What are the Pros and Cons of a Concrete Tile Roof?
Replacing your roof has a significant cost element to it which means that you need to research and do your due diligence in choosing the right one that best fits your needs. One of the most popular options for roofing is a concrete tile roof. The main reason why it’s popular is that it looks great and can complement a wide variety of home styles.
How are concrete tiles made?
Concrete roof tiles are made out of cement mixture which is formed under heat and pressure. The coloring and finished look can be achieved by adding color to the cement mixture before molding.
Concrete tile roofs are composed of three layers which are sand, wire mesh, and concrete onto wood support. These three layers are covered by another piece of plywood and flipped up so the sand side is facing up.
Metal rods are installed under the concrete and bent over to create a loop. The whole process is repeated until enough concrete is created. Next, a steel frame with a heating attachment is used to heat the whole thing to completely dry it out. Once dried, the plywood gets removed and a concrete tile is done!
The Pros of a Concrete Tile Roof
Concrete tile is a very common roofing material not just in the United States but all over the world. Here are the different advantages when you are considering a concrete tile roof for your home:
Concrete tiles are very durable and can withstand most weather conditions and this includes high winds, hail, storms, and sometimes even fire. They have a natural resistance to fire which can help protect your home from ash or embers. Concrete tiles have a strong resistance against heavy snow loads and winds. It can withstand winds up to 180mph and is a great fit for people living in high wind areas.
- Reduce energy costs
Concrete tile roofing has a gap under the tiles which can be beneficial in blocking the sun’s heat from transferring to your house which can help in reducing your cooling costs. In the wintertime, a tile roof can keep your house warm because it is a low heat transfer material.
- Minimal maintenance
Even though your concrete tile roof can last a long time, it doesn’t mean that it is subject to wear and tear. The main advantage of tile roofs is that they have a lower maintenance requirement compared to clay tiles. Although the maintenance is quite easy compared to other materials, it is still advisable to hire a professional licensed contractor to make sure that the job is done right.
Concrete tile roofs can last up from 30 to 50 years which is a long time.
Because they are made out of concrete or clay, tile comes from a sustainable resource. Disposing tiles is also easy because you can crush and recycle them for another use.
- Different options are available
You can choose from a variety of styles and colors depending on what complements your house the best.
Concrete tiles are a great option for both residential and commercial roofing systems.
The Cons of a Concrete Tile Roof
Even if concrete tile roofing is one of the most popular roofing materials, there are disadvantages to it. Here are the cons of a concrete tile roof:
- Heavy material
Tile roofing can be quite heavy which means that your home needs to have ample structural reinforcement to support this material. The standard weight for standard concrete tiles can vary from 900 lbs to 1200 lbs per square. The newer manufactured concrete tiles are lighter and come in at 500 lbs to 720 lbs per square.
Even though this is the lighter option, it is still heavy compared to asphalt shingles which can weigh up to 350 lbs per square. When installing a concrete tile roof, you can consult with a structural engineer to make sure your foundation can hold the total weight. A good workaround is to get reinforcement for your roof.
Compared to the cost of asphalt shingles, concrete tiles can be expensive and come up to double the price. Even though this material is expensive, you are paying for the longevity, durability, and quality of the material. This significant investment is well worth it in the long run because you don’t have to deal with replacing your roof right away.
- A tile roof can be brittle
Even though tile roofing is durable, it can be brittle and crack because of impact damage. Concrete tile roofs can even get damaged if someone walks on them improperly which is why you should hire the services of a licensed roofing contractor to maintain your roof.
- Prone to fading
The color pigmentation tends to fade with concrete tiles due to normal wear and tear. This only happens when color is added to the tiles through concrete-based pigment. Replacing your tiles that are damaged due to the color fading might be problematic because it has to be color-matched to the roof which requires special handling.
- Prone to Efflorescence
Efflorescence occurs when water mixes with Carbon Dioxide. This mixture is needed to be combined with lime to create a white substance that has a chalky texture. Efflorescence can make your roof appear stained but it can be cleaned off, this chemical reaction is more superficial than anything. You can also seal the roof to prevent moisture from coming in.
