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Roof sarking is a membrane that is fitted during tile or metal roof construction. The flexible membrane is usually installed under the battens to provide thermal insulation and to prevent water and dust penetration in the roof space.

In bushfire prone areas flying embers cannot enter this space through the roof due to sarking protection. Moreover in heavy storms sarking can also act to channel moisture into roof gutters and protect a home from water intrusion.

Sarking not only acts as a protection against driving rain, but can also contribute to the energy efficiency of a home. Sarking may or may not be mandatory depending on the circumstances such as whether the home is in a bushfire prone area, the likely wind speed, roof pitch and so on, terrain category and the length of the rafter; as per the BCA 2008. The most important area to be aware of is the Terrain Category and not just the N rating. The engineer is required to take both into consideration and not just the wind speed. Factors to be reported include whether the building within 500 metres off a large body of water, a golf course, a major highway or freeway, airport, farm lands, parklands or national parks in conjunction with the AS4055-1992 / AS1170.2-1989.

In summary, sarking can provide a long term environmental benefit to a new home, as well as additional protection against water damage and dust.

8 responses to “Roof Sarking”

  1. Mark says:


    I am enquiring about sarking. I have recently built (4 months) a new home in the suburb of Eglinton. I am only just noticing a lot on condensation build up in my roof. I have noticed this because my downpipes are trickling water on the night times. Since I am new to colorbond roofing I didn’t know this was an issue nor did I even think about this at construction. I do not have sarking, but I would have though in my situation (metal roof, wooden rafters, near the coast) this would have been an essential. I have made the enquiring to my builder and they are saying, in the 30 years in the industry they didn’t know about such “condensation” issues and it’s not their problem because I didn’t ask for “sarking”. Where do I stand with this and how can this be resolved?

    Kind Regards


  2. Trevor Green says:

    Could you please advise me if there is anything listed in such as the Australian Standards concerning the requirement for sarking.
    My query relates to concrete tiled roof, on a block which is 250 metres from the ocean, at 10 metres above sea level, with a wind rating of N2.

    Any guidance that you can afford would be much appreciated.

  3. Leon says:

    Is it compulsory to install sarking ins. in metal roof in Vic for new house?

    • mbawa says:

      Hi Leon,

      Thank you for contacting Master Builders. Please note we are in Western Australia, so I would recommend you contact Master Builders Victoria to seek further advice. I have provided their contact details below:

      Phone: (03) 9411 4555 | Fax: (03) 9411 4591
      332 Albert Street, East Melbourne VIC Australia 3002
      GPO Box 544, Melbourne VIC Australia 3001

      Kind regards,
      Master Builders

  4. Alan Taylor says:


    My house roof only has partial sarking. From the eaves to approx 2.0M up the rafter.

    Is this normal practice or should the whole of the roof pitch have sarking ?

    Please advise.