zincalume vs. colorbond - which is best?

Zincalume vs Colorbond – Which is Best for Your Roof?

Zincalume vs Colorbond – which is the best option for your home?

It’s a question that has been asked by home renovators for more than a decade. So, let’s look at the pros and cons of Colorbond and Zincalume roofs and which one is right for you.

If you’re in the process of building a new house or replacing a roof on an older one, you may be beginning to consider your roofing options. Your roof is the barrier between the extremities of the exterior climate and the interiors of your home. Your roofing structure works hard to protect your house, so naturally, you want to choose the best possible materials to construct it with.


Finding the right material for your roof should largely be dependent on the climate in which you live, and the design of your home. Metal roofing is quickly becoming a popular choice in Sydney for many residential, commercial and industrial properties. The installation process of metal roofing is fairly quick, metal roofs are relatively durable, and the outcome leaves the house with a sleek and modern appearance.

If you do decide that metal roofing is your best option, there are two types available to property owners. Zincalume and Colorbond roofing are both roofing products that have been specifically designed and trademarked by specialist steel manufacturers as highly durable roofing products. Both Zincalume and Colorbond roof materials have been thoroughly tested and created to withstand corrosion and protect properties from any external infestations that might occur.

When considering the two of these materials, you may be wondering how to distinguish which is the best option for your roof replacement or installation. The best way to decide between Zincalume roofing and Colorbond roofing is to get an understanding of each product and consider the advantages and disadvantages of both of them. Each house is entirely different and will have their own individual requirements. That’s why we’ve put together a pros and cons list of Zincalume vs Colorbond roofing, to ensure you choose the roofing material that best suits your roofing needs.


Colorbond roofing was first introduced to Australia in 1966 and has been a popular choice in the building sector since. It is essentially pre-painted steel roofing and is well known for its strength, durability, weight, and wide range of colours that can fit different home designs and styles. Prior to Colorbond roofing, it was discovered that corrugated roofing was very durable and was able to withstand strong weather conditions, however, the material tended to become corroded very easily and required frequent painting and care to keep it in a good condition.

Colorbond steel was specifically designed and created to eliminate the need and costs attributed to the frequent painting of corrugated roofing. Colorbond roofing is a very durable, strong, steel that is sealed with a pre-painted finish and a Zincalume core.

pros and cons of colorbond roofing


Colorbond roofing is a great choice for many property owners residentially and commercially, not only because of its strength and durability but because of the range of colours and design options it can come in. Colorbond isn’t just a protection barrier from the exteriors but the Colorbond steel is also thermally efficient by utilising thermal technology. It retains heat in colder weather, and cool air in warmer weather. The material leaves any house with a tidy finish and does not have the shiny aluminium texture that other steel roofs have.

  • Colorbond is much more thermally efficient to other roofing materials
  • Colorbond roofing has the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions
  • Colorbond is termite and infestation resistant
  • Colorbond is resistant to corrosion
  • Colorbond is low maintenance
  • Colorbond allows for customisation of a roof with a choice of 22 colours and design variations
  • Colorbond tends to have a longer lifespan than other roofing materials


  • Colorbond roofing is more expensive than other roofing materials


Zincalume roofing is a combination of aluminium, zinc, and silicon materials. It’s very durable, made to last, and the nature of the materials make it a recyclable and environmentally friendly roofing option.

Zincalume roofing has been thoroughly tested and design to withstand the elements. There is a reduced risk with advanced corrosion protection sealed into the coating system of a Zincalume sheet and the exterior can be easily painted.

zincalume pros and cons of using on your roof


  • Zincalume withholds exceptional durability properties
  • Zincalume is environmentally friendly and made from recyclable materials
  • Zincalume is cheaper than other steel roofing products


  • Zincalume leaves a house with a shiny aluminium appearance, which will dull over time
  • Zincalume is long-lasting, but the design qualities are not to the same standard as of Colorbond roofing
  • Zincalume does not have the same thermal efficiency as Colorbond

The decision between Zincalume and Colorbond steel roofing can be a tough one. On the one hand, they both hold great roofing and house protection qualities; however, on the other hand, we tend to feel Zincalume can be a little bit more limiting when it comes to the overall design of your house. Colorbond comes with a range of choices in terms of the end result overall appearance of your house, and Zincalume only really has one style to suit architectural design.

