Decramastic roof tiles, also known as pressed metal tiles or Decrabond, were a popular roofing material in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s, made of galvanised steel or aluminium with either a painted finish, or a bitumen coating that allowed grit or small stones to stick to the pressed metal / aluminium sheets .
They were favoured because they were lightweight and attractive to look at people believed they were a great mix of the look of concrete roof tile with the advantages of being lightweight .The sheets came in all colours and by now most of them have been re painted to suit the owners taste so the only way to identify them is to compare them to a picture gallery like the one in this blog post .
As you can see from the pictures, they look like a concrete tile roof at first glance but there are some tell tail signs to help you easily identify them.
- The ridges and hips are really square as opposed to the rounded hips and ridges on tiled roofs.
- The way the sheets are bent into the valleys with concrete roof tiles the tiles are cut and usually have a rough edge not a clean bent edge.
- The surface of the metal tiles may be bent concrete tiles never bend.
- The surface of the tiles have what looks like a pebble or grit coating, concrete tiles are glazed and always smooth.
- There may be rust on the tiles, concrete tiles don’t rust.
- There are heaps of small stone chips or grit in the gutters.
The only catch is the bitumen coating also contained deadly asbestos when these roofs get old and the stones along with the asbestos fibres start to shed. It is really common that the small pieces of grit are all through the guttering as well. These roofs are literally breaking down and becoming hazardous.
These roofs are really at the end of their lifespan now and repairs are difficult because many of them have years of abuse from foot traffic it is so easy to damage a decramastic roof if you don’t know where to position your feet and just walking on them will release asbestos fibres. The only way to know if your decramastic roof has asbestos is to get it tested in a NATA lab
What are your options if you have a decramastic roof?
- Have it inspected by a reputable asbestos company to see if it can be encapsulated safely.
- You may just have to have it removed if it is beyond repair, this can only be done by a qualified asbestos reputable asbestos company.
- An asbestos removal job of this scale is far beyond the capabilities of DIY
- Call the professionals to get it tested for asbestos.
What should we never do if you have a decramastic roof?
- Have it water blasted.
- Cut it with a grinder.
- Sand it.
- Decramastic roofs were installed from the 1970’s
- Some have the grit coating that has been asbestos mixed with it.
- You need to get it tested by a Nationally Accredited Laboratory that carries the NATA endorsement.
- Not a DIY job to remove.
- Never water blast it, sand it, or cut it with a grinder.
- They come in a wide range of colours and many have been re painted.
- You can use the pictures in this blog to easily identify them.
So, what is next?
If you even suspect that you may have a decramastic roof with asbestos coating on it the best thing to do is call the office and get us out and have a full inspection of your roof. We can give you advice on how you can make the roof safe and how to manage it in the coming years. And give you an estimate on the price to remove it safely.