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Do you have a low gloss or low reflectivity COLORBOND® steel? I have been told I can only use material with certain reflectivity value limits.

COLORBOND® steel is not available in a low gloss finish. When addressing this question, it's important to understand that all materials are reflective to some degree. Reflectivity limits tend to restrict the opportunity to use light colours, which is at odds with good thermal efficiency design principles. Building owners should therefore be encouraged, rather than discouraged, to use products made from lighter COLORBOND® steel colours.

Notwithstanding, we recognise these choices can occasionally cause concern to neighbours. But if homes and buildings are designed appropriately and considered on a case by case basis, there is room to use materials that ensure the building is thermally efficient and, at the same time, nobody is inconvenienced.

For more information Download Technical Bulletin TB 28 - Building Materials, Thermal Efficiency and Reflectivity

Do you have any gutter installation and maintenance tips?

For practical tips on gutter installation and maintenance view our Gutter Maintenance Guide. Good care of your guttering starts before installation. We recommend that you view the guide and discuss the points with your builder prior to installation. Additionally, to confirm the authenticity of your purchase, ask your installer to show you the COLORBOND® steel brand mark printed on the inside of your guttering.

Do you have CAD drawings of profiles and products available?

A whole range of products are manufactured by a number of rollformers using our COLORBOND®, ZINCALUME®, GALVASPAN® and DECKFORM® steels. You can find technical details and CAD files for the major rollformers from our technical library - Design Resource Tab.

Does anyone else have access to the COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel coating technology?

No. BlueScope Steel has worked exclusively with our paint suppliers to develop a coating solution that delivers the thermal benefits of COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel.

Does COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel contain Thermatech®?

Yes. COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel contains Thermatech® solar reflectance technology which is the same technology that is used in the standard 22 COLORBOND® steel colours.

Does COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel have an R-Value?

No. An R-Value is a term describing a material or system that provides a consistent level of resistance to heat flow. COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel roofing provides a varying level of resistance to heat flow into a building depending on the strength of the sun.

Does COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel meet Australian Standards and if so which ones?

Yes, COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel is produced to AS2728.

How can COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel help me meet the BCA Sec J?

Sec J requires you to verify the energy efficiency of the building from a heating and cooling perspective. This is typically done in one of two ways:

  1. Comply with a series of Deemed to Satisfy (DTS) requirements such as putting a certain amount of insulation in the roof and walls. The use of COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel may or may not provide concessions as the requirements are necessarily conservative.
  2. Use energy efficiency verification software, which gives you wider scope. This is the more common method for commercial buildings because the cost of the expert modelling is insignificant compared with the potential efficiency gains that can be made over using DTS measures. The use of COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel for roofing in the verification software is likely to provide the most benefit. For instance, a reduction of roof insulation may then lead to a roof spacer not being required. Alternatively the use of COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel may compensate for an underperforming element or an element that is expensive to achieve the level required. 

How can I get a colour sample of the COLORBOND® steel colours I am interested in?

Australian residents can order COLORBOND® steel card swatches, stickers and brochures from our On-line Order Form, or contact us.

How can I get paint to match the COLORBOND® steel colours?

All the major paint manufacturing companies have colour matching codes to produce paint that will match to the COLORBOND® steel colours. Simply quote the trademarked COLORBOND® steel colour name and they should be able to provide you with paint to match, allowing you to paint trims and accessories to fit in with your COLORBOND® steel products. For further detail on overpainting (including touch-ups), Technical Bulletin TB 02 - Overpainting and Restoration of COLORBOND® prepainted steel sheet. Please be aware that when matching paint using new colour codes to older weathered material, there could be a difference in the colour due to fading of the existing product.  

How can I make sure my Garden Shed is made from COLORBOND® steel?

Most Australian garden shed manufacturers use COLORBOND® steel.

However, there are garden sheds available that use imported repainted steel and therefore don't necessarily deliver the same performance levels. To guarantee you are getting genuine COLORBOND® steel manufactured in Australia, for Australian conditions, look for the 'branding', on the underside of the sheeting. See our page on How To identify Genuine Product to see an image of the branding messages on COLORBOND® steel.

The importance of looking for the brand was highlighted during recent market research undertaken by BlueScope Steel. Some garden sheds where made using imported prepainted steel so BlueScope Steel decided to have these products tested to see how they compared with COLORBOND® steel.

Research and Technical services people noticed that the primer was relatively thin. Additionally the paint was on a very thin zinc coated steel base. By comparison, COLORBOND® steel used in garden sheds has a ZINCALUME® steel base, with a zinc/aluminium alloy coating that is about 50% thicker. This means in most applications the COLORBOND® steel would have a longer service life. The other material would typically deteriorate to show red rust much sooner.

One interesting point was that the retailer of the sheds kept calling the product a "Colourbond" shed. This may mislead consumers into thinking the shed is made from COLORBOND® steel, made by BlueScope Steel. Therefore you should always look for the brand to ensure you are getting genuine COLORBOND® steel - manufactured by BlueScope Steel, in Australia, for Australian conditions.

How can I prevent condensation forming on a roof made from COLORBOND® steel?

Condensation forms under/on roof sheeting when the sheeting becomes colder than the air in contact with it. Water vapour carried in the air then condenses on the colder surface of the roof sheet. To minimise the risk of water damage to ceilings or corrosion related to condensation under steel roof sheeting, a vapour barrier should be provided under the sheeting to prevent contact between the moist air in the building and the roof sheeting.

Reflective foil laminates (sarking) which are commonly used to provide heat insulation under roof sheeting can serve a dual function as a vapour barrier, by thoroughly sealing the foil overlaps with moisture impervious adhesive tape.

