The Difference between Australian and American Roofing Materials and Techniques
Roofing materials and techniques tend to differ widely depending on the region they are used in. There have been several changes over the years as societies discover ways to improve roofing. Technology has changed roofing installation but there are some major differences between Australian and American roofing.
Australian Roofing Materials
Most Australian buildings have iron or tiled toots. The tiles are either clay or concrete. These tiles have been used for several years but there has been a shift towards iron roofs in the recent past.
Tile roofs are preferred in Australia because of their reduced embodied energy. This refers to the energy required to manufacture and transport a material from its initial raw state to a finished product. Some people consider the tiles more elegant. Another significant advantage of using tiles for roofing is that they allow for easy access to the roof. This makes it easy to carry out repairs on the roof.
Concrete and clay tiles are designed to endure harsh climatic conditions. The concrete tiles do not have any glazing, exposing them to atmospheric pollutants and UV radiation. Tile roofing is also considered ideal in Australia because it makes rainwater harvesting possible.
Some Australian regions are prone to bushfires, making it necessary to have appropriate roofing. Tiled roof systems have undergone extensive testing in Australia and they are now recommended for bushfire zones. A residential building standard was implemented in 2009 after the Victorian bushfires in the same year.
Australians use metal roofs especially when they have to cover big areas. Metal tends to have a higher strength to weight ratio compared to other roofing materials. This allows homeowners to construct long and lighter structures. The spans on these structures do not require columns. Minimal framing material is required to install metal roofs.
Some of the most popular metal roofing materials used in Australia include Colorbond and zincalume. These two materials are available in a variety of profiles and they include a coating on the base.
Most Australian buildings have rain shedding roof tile systems. Weather-casting systems are used during roofing. Tiles are connected to the battens and only a small number are nailed. The tiles are kept in place by lapping them while some are restrained by gravity.
In wet parts of the country, some bituminous felt is used on top of the rafters. The bitumen helps to make the roof waterproof. It also breaks wind.
Most of the roof designs include a slope, allowing water to easily run off and drain away from the house. Some of the most popular roof framing options includes:
American Roofing Materials
American roofs usually have asphalt shingles and wood shingles and shakes.
More than 75% of American homes have use asphalt shingles. This roofing material is preferred because it is affordable, resilient, and easy to install. But they to be have limited insulated value. Their lifespan is also shorter compared to other materials. The shingles are made of petroleum products and they cannot be recycled because they contain fiberglass.
Wood Shingles and Shakes
American roofs also various types of wood shingles and shakes. Some of the popular woods include:
- Southern pine
The shingles are machine made while the shakes are made by hand, making them appear rougher. The type of roofing material used depends on local building codes to ensure fire safety.
American Roofing Techniques
The wood shingles have to be installed at between 40F and 85F. If shingles are below 40F, they tend to be brittle and can crack easily when you bend or hammer them. High temperatures tend to tear the shingle or damage the granular coating.
A thermal sealant is used to join the shingles together after they are applied. This sealant works when the shingles are exposed to warm temperatures or the sun. If the shingles are being installed in cold temperatures, it may be necessary to seal them manually.
Galvanizing roofing nails are used to fasten shingles. Nailing is an important step in the roofing process in American buildings. Staples can also be used to fasten the shingles but they have to be long enough to penetrate the sheathing.
We hope this helps you understand the difference between the two countries.
They still share the same goal, just different techniques same with many things in life!