30 Nov “Absolute Beachfront” – Don’t Buy or Build a Future Rusting Disaster
Australians are known for their obsession with the beach. Whilst Melbournians are not quite as devout in this regard as their more northerly counterparts, there still is a certain kudos attached to the tag of “absolute beach front.”
There are a relatively contained number of properties which can achieve this in the Melbourne area, due to the incredible forward planning of our fore-fathers which involved placing large roadways and power lines directly along the beach front! Nonetheless, there are still a significant number of properties between Altona and Portsea that do have absolute beach frontage. Many of these have dwellings which fall within the 0 – 100m range from the high tide mark. This part of Port Philip Bay encounters strong on-shore winds which carry salt-laden air and spray directly onto the properties on the front line.
Bluescope, the main manufacturer of metal roof sheeting products in Australia, has classified Port Philip Bay (Altona through to Port Sea) as “Exposed Marine.” This Classification also extends to areas of the Bellarine Peninsula, Eastern Shoreline of Westernport Bay, North Coastline Philip Island and Anderson Inlet at Inverloch. What all these locations have in common is that they are all exposed to strong on-shore wind conditions and on occasions, breaking waves.
These locations within the first 0 – 100m of the high tide mark require specialised metal roofing products to be utilised as otherwise the environmental conditions will result in early failure of all metal roofing products including the roof itself, guttering, flashings, rain heads and so on. The only product specified by Bluescope in their Technical Bulletins for these unique locations is in fact Colorbond stainless steel. Compatible stainless steel screws must also be used.
We know all too well that this product specification requirement is either conveniently or otherwise simply overlooked by Builders / Developers / Plumbers and even Architects, who instead specify and use inferior metal roofing products which are not suitable to the very severe marine environment. This of course saves a lot of money in the build as stainless steel products are expensive, however any savings are in reality simply passed on and indeed escalated to the end-user Property Owner who will end up paying for an entire new roof along with its associated components long before they should even be giving any thought to what sits atop their new home.
If you’re the owner of a new beach front property and you’re lucky enough to sit within the 0 – 100m range of the high tide mark then you should be getting your roofing product and situation professionally assessed as a matter of urgency. You need to know whether a compliant product has been (or is planned to be) installed in a compliant manner on your home. A tell-tale sign that the wrong product has been used is visible evidence of rusting and staining to either fixings or roofing products themselves. This type of damage starts insidiously but eventually escalates dramatically – resulting in a failed roof which is not water tight.
By law the licenced roof plumber has had to (or is required to) provide a Certificate of Compliance which certifies, amongst other things, that the correct products have been installed in the correct manner. This includes ensuring that the product installed is the correct product for the local environmental conditions.
Metropolis Solutions can clearly identify the roofing products installed on your dwelling and check their Classification in light of the site’s environmental conditions. If the wrong product has been installed, don’t bury your head in the sand – you’ll need to make a plumber’s warranty claim within 6 years or otherwise you’ll be shelling out the clams for a new roof – all due to somebody else’s incompetence, greed or blatant negligence. Call Metropolis Solutions for assistance – we are happy and able to assist you.
ABOVE: Standard zincalume steel roofing used in an exposed severe marine classification environment on Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne. This is an entirely non-compliant product selection. The warranty on this product is void as a result of inappropriate selection for the environment and just 2 years into the development build we could easily observe signs of early corrosion.
ABOVE: Breaking waves and strong onshore winds means that beach front bayside Melbourne between Altona and Port Sea beaches (on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay) is classified as Exposed Marine. The proximity of the houses to the high tide mark means that these developments are built closer to the beach front than most houses in Sydney or any other city in Australia. The correct choice of roofing product is therefore critical.
It’s obvious from this photograph why Port Philip Bay between Altona and Port Sea beaches is classified on the beach frontage as “Exposed” marine and NOT “Calm” marine in Blue Scope Steel’s marine classification table!