Quick Guide to Tile Roofing

Written by Acoma Roofing on . Posted in Roofing

Tile roofs have been around since 10,000 B.C., and modern homeowners continue to order attractive tile roofs for installation on their dwellings. Here’s a quick guide to tile roofing.

Tile Roofs Have Their Place in History and the World

Clay roofing tiles are ancient and modern features of homes and other buildings in a wide array of cultures and places. For this reason, you can use clay tile on nearly any type of architecture.

Areas that have used clay-roofing tiles around the world include:

  • China
  • Middle East
  • Babylonia
  • Ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome
  • Asia
  • Europe

Dutch, Spanish, French, and English settlers brought clay-roofing tiles to America. The tiles topped structures in Jamestown, Virginia; New Amsterdam (present-day New York City); New Orleans, Louisiana; and St. Augustine, Florida. Whether you build an Italianate villa or a two-story Colonial home, clay-roofing tiles are an appropriate design choice.

Modern Roofing Tiles Come in Many Styles and Colors

In the past, nearly all roofing tiles were crafted by hand in molds. Today, machines extrude the clay and mineral mixtures to create uniform clay tiles. Concrete and aggregate roofing tiles are less expensive than clay tiles, but the concrete- or aggregate-based tiles can be colored and shaped to mimic the appearance of authentic clay roofing tiles.

Manufacturers make clay-roofing tiles in two basic styles. Rounded or concave pan tiles are decorative and ideal for Mission- and Spanish-style homes. Pan tiles may be S-shaped, curved, or fluted, while flat tiles (also called slab, book, shingle, or French tiles) overlap or interlock just like the pan tiles. Specialty tiles cover ridge caps, roof hips, dormers, and other odd roof features.

The most common color of unglazed clay roofing tiles is terra cotta. Unglazed clay roofing tiles are also available in brown, buff, or pale rose. In the past, manufacturers often treated clay tiles with manganese before the tiles were fired in the kilns. The treatment creates dark scorch marks in the clay tiles when a black- or blue-tinged tile is desired.

Manufacturers can color clay tiles with slip (liquid clay) or with applied glazes to provide even more color variations. Purple, green, blue, and deep-red glazed tiles offer homeowners more options when selecting the perfect shades of clay roofing tiles for their homes. Manufacturers create colors in concrete and aggregate roofing tiles by adding pigments to the tile material before the tiles are extruded.

Tile Roofs Are Durable and Shed Rain

When you hire a roofing expert to professionally install your tile roof, expect the roof to last between 50 and several hundred years. Tile roofs are one of the sturdiest roof coverings available because of their thickness and long life.

Clay tile roofs are ideal for homes in Florida’s humid, storm-prone climate for the following reasons:

  • Tiles are fire- and heat-resistant.
  • Tiles can handle salty coastal air.
  • Tiles easily shed sudden heavy downpours of rain.
  • Tiles don’t rot or decay.
  • Tiles are impervious to insect and rodent damage.
  • Tile materials are recyclable.
  • Tiles offer great thermal mass.

A properly installed clay tile roof is unlikely to leak. Roof repair after hail damage or impact from a tree limb is easy to accomplish, since your roofing professional can replace individual tiles. You can also arrange for patching small cracks and chips in roofing tiles with tinted roofing mortar.

Roofing Tiles Require a Sturdy Base

Your professional roofer inspects your structure to ensure the roof decking and underlayment can handle the weight of clay or aggregate roofing tiles. Roofers measure clay and concrete tiles in squares that measure 10 feet by 10 feet.

A standard asphalt roof weighs between 225 to 325 pounds per 10-feet by 10-foot square. A clay tile roof can weigh as much as 850 pounds per square, while a concrete tile roof may weigh as much as 950 pounds per square.

If you replace a standard asphalt or metal roof with clay or concrete tiles, ask your roofing professional to recommend a structural engineer to help determine if your roof can take the weight of the tiles. Some roofing companies have their own engineer on staff to help calculate roofing loads and recommend fortifications for weak roofs.

Hurricane-Proofing of Tiles Requires Extra Steps

Durable clay and concrete roofing tiles are tough and attractive. However, you will likely need to pay for extra quality control on installation to avoid roof damage during future hurricanes.

Your roofing contractor should do the following when installing a hurricane-proof tile roof:

  • Apply foam adhesives correctly.
  • Use clips, straps, and tile fasteners for uplift resistance.
  • Apply mortar or a ridge board for roof hips and ridges.

If your home is within 3,000 feet of the ocean, the clay-tile fasteners are prone to corrosion. The roofing contractor will ensure that all fasteners, clips, and straps are made of stainless steel for coastal homes.

Order installation of your new or replacement tile roof in Clearwater, Oldsmar, or Tampa by contacting Acoma Roofing Inc. today.

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Acoma Roofing, Inc.

Phone: 727.733.5580

Fax: 727.789.5901

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