Performance and looks: the complete roof transformation

When you’re living in a 73 year old Dunedin apartment building and the old terracotta roof is leaking, it’s not ideal! They needed the complete roof transformation.
That was, unfortunately, the scenario for the 25 residents at 4 Alva Street. But thanks to a new Gerard roof, they can now all look forward to a worry-proof winter.  

Age leads to problems for traditional terracotta roof

Built in 1945, the 8-unit dwelling is typical of the heritage architecture in Mornington, one of Dunedin’s most historic suburbs with views over the city.

But the ageing, heavy roof was causing a host of problems, as explained by Alva Street owner and the project’s lead coordinator, Rebecca:

         “Like many roofs of that vintage in Dunedin, the original roof was Abbotsford terracotta tiles. The tiles had started to crack and were deteriorating – causing more issues with leaks. It also had a lot of lichen on the shadier parts.”

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Faded, heavy, and leaking: the apartment’s terracotta tile roof had seen better days. (Images courtesy Horizon Roofing)

New Gerard roof delivers weathertightness and improved safety. The complete roof transformation.

Led by Rebecca, the owners banded together, eventually deciding on a complete re-roof with Gerard pressed metal tile:

          “We wanted a look that was closer to tile, and as a Body Corporate, we were looking for a long-lasting, easy-care solution.”

She says owners and residents are thrilled with the results:

          “A big benefit is that it is waterproof, looks smart, and we hope that in the event of an earthquake, it will fare better than our old tile roof.”

While everyone’s fingers will be crossed the city is spared in future, residents can be confident in their new roof. The lightweight resilience of an installed Gerard system delivers structural benefits by dramatically reducing the roof’s load, and has also been proven around the world to handle horizontal forces such as those caused by earthquakes.

Colour choice goes down to vote

The textured Gerard Tuffcoat roof has also lifted the building’s appearance, not only for residents but also neighbours situated further up Mornington’s hills.

Part of the aesthetic transformation was a switch in tone from the existing faded red clay, to Charcoal. But with Gerard Tuffcoat available in both traditional Terracotta and grey tones among others, Rebecca reveals that it was a close call:

          “The colour wasn’t a unanimous decision, and nor was the texture. Getting agreement on the colour was probably one of the toughest parts of the project! The Charcoal (grey) had the biggest number of advocates. For those owners that preferred the Terracotta or another colour, there was a pragmatism that even if the colour was not their favourite, it was better to have a waterproof Charcoal roof than the (existing) leaky terracotta roof.”

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While it may have been a close call on colour, it’s hard to argue with the result.