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How does the building position affect glare wth COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel?

The position of most commercial and industrial roofs mitigates the likelihood of roof glare because they are often high-set with a low pitch so they are rarely seen from the ground and the surface has very little impact. Roof glare complaints are commonly associated with mirrored sunlight causing a significant impact on visual amenity. In most Australian locations the path of the sun throughout the year is to the north of buildings. This means most of the mirrored reflection from a roof travels toward the south and above the roof. Therefore the area of concern for a commercial or industrial building is when a neighbouring residential area is directly to the south and above, overlooking the roof. In this instance a high gloss or bare metallic roof may not be appropriate.

How does the coating technology work on COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel?

For a cool roofing product to perform best in hot sunny conditions it needs to have a high Total Solar Reflectance (TSR) and a high thermal emittance. COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel has both. It is cooler than ZINCALUME® steel and the rest of the COLORBOND® steel product range mainly because it achieves the highest TSR. It also has slightly higher thermal emittance than standard COLORBOND® steel because of its thicker paint system.

How does the TSR of COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel compare with post-applied options?

Post-applied solutions may initially have a higher Total Solar Reflectance (TSR) value, however studies suggest that the solar reflectance of COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel may be greater in a very short period of time due to its excellent maintenance of TSR. To learn about BlueScope Steel’s studies on solar reflectance and see the results of an Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) metal roofing study comparing the performance of post-painted and pre-painted products, please read the test study.

How has COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel been tested to ensure performance?

Years of extensive testing have been completed to ensure COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel maintains all of the quality and durability benefits of COLORBOND® steel. This includes the assessment of physical properties, accelerated corrosion and outdoor exposure as well as consistent production capability.

How much do COLORBOND® steel products cost?

Please see our Supplier Locator to find your nearest ten suppliers anywhere in Australia. 

How much does COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel cost?

Prices for COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel are available from BlueScope suppliers. Please see the supplier list for more information.

How should I repair faded and chalking COLORBOND® steel?

The appearance of COLORBOND® steel affected by weathering can often be restored by re-painting. Please contact a roof restoration expert to assess the suitability of the roof for re-painting. If the roof is in a suitable state for re-painting please refer to the BlueScope Steel guidelines for overpainting, found in Technical Bulletin 2.  Download:  Technical Bulletin TB 02 - Overpainting and Restoration of COLORBOND® prepainted steel sheet

I am building close to the beach. Do I need a special grade of COLORBOND® steel for my gutters & downpipes?

While standard COLORBOND® steel will suit most home designs and most locations, we also make specialist grades suited to more demanding environments, like those by the sea or in areas prone to industrial or chemical fumes and fallout, Download Technical Bulletin TB 15 - Recommended Steel Gutter Systems


I've heard that COLORBOND® steel should not be immersed in concrete. How will this affect fence posts?

Most fences feature galvanised steel posts and COLORBOND® steel infill sheets. Immersing the galvanised steel posts in concrete does not cause any corrosion problems but you should not allow the concrete to contact the rails or infill sheets of the fence. Check with your fencing supplier.

If COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel makes a building cooler in summer, will it cost more to heat it in winter?

In most Australian climate zones, the cooling energy saved usually more than offsets any additional heating energy, particularly for buildings that are predominantly cooled during the daytime, such as commercial buildings. In winter the sun is lower in the sky so sunlight on the roof is less intense, days are shorter and there is often more cloud cover.

If I cut, drill or scratch COLORBOND® steel or ZINCALUME® steel, will it cause the exposed steel at the cut edge or scratch to rust?

BlueScope Steel recommend 'cold cutting' coated steel products. If this recommendation is followed, these products will 'self heal', that is, the zinc in the surrounding coating will protect the newly exposed edge. How does this happen? In the presence of moisture, a reaction occurs between the zinc and the steel which results in galvanic protection of the exposed steel, thereby inhibiting corrosion. The degree of protection depends on the thickness of the coating (the amount of zinc), and this is taken into account when Building Standards are formulated.

If I decide not to use an air conditioner, how will COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel keep my building cooler?

COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel helps reduce the surface temperature of a roof, which can translate to a cooler room temperature. A BlueScope Steel building study found that the insulated building with COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel in Whitehaven® used for roofing reduced the internal temperature of the room in hot weather by up to 2°C compared to the identical building with a roof made from ZINCALUME® steel. View our Test Study

If I valley fix my roof sheeting will I get a warranty?

BlueScope Steel warranties require adherence to manufacturers instructions. These usually state roofs must be crest fixed. Contact your roof sheeting supplier to obtain their specific recommendations.

Is COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel available in Ultra an AZ200 metallic coating for corrosive environments?

COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel is not offered in Ultra as part of the introductory offer. However if you require higher performing corrosion resistance, please contact a supplier of COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel or BlueScope Steel to check availability.

Is COLORBOND® steel a brand or a type of fence?

COLORBOND® steel is a brand of steel made (exclusively) by BlueScope Steel and used in the manufacture of fencing systems. The fencing systems themselves are manufactured by any of a number of rollforming companies, and usually have their own proprietary brand names.

My COLORBOND® steel fence/garage door/roof has patchy, faded sections. Can you help?

This is usually a result of the use of touch up paint on the sheeting. The manufacturing process which gives COLORBOND® steel its colour and gloss retention properties means its surface weathers differently to air-drying paint. After weathering, areas that have been touched up will look different and may result in a blotchy appearance.

My gutters have a plastic film on them. What is it and how can I remove this?

