AN INTRODUCTION TO TILE ROOFING
Our family has two generations in the roofing industry and we believe so strongly in the superiority of tile materials that we have dedicated our business to specializing in its installation. This gives our customers confidence that our crews are highly trained and deeply experienced. You always receive top workmanship backed by our business integrity. We can show you examples of our work in your area!
Some Facts about Tile Roofing
Terracotta or fired clay tile has been used as a roofing material for thousands of years. Tiles were used in the Bronze Age in ancient Greece as early as 2500 B.C., in ancient Middle Eastern civilizations and in China in the Neolithic period approximately 10,000 years ago. Terracotta tile was commonly used as a roofing material by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Tiles have been used as roofing on buildings in Europe from Roman times to the present. In some European cities like London, fired clay tiles were required because of their fireproof qualities. Early use of clay roof tiles in the United States has been documented at Jamestown and the settlement of Roanoke Island in 1585. Terracotta tiles were used on Spanish missions throughout Florida and the western states. Terracotta tiles are associated with specific architectural styles like Spanish Mission and Italianate Villa, but complement almost any building style.
Terracotta and clay tiles adorn homes throughout the world. Typically utilized for Mediterranean style homes, they combine old world charm with one of the longest life expectancies of any roofing material. Today’s tiles are manufactured from cement fiber and metal as well as clay and terracotta.
As with any roofing material, the proper installation of tile requires the experience and expertise of a modern day craftsman. Bock & Whitman Construction has installed and maintained tile roofs for two generations.
Tile Roofing Advantages
Clay roof tiles are attractive, impermeable and durable. Terracotta is a natural material, made from clay that is fired at a high temperature until it vitrifies or fuses. Vitrification creates a hard, waterproof surface that withstands rain, snow, cycles of freezing and thawing and wears well in coastal areas with salt air. They are fireproof, last up to 100 years or more and are almost maintenance-free. Because they are made from clay, terracotta tiles are easy to recycle and do not harm the environment.
Clay roof tiles are traditionally red, which is a moderately reflective color. Light-colored roofs, also called cool roofs, have higher reflectance and emissivity than dark-colored roofs. More than 90 percent of the roofs in the United States are of dark-colored materials which are low-reflectance and can reach temperatures of 150 to 190 degrees F. Cool roofs stay cooler, sometimes as much as 70 degrees cooler than a dark-colored roof, resulting in lower energy costs and more comfortable building interiors.
Some manufacturers apply glaze to tiles which adds color and additional surface protection. Glazed tiles are often untreated on the underside which reduces weight, expense in manufacture and allows the tile to breathe and expel moisture from the untreated surface. Many manufacturers provide guarantees against color fading for a specified number of years.
Tiles are available in several shapes that give a unique look to the roof architecture. There are several interlocking systems that ensure that the tiles protect the roof and remain in place. Each system has a required amount of overlap that connects tiles on either side, above and below to prevent moisture from seeping between the tiles.
Mission clay tiles, also called Barrel tiles and S-curved tiles, have a highly rounded curve which gives the traditional look to Spanish style buildings. Flat clay tiles, also called English Shingle or Closed Shingle, are used on several styles of buildings. Flat pan tiles with curved cover tiles were used on classic Doric order buildings like those in the Acropolis at Athens.
Beautiful Curb Appeal
With its longevity and curb appeal, most people that opt for a tile roof do so with the knowledge of the expense and other drawbacks.
Weigh these carefully as you make your decision to ensure the right choice.
Some Things to Think About with Tile Roofing
Installation of clay tiles requires experienced, trained contractors. Clay tiles are more difficult to install than other types of roof materials and must be properly installed to withstand rain, severe weather and cycles of freezing and thawing. Manufacturers recommend horizontal and vertical overlap values to ensure that water does not penetrate between the tiles. Tiles must be properly anchored to flashings and eaves to protect underlying roof material.
If clay roof tiles leak, the underlying roof structure can be damaged. Leaks can travel beyond the source of the breakage or gap, so when replacing tiles or repairing leaks it is important to examine adjacent areas.
Terracotta tiles are breakable. Once installed, tiles should be walked on with care. If roof access is required, tiles should be removed or boards placed across a span of tiles to distribute weight. The most common reason for breakage is from falling tree limbs.
Clay tile is not recommended for low-pitch roofs. Clay roof tiles can be heavy, so must have good roof and wall support. Some manufacturers offer light-weight clay tiles that weigh less than 600 pounds per square in compliance with many building code requirements for reroofing.
Costs can increase depending on the distance tiles are shipped from the manufacturing source to the consumer.