Roof Coatings

We’ve considered various different options for our roof covering over the time we have designed the house. This has entailed modern concrete tiles, slates (both natural and artificial), copper or zinc and all have their drawbacks. Eventually we have settled on a standing seam coated metal (galvanized steel) roof system from Tata (who used to be Corus) called ColourCoat Urban.

I first saw this product at ECOBuild a couple of years ago when I was looking for a suitable product for our valley “flat” roof. Perhaps a description is in order.

Our main roof consists of two 32 degree mono-pitch roofs joined together with a lower “flat” roof section in the middle. It’s actually very similar to the roof structure often used on Huf Houses. We also have a detached garage with an 18 degree monopitch roof.

We perceive that the ColourCoat system has a number of advantages over just about everything else, which is why we’re going with it.

It has relatively good Eco credentials. The steel content is at least 20% recycled material and it is 100% recyclable at the end of its considerable life.

It’s great for rainwater harvesting in that the smooth non-absorbent surface maximises the rain capture and getting the water to the guttering. Its smoothness also means that there won’t be any lichen or moss growth to pollute the water and cause blockages. At the same time, it won’t introduce nasty chemicals into the water like some other metal roofs, in particular copper, so the water won’t result in green stains or be harmful if used for irrigation.

The appearance is contemporary but not totally extrovert like most other metal roofs, at least in the Anthracite colour we have chosen. The standing seam gives neat vertical lines along the roof, adding interest and giving the contemporary look. While we have chosen a dark grey colour, they also do bolder colours if that is what you want.

The standing seam system makes it very easy to mount solar panels. Special brackets clamp onto the seams meaning that there is no need to fit brackets under tiles (with the inevitable lifting) or drill through them. Simple grommets are also available for running pipes and cables through the roof while maintaining a good waterproof roof.

The panels arrive pre-cut from the factory (up to 12.5m lengths) so installation time is very quick and wastage is very low.

The system can cope with shallow pitches like those we have on the garage and valley roof. Normal tiles or slates wouldn’t work for these and we’d have had to have a steeper pitch on the garage and used a real flat roof system for the valley roof. With ColourCoat Urban we can use the same material for all of the roofs.

We currently have birds and potentially squirrels using our eaves for nesting and it’s not very nice. They’ll find it much harder to get through to setup residence in the roof with ColourCoat to get through.

Tata provide 40 year material and 10 year installation guarantees as standard, with even longer lifetimes probably being possible, and the system is essentially zero maintenance. When you’re planning to load a roof up with solar panels the last thing you want is the inconvenience of taking them all off to repair the roof, let alone the potential FIT contract complexities of doing this.

Finally the price is very competitive. Even compared to concrete tiles, imported (let alone Welsh – fantastic as it is) slate and even compared to EPDM type coatings with much shorter predicted lifetimes.

Consequently it should be no surprise that it is starting to be adopted more and more, particularly for modern selfbuilds.

2 responses

29 03 2011
H&R: Tata ColourCoat Urban Roofing « HardHouse Blog

[…] After looking at a number of different roof coverings, including concrete tiles and slate (both natural and artificial) we finally settled on a metal roof for several very good reasons. […]

25 03 2012

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