The ubiquity, in the tropics at least, of corrugated iron roofing and rainwater tanks comes with concerns for many of us who live with such arrangements. What, exactly, is all that lovely rainwater washing off your zinc roofing and depositing in your rainwater tank?
Aside from the obvious fallout from air pollution and bird shit, a study in Germany found that dissolution of the roof systems’ metal components is one the main sources of run-off pollution. Similarly, other studies have suggested that the acidic nature of rainwater may cause chemical compounds from the roof to leach into the harvested rainwater. Worse still, yet other studies have showed that older roofs leach more metals, suggesting that the age of the roof can negatively impact the quality of harvested rainwater.
A roofing product under development in Columbia may well address these issues. Corrugated bamboo roofing sheets are essentially laminated and resin-soaked, woven bamboo mats pressed between two corrugated pressing plates. The sheets are strong, durable, and are very resistant to insect attack.
The Guadua Bamboo website describes the results of a study that compares the mechanical properties and performance differences between bamboo roofing and three other common roofing materials in the tropics.
Those folk who live in the tropics know well the noise of a tropical downpour on a tin roof: it can be thunderous. One stand-out for me is that bamboo roofing is significantly quieter than our omnipresent corrugated iron roofing.
The roofing is produced from a sustainable and renewable resource, creates local employment, is easy to work with, is cooler in the sun than plastic or metal, looks great …. What’s not to like?
Let’s hope it becomes available in, at least, other parts of the tropics around the world.