When it comes to installing a brand-new roof on your home, there are plenty of options to consider. In addition to the conventional asphalt roof, there's also concrete, slate, wood and even metal. However, many homeowners turn to clay tile as an attractive, long-term solution for their roofing needs. The following explains what you can expect if you decide to install a clay tile roof.
A Long-Lived Roofing Solution
Clay roof tile has a penchant for being one of the most long-lived roofing solutions available. With the right amount of care and maintenance, a clay tile roof can last for a century or more. It's little wonder that clay tile was often the roofing material of choice for many civilizations throughout the ages. In contrast, most asphalt roofs require replacement after 20 to 30 years of use.
Of course, the lifespan of your clay tile roof could be compromised by hail strikes, strong winds, fallen tree limbs and even contractors walking on the tiles during inspection. While clay tiles are durable, they're also quite brittle. Clay tile roofs should be inspected for hairline cracks or chipped tile after severe storms.
When walking on clay tile, it pays to watch your step. Not only should you distribute and transfer your weight evenly as you traverse the tiles, but you should also avoid walking along water channels and unsupported voids in the middle of the tile.
Available in Many Styles, Shapes and Colors
Another advantage to choosing clay tile roofs is that they're available in a broad range of styles and shapes. This makes it much easier to find a particular style that helps your home stand out from the rest. Clay tiles also come in a wide variety of colors, including light shades, dark shades and multicolored variants. This also gives you an opportunity to complement the rest of your home's exterior decor with a matching or contrasting roof color.
If you're looking to go green when it comes to your home's roofing, clay roof tiles offer an environmentally sustainable option. For starters, clay roof tiles are made from materials that are not only natural, but also naturally reoccurring. No chemical preservatives are used during production, and there's no dangerous waste that ends up in local landfills.
Clay tiles are also adept at reducing heat transfer. Recent research found that when combined with sub-tile ventilation, clay tiles can reduce heat transfer into attic spaces by as much as 70 percent when compared with asphalt shingle roofs. This can easily translate into reduced energy consumption throughout your home (thanks to the reduced need for heating and cooling) and lower utility bills throughout the year.
Mind the Weight
Weight is a major drawback of choosing clay tile for your new roof. As Joe Provey from bobvila.com notes, the average tile roof can weigh in at anywhere from 580 pounds per square (assuming a 10x10 foot area) to 1,100 pounds per square. A similar asphalt roof installation, on the other hand, may weigh in at 230 pounds per square.
As a result, it's important to make sure your roof framing is structurally sound enough to handle the added weight of clay tile. This should be done with the help and advice of a trusted and experienced structural engineer.
Don't Forget About Water Protection
Clay tiles are adept at shedding water, but some of that water can easily find its way underneath the tiles. This makes having a waterproof layer underneath the tile a critical step in installing a clay tile roof. This underlayment usually consists of a self-adhesive waterproof membrane that adheres to the roof deck. This prevents water from leaking through the deck and into your indoor spaces.
For more information and options, talk with local roofing companies in your area, like Affordable Roofing & Gutters.