Clay vs. Concrete Tile Roofing
Clay and Concrete are two roofing materials that are often confused together. Clay tiles have been around for a long time and are used in homes with traditional styles, classical architecture, and European-looking.
The key differences between clay & concrete tiles:
- Production time
Concrete tiles are easier to produce than clay. The production of clay can sometimes have longer lead times which can lead to delays in installation.
- Color and Style Variety
One of the biggest advantages of concrete tile is that it can come in different colors, shapes, and sizes to best fit your home’s aesthetic. Clay is limited in this aspect and only comes in specific textures. Clay can also come in different colors and styles.
- Material weight
Concrete tiles are already heavy but clay tiles are even heavier. When installing clay tiles, you have to make sure that your foundation can support all the weight properly.
What Factors Should be Considered when Installing Concrete Roofing?
Like any other roofing material, a concrete tile roof has its pros and cons. Before deciding on this type of roofing you also have to consider factors about your existing roof and home.
Deciding on whether you want to install this type of roof can be dependent on the following factors:
- Roof slope
If you have a steep roof slope measuring more than 18 degrees, this can make the concrete tile roof installation tricky. You might have to tap into a specialized construction and installation team to do this for you.
- The size of your roof
The larger your roof equates to more expensive costs for materials and installation. Larger roofs might also require a special adhesive and materials under the actual roof when installing.
- Roof complexity
If your roof includes valleys, hips, and ridges – it is considered complex. The more complex your roof is, the more challenging the installation is and can increase your costs.
- Installation and material Costs
Getting a proper estimate for your roofing installation is important so that you can get an actual idea of how much you will have to spend and budget accordingly. This is why it is important to work with a licensed roofing contractor when you are doing this home improvement project.
- Installation in different Weather Conditions
Timing of the installation of your concrete tile roof is also important. During summertime, you will need heat and ventilation for proper installation. On the other hand, wintertime can also be a challenging time because it is cold.
Why hiring a professional is important in installing your concrete tile roof
Your roof is an important piece of your home because it protects it from weather conditions. Improperly installed roofing can lead to water leaks and damage.
You might think that installing tiles on your own is easy and that you don’t need a roofing company to help you out with this. This might appear simple but it’s not as easy as it looks.
Reasons why you should hire a roofing company to install your concrete tile roof:
- Concrete tiles are heavy
Properly handling the tiles and carrying them is a two-person job because the material is so heavy.
- Dangerous job
Not having the right tools to install a roof will be dangerous and should not be attempted. Roofing companies also have safety procedures and tools that can help them do the job safely and properly.
- Incorrect installation
If you don’t have an expert install your roof and prefer to do it on your own, you might install it incorrectly and this can lead to problems later on like water leaks and flooding.
How can you extend the Life of your Concrete Roof Tiles?
It is very common for concrete tile roofs to last up to 50 years with proper care and maintenance. The longevity of your roof depends on the installation process and ongoing maintenance that you perform on it.
Ways you can extend the life of your concrete tile roof:
- Ensure proper installation
Properly installing your roof is key to making it last. Improper installation may lead to water going underneath the tiles and damaging them. This can lead to erosion and rust.
- Make sure the underlayment is done properly
Before installing your concrete tile roof, an underlayment is needed. This is a layer of waterproof material that is laid down first to prevent the water from getting into the tiles. You can choose from a variety of different materials for this but it is to your advantage to choose a material that is more porous than the tiles. This will ensure that the water vapor will escape and at the same time prevent water from passing through.
Deciding on what roofing material you want to install can take time. This is an important decision that you will have to make at one point. You have to consider a lot of factors and each material has its pros and cons.
Deciding on a roofing material depends on what your needs are. With a concrete tile roof, you will have durability and longevity which are both important things to consider in roofing. Contacting a licensed roofing company is important to carry out your plan.
Horizon Roofing – serving the Orange County, CA area – is your reliable local roofing contractors. We specialize in residential roofing and commercial roofing and have been in the industry for over a decade. We have excellent reviews and look forward to serving your need.