The importance of using an appropriate roof for any housing unit cannot be under- estimated as it is not only critical but also adds beauty to the structure and depicts the social status of a person.

Housing remains a basic necessity of life and as such throughout history, various items have been used for roofing, which include tree barks, bamboo sticks, thatch and clay, depending on the location.

Roofing houses have undergone a striking evolution during the current era in both style and type of material used. These include clay tiles, aluzinc, galvanised aluminium, asbestos and cement.

The individual?s choice of a particular roofing product is usually born out of a consideration of affordability, product knowledge and level of sophistication. However, for those who are willing to spend a little extra for long-lasting quality, aluminium is the best choice

Aluminium does not rust, especially when it is thick enough. Unprotected aluminum is resistant to weathering, fresh and salt water, many foodstuffs and chemicals as long as the correct alloy, thermal treatment and suitable joining techniques are employed.

A classical example of the long life of aluminium is the roof of St. James Church in Rome, built in 1897 but still in good condition.

Another peculiar property of aluminium has to do with its thermal attributes.? Aluminium is known to reflect about 90 per cent of sunlight helping to moderate the temperature in a room.? In our tropical environment, this must be an invaluable consideration for the choice of roofing product.

Aluminium is simply fire ? resistant.? Embers and wind?blown sparks cannot cause an aluminium roof to ignite.? It will also protect the house from other wind?blown detriments that can cause fire.

The real advantages why house owners and project managers should choose aluminium and not the other metals which are marketed under various brand names ? galvalume, aluzinc, z?nal, zintro?alum, galval etc. are clear.? These products are steel which are coated using a fused mixture consisting of aluminium, zinc and silicon.

This brings into question the durability of the product.? Steel rusts very easily even if it is painted.? This means roofs made under the brands mentioned above will be replaced several times as against those produced with aluminium, making the latter (aluminium), rather inexpensive; since it does not require replacement just because of weathering.

Another issue has to do with material thickness (gauge).? The general standard for aluminium roof gauge is 0.40mm and above.

The general gauge for Aluzinc and the others is very thin as there is no minimum set (by the Ghana Standards Authority). However, on the Ghanaian market, the thickness is usually below 0.20mm which increases its vulnerability to corrosion and the effect of strong winds.

Also, a lot of the inferior metal products come as colour?coated to conceal the product?s quality and composition, which makes it difficult to detect.? Unscrupulous sellers and contractors capitalise on this to reap undeserved advantage.

Many consumers have unfortunately been enticed by the prospects of lower costs to their long?term detriment.? This obviously stems from their insufficient knowledge about the unique properties of aluminium.

A vigorous and continuous education of the consumer has become imperative and the Ghanaian property owner must always remind himself that ?aluworks? aluminium roof will last you a life time.

Source: Myjoyonline


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