Can Roofing Profiles Rust?

Without a properly functioning, well-maintained roof, a building and its occupants are vulnerable to the elements. We all know the feeling of distress that accompanies a sudden leak in winter, or a draft that sneaks its way in from somewhere above our heads. Understandably then, when buying and installing roofing, you want to make sure that it is going to do the job. Besides ascertaining which profile will best suit your needs, a question that may be at the forefront of your mind is whether the roofing you are investing in might one day corrode. Can roofing profiles rust?

The short answer is yes. But this depends on the material the roofing profile is made out of – and what has been done to that material. Of course, roofs made of wood or plastic are not at risk of rust. Metal roofing, unfortunately, often is. Many roofs today are comprised of steel sheeting, and steel, being an iron alloy, is prone to rust. Exposure to oxygen and water leads to corrosion – with resulting red flaky patches. This process is particularly fast in coastal areas and regions with high levels of precipitation. If it is not nipped in the bud, rust can eat holes in your roofing and render it ineffective.

However, rare is the case where steel roofing is used without some kind of protective anti-corrosion coating. The best way to deal with the problem of rust is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Most modern steel roofing profiles use one of three popular anti-corrosive treatments. When ordering your roofing, you can specify whether you want it in Chromadek®, Galvanized or ZincAL®.

Chromadek®, a patented material with a futuristic feel, uses a galvanised substrate pre-primed with a primer and finished with a coat of paint. 14 different colours are available. Chromadek® is extremely popular in South Africa due to its resilience even under the harsh sun and weather conditions. It is light and strong and ideal for use in rural, industrial and moderate marine conditions. Chromadek® Standard and Chromadek Ultim® versions are on the market – with each being suited to different applications. A roofing expert can advise on the pros and cons of the two products.

ZincAL® on the other hand, is produced using a unique technique where rolled steel is continuously hot dipped into an alloy. This comprises 55% aluminium, 43.5% zinc and 1.5% silicon. The result is a solid, reliable layer between the steel and anything that could potentially cause corrosion. Galvanised roofing uses a simple zinc coating to protect the steel sheeting, a long and established practice with good results.

These steel coatings greatly extend the life of the roofing, saving you money down the line. In some cases, a roof can last four times longer than it would without anti-corrosive treatment. Regular maintenance is still required, but tends to be minimal and easy to perform. By choosing one of the coatings, you are effectively changing the answer to the question of whether roofing profiles can rust.

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