Both metal roofing solutions have their advantages and disadvantages for property owners and ultimately, it will come down to the needs of the house. Personally, our team at Vertec Roofing tend to be a little bit bias towards a median route of Colorbond roofing with a Zincalume core, because of the thermal efficiency benefits it can provide for house insulation and the many colours and designs available.

However, it is possible for a metal roof to be installed with a combination of Zincalume and Colorbond metal roofing. This high-visible roof surface will have Colorbond roofing and the ones that are less visible are likely to be Zincalume. This will ensure the customer can enjoy the environmentally friendly and cost-effective benefits of Zincalume roof sheets, but also maintain the appearance and some thermal efficiency properties of a Colorbond roof.


Is Colorbond better than Zincalume?

Colorbond costs more than Zincalume, however, the pre-painted seal, low maintenance, and long-term performance make it a great choice in the long run. Zincalume is a combination of aluminium, magnesium, silicon and zinc, and holds great durability properties. Both are great options for roofing materials; however, Colorbond provides more design and style opportunity with 22 shades to choose from.

Are Colorbond and Zincalume compatible?

Colorbond and Zincalume are compatible with each other but are incompatible with lead metal. Lead is the only metal generally considered to be compatible with zinc-coated steel, but not with Zincalume steel or Colorbond steel.

What is the difference between Zincalume and Galvanised?

Galvanised steel is coated in almost pure zinc material, while Zincalume steel is coated in a combination of approximately 55% aluminium, 43.5% zinc and 1.5% silicon.

Is Zincalume reflective?

Unpainted Zincalume is considered a reflective material with a colour similar to off white Colorbond materials. Zincalume’s highly reflective surface is a natural reflector of harsh sunlight.

How long does Colorbond last?

How long Colorbond lasts will last will depend on the environment of the house, climate of the area, and the maintenance over the roof. With good roof maintenance and regular roofing inspections, a Colorbond roof will likely outlast the roofing guarantee given at the time of inspection.

How much does it cost to reroof a house in Colorbond?

The cost of a Colorbond roof replacement is cannot be answered with an arbitrary price. The price of a Colorbond roof will largely depend on the size of the house, the number of materials needed for the replacement and the design of the property. More often than not, Colorbond materials are more expensive than other roofing materials because of the pre-sealed paint coating and low levels of corrosion.

Is Colorbond aluminium or steel?

Colorbond is a very durable steel product. It does not have the same shiny aluminium aesthetic other metal roofing materials have.

Does Colorbond react with aluminium?

It’s important when choosing materials for a roofing project that they are compatible and won’t react with each other. Colorbond and aluminium are compatible and will not react with aluminium. Colorbond is incompatible with lead and copper and may react with either of these materials.

Can you paint over Zincalume?

Zincalume steel materials can easily be overpainted. Prior to painting Zincalume, the surface needs to be appropriately cleaned. Aged Zincalume can easily be readily painted.

Can you solder Zincalume?

Zincalume coated steel cannot be soldered. You can join Zincalume steel the same way that is recommended for colour steel pre-painted steel products – use a neutral silicone sealant with mechanical fasteners such as blind rivets.

Does Colorbond react with aluminium?

Zincalume is compatible with galvanised surfaces. There is a common misconception the two materials are incompatible. Zincalume is a combination of aluminium and zinc, which are adjacent to each other on the galvanic table. They are compatible with contact.

What is Zincalume used for?

Zincalume is designed for a variety of uses. Most commonly, Zincalume is used for architectural applications such as roofing panels, wall panels, metal tiles and metal building and construction applications.

Are Colorbond roofs noisy?

One of the benefits of Colorbond roof is that they are quiet. Many roofing materials make a lot of noise when water rains on them, especially with metal roofing. Colorbond roofing is known for being a lot quieter.


Vertec is Sydney’s leading roof repair and roof maintenance specialist. For the last 15-years, we’ve been working with home and business owners across Sydney to deliver stunning roof projects. Not sure what kind of roof is best for your property? Call us today to discuss your options with one of our friendly roofing specialists.

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