Concrete & Clay Tile Roofing
Many Florida homes benefit from the aesthetic appearance of tile roofing, but roofing tiles’ benefits don’t stop at curb appeal. Tiles greatly contribute to the longevity and performance of a home’s roof.
Roof tiles are available in many different profiles and sizes, but the most common roof tiles in Florida are concrete big-barrel, small barrel, flat and clay tiles.
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Ease of installation – Tile roof systems are among the most simple to install by trained professionals, which helps keep installation costs lower than other roof systems.
Maintenance and repair – Tile roofs require less maintenance than other roof systems and are typically easier to repair due to each tile being installed individually.
Certified installers – To become certified to install tile roof systems, roofers undergo a thorough training program and testing to learn the code-approved methods of installation. Certified installers can be found online by searching the Tile Roofing Industry Alliance website.
Traditionally, roof tiles were made from slate, terra cotta, or a fired clay composed of all-natural materials. Traditional tiles, which have been used for roofing since the days of ancient Mesopotamia, are considered today to be the premium roof tile, with a high insulation factor and a lifespan that can exceed 100 years.
Concrete tiles are a common alternative to clay tiles. Made from a mixture of sand, cement and water, concrete tiles are available in flat, low curve or high curve and can mimic the look of other types of roofing materials, such as clay, slate, wood shake, and stone tiles. This lower-cost alternative to clay tiles are just as aesthetically valuable and are extremely durable. One caveat is that concrete is heavier than any other roofing material, so a roofing expert will need to examine your home’s structure to determine whether your home can withstand the added weight.
The Advantages of Clay & Concrete Tile Roofing
While aesthetics are not as important as functionality, most homeowners choose their roof based on how it will look on their home, and clay or clay-look tiles are objectively attractive. Clay tiles get their color from the naturally occurring minerals in the clay, so they maintain their color for a very long time without fading. Tile roofs are available in a wide range of colors, profiles and styles to match the architectural style of your home, including, as mentioned above, emulating the style of other types of roofing materials. When it comes down to selling your Florida home, it’s likely going to sell faster and be appraised at a higher value if it has a tile roof rather than an asphalt shingle roof. This can be attributed to the collective benefits of tile roofing, but most buyers are more focused on the home’s appearance than the many inherent benefits of the tile.
As mentioned above, centuries-old clay tile roofs still exist today. While clay tile is the more durable tile, concrete tiles also have an impressive life expectancy – 30-50 years. Roof tiles are resistant to fire (Class A fire-resistant as a product and a system), wind (designed & tested to resist hurricane-force winds up to 150 mph) and impact (tested according to FM4473 to resist damage from hailstones as large as 2 inches), so they are long-lasting due to their extreme inherent durability when properly installed. Today’s tile roofs surpass the current seismic load requirements for building materials when installed following current fastening requirements.
Tiles are one of the most cost-effective choices due to their long lifespan. Both concrete and clay tile outlast other roofing materials and are typically warrantied for 50 years, with some covered for the life of the structure. Their energy-efficiency, durability and long life mean that tile roofs will probably save you money on maintenance, insurance and energy costs in the long-term. Be prepared, however, for that excellent return on investment to come with a large up-front cost. Concrete tile can cost $400-1,000 per square (100ft2) and higher-end clay tiles can cost up to $3,000 per square. The cost, of course, will vary depending on several factors but even with the larger up-front investment, a tile roof will pay for itself over time.
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Reduced Carbon Footprint
Tile roofing is the most sustainable material available based on its long useful life, lowered energy costs and reusability. The material fills LEED and Energy Star requirements and does not deplete natural resources, and the lack of chemical preservatives allows the tiles to be recycled rather than deposited into a landfill at the end of their life. The United States Department of Energy performed tests that show that clay roof tiles can cut down heat transfer by up to 70% in comparison to asphalt shingles due to their inherent inability to absorb heat. Furthermore, the shape of roofing tiles allows natural air ventilation that contributes to the heat transfer barrier, creating a more energy efficient home by keeping the home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.