Whenever you choose a roofing material you’re weighing a few factors. Cost and durability are hugely important considerations, and those factors can be felt years down the line in terms of maintenance and energy efficiency.
Tile Roofing 101
Tile roofs are are considered extremely energy efficient, since they insulate your home so well, and cost-conscious as well. Whether you go with concrete, cedar, clay or slate tiles or tiles made from metal materials like steel, copper or aluminum, you’re getting a lightweight roofing structure that looks great and can hold up to the elements.
Both concrete and clay tile roofs come in a wide variety of colors and have an entire gamut of profiles. Whether you’re looking for a barrel style or something to resemble wood, there’s a color and profile to fit your desires and make your dream home a reality. In fact, homes that have aesthetically pleasing tile roofs tend to be appraised at higher prices.
The vast majority of tile roofs are also extremely durable – most are Class A fire resistant as well. Tile roofs have been known to withstand heavy winds, hail and even earthquakes because of tile’s high seismic resistance. This is definitely a worthwhile consideration for Californians.
Steel and aluminum tiles also require very little maintenance and can last for two generations or more. Not only that – metal roofing tiles can take on the appearance of cedar tiles or slate tiles to give your home even more protection against wind, snow, hail and heavy rainfall.
Tile vs Shingle Roofing
Tile roofing materials simply stand up to the elements, especially heat, better than most roofing materials. Where durability meets price, tile roofs also stand up well to shingle roofs over the long term. It’s interesting that while tile roofing typically costs twice as much upfront compared to most types of shingle roofing, tile lasts twice as long (on average) compared to shingle roofs.
Asphalt, wood and slate shingles look great and can still stand up to the elements. Shingle roofs, though, can require more regular maintenance than tile and have an average lifespan of around a generation. Tile, on the other hand, can last 50 to 80 years with just a touch of maintenance along the way.
- Clay Tiles
Clay tiles, for instance, can last an average of 50 years for homeowners, and there are some reports that clay tile can last 100 years or more. Spanish tile is a very aesthetically pleasing option and the roofing material of choice for many in the Southwest and Western parts of the US. The reflective properties of this kind of tile bolster your home’s overall energy efficiency and can lead to more retained cool air in the summer and less heat escaping in the winter.
- Concrete Tiles
Concrete tiles are another popular tile option. Made from an amalgam of cement, water and sand, concrete tiles can last for 50 years or more as long as they’re properly installed and your roof’s battens and underlayments are robust. Roof battens properly installed prior to laying down your tile roof can ensure that you get all of the energy efficiency, drainage and structural benefits that come with owning a concrete tile roof.
Tile: A Time-tested Material
Tile roofing itself goes back millennia to Neolithic China and the dawn of the agricultural revolution. Even today, concrete and clay tile are some of the more popular options in the US Southwest. That said, clay tile is most closely associated with Spanish and Mediterranean home designs. Many regions throughout Europe, in fact, still have clay and slate tiles installed centuries ago.