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An Understanding on Steel Roof Battens and Their Use in People’s omes

Did you know there are two distinct installation methods for metal roofing? Steel roof batten installations involve placing a grid of wooden battens over the existing roofing deck before installing the metal roofing panels. Direct-to-deck installations are the other variety that involve attaching the metal panels directly to the roofing deck without using battens.

How are metal roofs installed on battens?

A batten installation ia all about laying a lattice of wooden or metallic battens across the already existing roof deck before fitting the metal roofing panels. The metal roofing panels are attached to a 2’x2′ wooden batten grid, creating a 1-½” continuous airspace.

One of the primary benefits of a batten installation is its improved air circulation and ventilation. Since the airspace created by the roofing battens allows hot air to escape and cooler the air to flow in and the roof remains substantially cooler. It can result in considerable energy savings–especially during summer months when the air conditioning usage is at its peak.

Battens vs. Direct-to-Deck

Installation of metal tile roofing over a batten system allows airflow under the tiles and, as a result, provides better ventilation. Now that you know the basics of direct-to-deck and steel roof batten installations, how do you choose the best method to meet your specific needs?

Since each of the roofing project is unique, you’ll always want to consult a professional contractor. Your contractor will then guide you through the process and recommend the best installation method depending on the individual goals of your project.

To help you the best communicate and work with your roofing contractor, here are the four things to consider while choosing the best installation method for your metal roofing system.

Things to Consider While Choosing the Best Installation Method for Your Metal Roofing System:

  • Roof Design & Architecture

If you have a complicated roof design with intricate architectural features like dormers, valleys and cupolas– the direct-to-deck installation method will likely be the better option for your home.

  • Energy Efficiency

Metal roofs excel in the energy efficiency thanks to their natural ability to reflect sunlight. Besides their reflectivity, steel roof batten also have a high emissivity, meaning that they can release absorbed heat back into the atmosphere more effectively compared to traditional roofing materials like the asphalt shingles. While batten installations offer an additional layer of ventilation and energy efficiency, metal roofing battens installed using the direct-to-deck method still provide considerable energy-saving benefits due to their inbuilt reflective and emissive properties.

If energy efficiency is a priority, ask your roofing contractor about using radiant barrier underlayments. These can amplify the energy efficiency of a metal roof.

  • Roof-overs

Roof-overs, also known as re-roofing, can always save money on time, labour and disposal expenses compared to a complete roof tear-off. When installing a fresh roof over an existing top, the goal is to create a smooth and even surface to prevent any dangerous issues like leaks or damage to the new roofing material. This is why batten installations are usually preferred for roof-overs, as the 2’x2′ batten grid ensures an uninterrupted level surface for the new roof.

Why metal roofing is the better option when updating your roof?

There are several reasons why you may wish to update your roof. You have asbestos, the tiles need repainting, there are too many leaks to warrant being fixed, you want a new look for your home, or unfortunately, you received storm damage due to mother nature. Metal/steel roofing is a great option when choosing your new roof. Here are some reasons why:

  • It is lightweight

The average-sized concrete tiled roof weighs approximately 12 tonnes when dry, even more when it is wet! Now compare that to an average Colorbond or zincalume steel roof – about 1 tonne. The lighter weight of a Colorbond steel roof also means less weight and, therefore, less strain on the walls and foundations. Thus, there is less potential for cracking walls.

  • It has excellent thermal performance

Steel roofs have the R-rated advantage; when insulated per the recommendations of the Insulation Council of Australia and New Zealand, they can achieve a more excellent R-value performance than tiles. Steel roofing battens don’t store the heat like terracotta tiles. When the sun goes down, so does the temperature of your steel roof. It will cool down quicker, making your home more comfortable sooner and reducing energy usage costs.

  • Requires low maintenance

If you have a steel roof, you will need more maintenance. Rainwater falling on the top will generally “wash” the steel roof, helping to maintain its good looks. Compare that to the care required for tiled roofs, where bedding and pointing are needed occasionally, and the additional maintenance required when tiles crack or break as they become brittle. A steel roof is strong, secure, energy smart, delivering outstanding, long-life performance.

  • It is non-combustible

Steel is known to have a high tolerance to heat and flames. It is defined as “non-combustible” within the compliances of the Building Code of Australia, as well as numerous local councils and fire authorities.

  • Offers great security

Steel roofing is fixed at every batten, giving you additional security against unwanted entry. These can outperform tiles in severe hailstorms, and given our environment, this is of utmost importance. The roof may dent, but it won’t crack.