Clay and concrete roofing tiles might look the same to the casual observer, but they’re actually two very different roofing materials with different benefits. We often get asked about them by our clients, which is why in this post, we’ll share a simple primer that can answer all of your basic questions about clay and concrete tiles.
Clay tiles are tough materials. They are made from naturally occurring materials that are baked into the tiles. They usually come in their natural earthy color, thus earning them the nickname “terracotta tiles” although they can also be glazed in a color of your choosing before being baked into shape.
The biggest draw of clay tiles is the fact that they are very tough materials that can last for the better part of at least a century. Plenty of terracotta roofs throughout the world are centuries old. They’re great insulators against heat and are resistant to leaks and fungi due to the fact that they absorb very little of the water to which they are exposed.
The heavy weight of the tiles also makes them great roofing options if you’re worried about roof tears due to strong winds. Ask your roofing contractors about the availability of clay tiles if you’re considering them for your home since they are not always readily available and are difficult to transport due to their weight.
Concrete tiles are not as tough as clay tiles, but they do better than most roofing materials in terms of service lifespan, with a concrete tile roof lasting for roughly 50 years. They are made with Portland cement, limestone, sand and water, and share many of the qualities of standard concrete.
Concrete tiles are also fairly heavy, which makes them great against stronger winds than other roofing materials. They are also quite impact-resistant, which can be a big draw for regions that suffer from constant hailstorms. But, perhaps the biggest advantage concrete tiles have is that they do well when cycling from cold to warmer weather. Unlike clay tiles, they won’t easily crack from extremely cold weather either since they are not as susceptible to freezing.
Regardless of whether you’re asking your roofer to install a clay or concrete tile roof, be sure to consult them first on whether your home can withstand all of that additional weight. These tiles are more commonly used in new home construction, but a strong enough structure could be able to carry the weight.
Here at Krech Exteriors, we have partnerships with manufacturers like GAF and CertainTeed®. Ask about our products and services by calling us at (651) 688-6368. You can also fill our online form. We serve clients around Minneapolis.