The laps should be about 100 mm and kept in close contact when positioning the laminate so the tape can be readily applied.

The laminate must be allowed to drape between the roof supports so that the cold temperature of the roof sheeting will not be transmitted to the laminate by contact. If this were to happen condensation could form on the underside of the laminate and may drip into the ceiling space.

Ventilation of the ceiling cavity may assist in the reduction of condensation however it has been shown that ventilation will not completely eliminate the condensation cycle. In certain marine situations ventilation may also carry salts into the roof cavity which will, in the presence of condensation, lead to accelerated corrosion attack.

For more information, please Download Corrosion Technical Bulletin CTB 11 - Condensation and Insulation.

How did you work out the possible cooling energy savings with COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel?

The cooling energy savings associated with COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel have been quantified in our own BlueScope Steel building study. This involved comparing the relative running costs of three identical insulated buildings, the only difference being the type of roofing material used. The results have been used as a guide to possible savings for other buildings. 

How do I choose what COLORBOND® steel colour to use on my roof?

We have many resources on our website to assist you in deciding which COLORBOND® steel colour will best suit your needs. Our Colours page gives colour choice tips and suggested colour schemes. Find display homes and display centres within 250 kilometres of the location you enter on our  Where to See COLORBOND® steel page. We also have featured projects showing images and details of completed projects on our showcase page.

How do I fix a scratch on COLORBOND® steel?

Our recommendation is not to touch up. Minor scratching will not affect the life of the sheet and is rarely obvious to a casual observer. Should damage be substantial, replace the sheet. We particularly recommend against the use of spray cans, as these can result in overspraying of surrounding areas. The problem might not be immediately obvious, but since overspray paint weathers at a different rate to the oven dried paint on COLORBOND® steel you'll eventually be left with an unsightly blemish on the sheet.

How do I insulate a roof made from COLORBOND® steel?

COLORBOND® steel and ZINCALUME® steel are thermally efficient roofing materials, radiating less heat into your home as they cool down faster at night. Lighter coloured roofs, irrespective of material, reflect more heat than darker shades. The result of this being less heat available to be radiated into your home. To reduce the transmission of heat into a building, insulation can be easily incorporated during the installation of the steel roof sheeting.

There are two types of insulation commonly used during the installation of steel roof sheeting. They are:

Reflective foil, commonly referred to as 'sarking'

Reflective foil laminates which are commonly used to provide heat insulation under roof sheeting can serve a dual function as a vapour barrier, simply by thoroughly sealing the foil overlaps with moisture impervious adhesive tapes. The laps should be about 100mm and kept in close contact when positioning the laminate so the tape can be readily applied. The laminate must be allowed to drape between the roof supports so the cold temperature of the roof sheeting will not be transmitted to the laminate by contact. If this were to happen condensation could form on the underside of the laminate and may drip into the ceiling space.

Combined foil and glass/wool insulation blanket

This blanket should be installed over the battens with the glass/wool insulation facing up in temperate zones and facing down in tropical zones. For advice appropriate to your area, please phone BlueScope Steel Direct on 1800 022 999. There should be no sagging between battens to avoid air spaces between the fibreglass and the underside of the roof sheeting.

For more information, please Download Corrosion Technical Bulletin CTB 11 - Condensation and Insulation.

How do I know I am getting genuine COLORBOND® steel, ZINCALUME® steel or GALVASPAN® steel?

Where it's appropriate to place branding, products manufactured from COLORBOND® steel, ZINCALUME® steel and GALVASPAN® steel can be identified by our "branding". Fencing made from COLORBOND® steel will be laser engraved with the COLORBOND® steel logo.

Look for the brand that identifies the long lasting guaranteed performance of genuine BlueScope Steel.

How do I maintain my fence made from COLORBOND® steel to ensure long life?

Your fence is very easy to maintain. Here's a few tips to make sure it keeps looking great.

Wipe or hose it down regularly, at least once every six months or more if you live in a coastal area (water restrictions permitting). Pay particular attention to cleaning dirt or debris from under the top rail where rain doesn't naturally wash.

Remove cobwebs using a soft broom. This will deal with any spiders.

Don't let soil, dirt and garden debris build up at the base of the fence or next to the posts and rails. This will retain water and can lead to corrosion. Be careful not to spray the fence with garden chemical sprays or fertilisers as these can damage the surface. If this happens, wash the fence down with water immediately. Don't use your fence as a retaining wall. It isn't designed for this purpose.

How does a COLORBOND® steel roof affect the temperature inside a building? Can it save money on cooling costs?

Using thermally efficient roofing materials like COLORBOND® steel can help reduce your cooling costs. In summer, a lightweight insulated roof made from COLORBOND® steel can assist in minimising the amount of heat radiated into your home at night. That's because COLORBOND® steel has a low thermal mass, so it cools down fast once the sun is off it.

The choice of colour can also influence thermal performance. Lighter colours, in particular, radiate less heat during summer. Building regulations may allow you to install less insulation if you use lighter colours in warm climates.

For more information see our page on Thermal Efficiency And Sustainable Design.

How does COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel perform compared to XRW?

COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel roofing has equivalent corrosion and paint durability performance to COLORBOND® steel, as reflected by the equivalent warranty offer. However, COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel has greater solar reflectance than COLORBOND® steel.

How does COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel technology affect Part J of the Building Code of Australia (BCA)?

Currently COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel meets the highest level of concession available under the Deemed to Satisfy provisions of the BCA. Alternatively, the higher TSR value may be used within energy assessment software to improve performance, reduce insulation or compensate for underperforming elements of a building.

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