Aerial view of suburban Brisbane roof types
Building Inspection Tips, Roof Exterior

Roof Types – What’s On The Outside Can Impact The Inside

During an open inspection, there is more that you should be looking for than the size of the bedrooms and whether you’ll have enough storage. The ceiling is the house’s protector, and even a pristine home can have hidden costs if this detailed inspection is missed. What should you keep an eye out for when looking at the roof of your potential investment?  

What are the different roof types and which ones suit Queensland best?

You will notice a large variety of roof types in Queensland. The most popular are: 

  • Terracotta roof tiles 
  • Concrete roof tiles 
  • Colorbond sheeting  
  • Zincalume sheeting 
  • Asbestos sheeting and tiles  
  • Corrugated iron 
  • Slate roofing 
  • Shingle roofing 

If the roof is slate, shingle or asbestos, be aware and check that the house is not heritage listed. Some rules control what repairs can be done on heritage-listed roofing. Any issues with this variety of roofing usually equals big dollars.  

Roof tiles, typically made from terracotta or concrete, are great for insulation and can be replaced easily. However, they tend to wear in the harsh Queensland sun. They can also be dislodged without much effort, allowing moisture and mould into the ceiling and walls of the house.  

Corrugated iron is usually old and in need of replacing.  

Buying Property In Brisbane

Which is the best roof type for Queensland?

Colorbond is by far the preferred roofing of choice for Queensland. Colorbond is resistant to fires and termites and can withstand the wildest storms when installed correctly. The Thermatech technology used in Colorbond makes it extremely energy efficient in the harsh Queensland sun, reflecting heat and keeping the cool in and the heat out. It is easy to replace, repair, and flexible for renovations and extensions.  

Obvious signs of roofing issues to look for at open inspections

The condition of the roof can impact the whole house. A brand-new renovation is exciting but worthless if the roof is leaking and letting moisture and mould into those brand-new kitchen cupboards. Look for: 

  • Rust on the roof 
  • Missing or cracked tiles  
  • Watermarks down the walls  
  • Musty or damp smell in the house  
  • Watermarks in the brickwork and “bleeding” down the walls  
  • Sagging ceilings or waves in the ceiling.  

Roof Leaks

Examples of what a professional building inspector will look for on the roof

During a pre-purchase building inspection, where it’s safe to do so, a professional inspector will get up in your ceiling, take photos, and let you know straight away about more than just cosmetic issues. Andrew from Action Property Inspections has over 37 years of experience in the industry. He will look at: 

  • The construction of the roof and if it is up to Australian Standards 
  • The material the roofing is made of 
  • If there is decay in the struts and frame of the ceiling 
  • If the roof has been replaced, but the damage from a leak has not 
  • The quality and state of insulation 
  • If the sarking barrier is there and if it’s to code  
  • If the apron flashing is to the wall and provides weatherproof protection  
  • Check the flashings and ensure they are compliant. 

Roofing problems are expensive and not always obvious. In Brisbane, where it can be hot and sunny one day and furiously raining the next, ensuring your first barrier of protection is functional is essential.

Contact us at Action Property Inspections to conduct a pre-purchase house inspection and protect your most significant investment.  



About Andrew Mackintosh

Andrew Mackintosh has been answering home inspection questions in the greater Brisbane area since 1995. He has personally carried out over 20,000 building inspections and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. Being the business owner and the inspector, Andrew is passionate about providing clients with excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.

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