Many products made from COLORBOND® steel eg gutters, fascias, downpipes, are supplied with a specially designed polyethylene film called CORSTRIP® strippable film.

This film protects the sheet during storage and handling and should be stripped off immediately on installation.

The film is easily removable on installation and is plastics (4) recyclable. Check with your local council to find out whether plastics (4) can be recycled via regular kerbside pickup or through your local waste management depot.

Sunlight can increase the adhesion of this film so it is vital that sheets are not left uncovered outside. Coil product that has CORSTRIP® strippable film applied should be processed within 12 months to minimise possibility of increased adhesion.

If the film cannot be removed successfully it has cross linked with the paint system and there is no recommended method to remove it without affecting the paint. The item should be replaced with new product.

This information is intended as a guide only. For detailed assistance with your particular application, please contact us

My neighbour and I cannot agree on a fencing colour. Can we get different colours on each side of a COLORBOND® steel fence?

No, generally not. The steel infill panels, posts and rails are the same colour on both sides. You can add some colour variety by 'mix and matching' sheets, posts, rails, lattice and caps of different colours along the fenceline, see our Colour Visualiser to help with your colour choice.

Please note that you cannot place infill sheets of different colours back to back - the posts and rails are not designed for this. The only way to achieve a different colour on one side of the fence is to paint it. Overpainting will, however, result in a surface which is not as durable as the original oven-baked COLORBOND® steel paint finish. Painting the fence will also void any warranty on the infill sheets.

For more information on how to paint products manufactured from COLORBOND® steel, download TB-2 Overpainting and Restoration of COLORBOND® Prepainted Steel Sheet. However, if you have a substantial development proposal that might involve a large quantity then please contact us.

My roof, fence or gutter has rust like spots on it. What are these and how can I remove them?

You're probably looking at swarf stains. Swarf is the term given to the steel debris arising from cutting or piercing operations, and mostly comprises of fine steel particles mixed with abrasive, however, in this context swarf may also be taken to include any other discarded steel objects such as rivet shanks, nails, screws and nuts, which may come in contact with coated products such as COLORBOND® prepainted steel and ZINCALUME® zinc/aluminium alloy coated steel.

Swarf particles, if left on the surface, will corrode and cause rust stains which will detract from the finished appearance of a project. These stains are often mistaken for early deterioration of the roofing and walling itself.

The following link contains a guide for removing mild and severe staining from prepainted steel sheet and metallic coated steel sheet.

Download Technical Bulletin TB 05 - Swarf Staining of Steel Roofing and Walling Profiles

Once installed, how should I look after my COLORBOND® steel?

Simple maintenance of COLORBOND® steel and ZINCALUME® steel by regular washing with water, will not only enhance its life but maintain its attractiveness for longer periods thus protecting your asset. Applications where the paint finish is automatically washed by rainwater do not usually require this maintenance, e.g. roof cladding. Examples of applications requiring maintenance cleaning include wall cladding under eaves, garage doors and the underside of eave gutters.

Areas not regularly washed by rainwater should be hosed down at least every six months and more frequently in coastal areas where marine salt spray is prevalent, and in areas where high levels of industrial fallout occur.

In cases where the regular maintenance referred to above does not remove all dirt which may have adhered to the surface of the paint, the following procedure should be carried out:

  • Wash the surface with a mild solution of pure soap or mild non-abrasive kitchen detergent in warm water.
  • Application should be with a sponge, soft cloth or soft bristle nylon brush, and should be gentle to prevent shiny spots.
  • The COLORBOND® steel and ZINCALUME® steel should be thoroughly rinsed with clean water immediately after cleaning to remove traces of detergent.

Never use abrasive or solvent type cleaners (turps, petrol,kerosene, paint thinners) on COLORBOND® steel and ZINCALUME® steel.

If cared for in accordance with these instructions, your building components made from COLORBOND® prepainted steel and ZINCALUME® steel will give many years of low maintenance life.

This information is intended as a guide only. For more information, please see Technical Bulletin TB 04 - Maintenance of COLORBOND® steel and ZINCALUME® steel


What about COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel performance in marine environments?

COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel has equivalent corrosion performance to COLORBOND® steel in marine environments, as reflected by the equivalent warranty offer.

What are the BCA and BASIX (solar absorptance) ratings for different colours?

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) has classified roof colour into light and dark on the basis of their solar absorptance. The lighter complying colours qualify for a Deemed to Satisfy insulation concession. The New South Wales Building and Sustainability Index (BASIX) has also classified colour into light medium and dark on the basis of their solar absorptance. The lighter and medium colours have insulation and or roof space ventilation concessions. For more Information see classification of COLORBOND® steel colours for BCA and NSW BASIX.

What are the benefits of COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel?

The reality is energy costs are going up, not down. That's a concern for most commercial and industrial building owners and tenants. So it's reassuring to know that a roof made from COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel in Whitehaven™ can help reduce the annual cooling energy costs of your building by up to 7.5%1 compared to COLORBOND® steel in Surfmist®. Best of all, COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel delivers all the quality, durability and warranty* support that comes only with genuine COLORBOND® steel. Read more.....

1. COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel in Whitehaven™ has a 9% higher solar reflectance than COLORBOND® steel in Surfmist®. Based on independent roof studies this difference could result in cooling energy savings of up to 7.5%. Savings will vary and depend upon the level of insulation, location of air-conditioning ducts, building shape and function. COLORBOND®, ZINCALUME®, Surfmist® and BlueScope are registered trade marks and Coolmax® and Whitehaven™ are trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2010 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.

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