Decramastic Roofing Blog

By pennyroof, Mar 27 2018 01:04AM

When you're living in a 73 year old Dunedin apartment building and the old terracotta roof is leaking, it's not ideal!

That was unfortunately the scenario for the 25 residents at 4 Alva Street. But thanks to a new Gerard roof, they can now all look forward to a worry-proof winter.

Age leads to problems for traditional terracotta roof

Built in 1945, the 8-unit dwelling is typical of the heritage architecture in Mornington, one of Dunedin's most historic suburbs with views over the city.

But the aging, heavy roof was causing a host of problems, as explained by Alva Street owner and the project’s lead co-ordinator, Rebecca:

"Like many roofs of that vintage in Dunedin, the original roof was Abbotsford terracotta tiles. The tiles had started to crack, and were deteriorating – causing more issues with leaks. It also had a lot of lichen on the shadier parts."

Faded, heavy, and leaking: the apartment's terracotta tile roof had seen better days. (Images courtesy Horizon Roofing)

New Gerard roof delivers weathertightness and improved safety

Led by Rebecca, the owners banded together, eventually deciding on a complete re-roof with Gerard pressed metal tile:

"We wanted a look that was closer to tile, and as a Body Corporate, we were looking for a long lasting, easy-care solution."

She says owners and residents are thrilled with the results:

"A big benefit is that it is waterproof, looks smart, and we hope that in the event of an earthquake, it will fare better than our old tile roof."

While everyone’s fingers will be crossed the city is spared in future, residents can be confident in their new roof. The lightweight resilience of an installed Gerard system delivers structural benefits by dramatically reducing the roof’s load, and has also been proven around the world to handle horizontal forces such like those caused by earthquakes.

Colour choice goes down to vote

The textured Gerard Tuffcoat roof has also lifted the building's appearance, not only for residents, but also neighbours situated further up Mornington’s hills.

Part of the aesthetic transformation was a switch in tone from the existing faded red clay, to Charcoal. But with Gerard Tuffcoat available in both traditional Terracotta and grey tones among others, Rebecca reveals that it was a close call:

"The colour wasn’t a unanimous decision, and nor was the texture. Getting agreement on the colour was probably one of the toughest parts of the project! The Charcoal (grey) had the biggest number of advocates. For those owners that preferred the Terracotta or another colour, there was a pragmatism that even if the colour was not their favourite, it was better to have a waterproof Charcoal roof than the (existing) leaky terracotta roof."

By pennyroof, Jan 22 2018 12:05AM

For the older generation“decramastic tiles*” means a scallop-shaped metal tile roof coated with stone chip. The issues that were often attributed to the product have, by some, continued to be associated with the new generation of acrylic, stone chip, metal tiles manufactured today.

The reality is they are totally different products and processes.

The issue of stones coming off the Decramastic roof surface was brought to public attention in 1978 in the NZ program “Fair Go”. What the public was not made aware of was the product in dispute was 15 years old and already superseded by a superior product. Nor were they generally aware that the manufacturer was successful in bringing a defamation claim against the broadcasters for misleading and incorrect statements.

Unfortunately this television program meant the general population became concerned about chip loss on metal tile roofs. But in testimony to the protective nature of the product there are still many of these roofs in service today, 50 years later, that have or can be restored with modern technology.

The idea of the chip coating came from an Englishman, Ben Booth, who developed a process for coating steel sheet with Bitumen onto which sand or grit was applied to prevent the sheets sticking together when stacked. It has been suggested that this was also to reduce glare as a form of camouflage during the wartime period around 1940.

Metal tiles made using this basic coating process were made from the late 1950s on. The first tiles were made in 1957 after Lou Fisher acquired Martile from the Martins.

In 1976 AHI Roofing initiated a major research program with the then modern technology of acrylics. By 1980 the new acrylic based product had replaced the barrier system which used the old Bituminous emulsion. These metal tiles were marketed under the brand Decrabond and New Harveytile.

In 1989 the largest installers of steel roofing tiles in Auckland engaged an engineer and chemist to develop what was to become Metrotile.

Today there are numerous manufactures of pressed metal tiles; Gerard Roofing, Metrotile, Metalcraft Roofing and others. All use similar technology, with some variations in formulation, and none use bituminous products in their manufacture.

Today’s pressed metal tiles use ZINCALUME® as a base with an acrylic coat over laid with natural stone chip with a second coat of acrylic overglaze.

The stone chips used today are similar to the originals with some synthetically coloured chip blended to offer a wider choice of colour combinations.

The range of tile profiles offered in today’s market is extensive. From the traditional to low profile slate and shake products.

While there is some differences between the warranties offered by products and brands most offer a 50 year pro rata warranty.

Cooper Roofing are a proud Gerard Roofing certified roofer, and we offer the full range of Gerard Roof tiles.

Todays tiles are not Decramastic
Todays tiles are not Decramastic
Todays tiles are not Decramastic
Todays tiles are not Decramastic
Todays tiles are not Decramastic
Todays tiles are not Decramastic

By pennyroof, Oct 30 2017 11:33PM

For many people, choosing a roof is primarily about style, and in this respect, a modern, lightweight Gerard roof offers a myriad of different options to suit the architecture of all kinds.

But equally important is peace of mind. You want to feel confident that your roof will continue to protect your home and its precious contents even under the most extreme conditions imaginable.

Gerard roofs have been thoroughly proven over time right throughout New Zealand and in over 120 countries around the world.

Sustainable Roofing

Sustainability by definition is inherently broad. Generally, however, there is a commonly understood idea of sustainability – the capacity for continuance into the long term. Sustainability is a process, a journey without an end; continuous improvement is the end in itself.

A Gerard pressed steel roof is an environmentally friendly choice. It’s lighter than concrete or clay roofing, which means transportation is more energy-efficient. It requires less framing support, which saves resources. And it’s made from steel, which is endlessly recyclable.

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