Do Colorbond Roofs Fade? What You NEED To Know Before You Choose A Roof Colour

Are you in the process of choosing a colour for your colorbond roof and you’re perhaps concerned about your roof fading? If so, not to worry, check out the below article which I’ve put together to provide information on why metal roofs fade, colours that fade the most and things you can do to help minimise the fading.

Faded woodland grey colorbond metal roof

What causes colorbond/metal roofs to fade?

The main cause of a fading roof is that over time the pigments in the paint begin to break down due to the harsh UV rays of the sun. In addition to exposure to UV rays, other causes of a colorbond or metal roof fading can be from dirt or grime build up on the roof, excessive moisture, salt in the air and other unusual environmental elements.

Why does my metal roof also feel chalky?

When the colour on a metal roof begins to fade you will also find that as the chemicals in the paint start to break down the paint may also start to appear white in colour whilst becoming somewhat chalky.  

This is when the resin in the protective coating of the paint starts to break down changing from that shiny glossy look to what can be considered as a dull matt look.  As this occurs the fine particles or the paint may lose adhesion to the roof sheets and begin to turn white, which if wiped with your finger the residue is like fine white chalk.

This is what professionals in the industry will often refer to as “chalking”.

How long do I have before my metal roof begins to fade?

As a metal roof can last anywhere from 20 to 60 years, it will take a considerable about of time until the paint on your roof begins to fade. 

There are also a number of other factors that will affect the time it takes, this includes the level of exposure to the sun, other environmental elements and how well you look after your metal roof.

Which colours fade the most?

Faded colourbond ridge and roof sheet
Example of a faded Heritage red roof

From my personal experience as a roof plumber, I’ve found the colours to fade the most to be the darker colours which are more susceptible to UV light, which in Australia can be pretty harsh.

If you’re concerned about your roof colours fading then I’d stay away from the darker colours and would be going for the lighter hues.

Colours prone to fading

Faded blue colorbond roof
Example of a blue deep ocean roof that has faded over time
  • Blues (Deep Ocean)
  • Blacks (Monument)
  • Reds (Heritage red or Headland)
  • Dark grey (Woodland Grey)

Colours to consider

Surfmist colorbond roof
Example of a Surfmist colorbond roof (10 yrs + old)
  • White (Surfmist)
  • Grey (Shale Grey)
  • Other light colorbond colours (Such as Evening Haze, Classic Cream and Dune)

Note a colorbond colour as such, though Zincalume is also another great choice and has been proven over time to be able to withhold the harsh weather conditions that Australia is known for.

Does it matter if my metal roof fades?

No, apart from the roof looking different, the metal roof sheets are still perfectly fine and will continue to protect your roof space for quite some time.

How can I reduce the chance of my roof fading?

Metal roof that needs a clean
Example of a roof that needs a good clean!

When it comes to reducing the chance of your roof fading, the best thing you can do is ensure that your metal roof is kept clean.  

The reason I say this is that if you live in an area that doesn’t receive much rainfall or in a climate that is prone to the likes of moss, then dirt and similar abrasive elements can build up on your roof.

If not removed from your roof, over time this can cause damage to your roof such as fading or even rust.

When it comes to cleaning your roof, I’d recommend doing this at least every 12-24 months.

Can you paint a faded colorbond roof?

Yes, faded roofs can definitely be painted to restore the roof back to its natural colour.  The process to do so will involve the following:

  • Inspection of the roof to ensure it’s only the paint has faded and there are no structural updates required;
  • Pressure cleaning and preparing the roof;
  • Applying primer paint to the roof;
  • Painting the roof with the new colour

Final thoughts

I hope you found this article helpful.  Like many others my own metal roof has begun to fade and to be honest I’m not worried one bit.  Yes, over time it won’t look that great though apart from that my roof still has many more years in it so although I may consider painting it in a few years I definitely won’t be replacing it.

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