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Colorbond or Zincalume - What should I use for my Roof

With steel being such a popular option for re roofing, there is every chance that you will be looking at using either colorbond or zincalume. While these are not the only options, many Adelaide property owners are preferring quality metal as the re-roofing material of choice. As a result, the question - What is the difference between colorbond and zincalume - nearly always comes up.

Heritage red colorbond re roof

Before we look at the differences, let's touch on the similarities. Firstly, they are both specifically suited to roofing and are highly durable. They are trademarked products by BlueScope Steel and are thoroughly tested to withstand corrosion in the Australian climate.

Each of the products have their own pro's and con's which basically come down to price versus aesthetics. Zincalume is a more affordable option but is limited in colour, while Colorbond is slightly more expensive but is available in a wide range of colors. Having said that, let's take a closer look at each.

Colorbond was first introduced in Australia in 1966 and has since evolved in technology and color range. Colorbond is essentially steel which has had paint baked onto the surface. Presently there are 22 colors in the color range and can be mixed and matched to suit various design and colour tastes. Recently a 'Matt' finish range of colours has been added for a softer, more subtle look. The range of colors can be found on the Colorbond website (

Some of the advanced technology which goes into Colorbond includes Thermatech and ACTIVATE. Thermatech is heat reflective technology designed to reflect more of the sun's heat on hot days. ACTIVATE is essentially the addition of magnesium to colorbond's previous aluminium/zinc substrate. This addition has proven to have better corrosion resistance and improved galvanic protection. With such a great product, it is no wonder Colorbond can be seen in such buildings as the Adelaide Velodrome.

Zincalume steel is steel with a zinc and aluminium coating which is unpainted. Since 2013 Zincalume steel has been available with ACTIVATE technology -with the addition of magnesium in the coating. This addition has been marketed as next generation Zincalume and has been shown to have a smaller environmental footprint. BlueScope Steel is also willing to back next generation zincalume with a warranty of up to 36 years.

Deciding which product is best for your situation really comes down to price versus aesthetics. Both Colorbond and Zincalume are quality steel products suitable for not only roofing but a range of other applications. The most important thing is to make sure that you get the genuine BlueScope product.

Before looking at re-roofing, you may like to explore the option of restoration. Iron roof restorations come up great and are much better on the pocket. Interested to know how much a restoration may cost, check out my post: How much does a roof restoration cost?

As usual, if you would like honest advice on which product would be best for your situation and how much it may cost, let's connect.

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