The Pros and Cons of Having a Tile Roof

Is a Tile Roof a Good Idea for a Marin Home?

Tiles add a distinctive touch to almost any home and Marin’s climate is right for tiles. In regions of the country with very cold weather, clay tiles may crack or even shatter in a cycle of freezes and thaws. However, you’ll want to consider a great many more factors before making a decision about putting tiles on your roof.

First, there are choices to make when it comes to the type of tile. The method of making clay tiles dates back centuries. Clay tiles are baked, molded clay. Concrete tiles are a mixture of cement, sand and water, molded under high pressure and heat. Both types of tiles are highly resistant to wind and fire, which makes them a very safe roofing material.

Tile roofs are not uncommon in Marin, but are they right for your home?

Let’s consider some of the advantages and drawbacks of tile roofs.

The Pros of Having a Tiel Roof

  • Tiles are very long lasting – whether you choose clay or concrete. Some concrete tile manufacturers suggest that their products will last fifty years, while many clay roofs in Mediterranean countries have lasted a great deal longer than that. Since clay tiles don’t absorb as much moisture as the concrete tiles
  • Maintenance – is minimal with a clay roof, though due to the water absorption of the  concrete tiles, they require more work.
  • Safety – Tiles are fireproof and resist insects and rot.
  • Environmentally Friendly – Made from natural materials that don’t deplete natural resources, tiles are also energy efficient because of their thermal capacity and the ventilated air space their placement on the roof surface creates.

The Cons of Having a Tile Roof

  • Price – Tiles are considerably more expensive than conventional roofing materials.
  • Durable, yet Delicate – While tiles are long lasting, wind/fire resistant and low maintenance, when walked on, they make crack or break. You’ll want to leave repairs and maintenance to the professionals who are skilled at working on tile roofs.
  • Weight is a big factor – Clay tiles are heavy and concrete tiles are even heavier. The water absorption of concrete tiles make them that much heavier during the rainy season. Most homes would require reinforcement to make a switch from asphalt shingles to tiles. This could require the advice of a structural engineer and the added expense of shoring up the structure, in addition to the higher cost of buying the tiles.
  • Maintenance – Regular maintenance may be minimal, however, the underlayment – that goes down before the tiles do, may require replacement as often as eight to twenty years, if you use cement tiles that absorb moisture and grow mold and mildew. This is a process that requires the removal of the tiles to get at and remove the old underlayment to then add the new underlayment and put your tiles on again.

Find Out If a Tile Roof is Right For Your Home

If you are considering a new roof and want to discuss your options with one of our tile roof professionals, please contact us for a no-obligation, free estimate.