauty.Whichever you choose, understand that you can buy the best roof material out there, how it’s installed and maintained has a lot to do with reaching peak value for your investment.

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