Did you know that some tiled roofs can last up to 100 years?
After countless dollars spent on fixing leaks and repainting the roof, you finally decide it’s time for a total roof replacement. When choosing a roof for your home, it is not enough to simply put up something that won’t blow away. Instead, you should pay attention to the material of your roof as this can significantly alter the way the structure below behaves.
Each type of roof material – from slate to steel – has its own pros and cons. Let’s look at the most popular roof types installed in Australian homes: terracotta and concrete tile.
Tiles have been around for centuries, which is a testament to their durability and sustainability. Clay and concrete roof tiles have natural thermal insulation properties that contribute to the energy savings of a well-designed home.
Available in a wide range of shapes and finishes, both terracotta and concrete tiles add a great aesthetic to any home. They are popular in Australia because they are well suited for hot climates.
Clay Roof Tiles vs. Concrete Roof Tiles
There are five main differences between terracotta and cement roof tiles.
1. Terracotta is lighter.
Clay roof tiles are 40% lighter than their concrete counterparts. If your home or building cannot safely support the weight of cement roof tiles, then you might want to consider installing a lighter roof material.
2. Concrete is prone to mildew and stains.
Because they tend to absorb more moisture, cement roof tiles are prone to stains and mildew, especially if treated with a poor or low-quality finish.
3. Terracotta provides natural insulation.
Terracotta roof tiles feature greater airflow capacity, which can help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
4. Terracotta lasts longer.
Both terracotta and concrete roof tiles are long-lasting. Cement tiles are known to last between 30 and 50 years; however, some terracotta roof tiles can last up to a hundred years!
5. Concrete is more affordable.
Probably the most significant difference between terracotta and concrete roofing tiles is that clay roof tiles are more expensive than cement roofing because of their superior finish, durability, and resistance against fire and extreme weather.
What are Concrete Roof Tiles?
To the naked eye, terracotta and concrete tiles look almost the same. That’s why concrete tiles have become a popular alternative to beautiful but expensive terracotta tiles.
Concrete roof tiles are also able to mimic the appearance of wooden shingles, slate, and stone – making them a cost-effective but equally attractive replacement for these upscale materials.
Made from a mixture of water, sand, and cement, concrete roof tiles are coloured before they are cast into their tile shape for a more durable finish.
In addition to aesthetics and economics, concrete roof tiles require less maintenance than other roofing materials. They are also fire-resistant, can withstand impact from harsh elements such as hailstones, and last for years under normal wear and tear.
Concrete roof tiles are so durable that many tiled roofs from decades ago remain in good working condition to this day. This feature is important when building roofs that can withstand the harsh Australian climate.
What are the Advantages of a Tiled Roof?
Concrete is robust, and as such, concrete tile roofs offer a major strength advantage over their clay counterparts. Roof tiles must comply with strict standards in strength upon installation and are known to get stronger with age.
Roof tiles are resistant to rust and corrosion, which makes them suitable for homes located in harsh coastal environments in Australia.
Tiled roofs offer great sound insulation and acoustic performance. In fact, roof tiles can reduce noise by 30 decibels – more than twice the noise reduction from other roofing materials. By keeping external noise out of your living space, your home stays peaceful and quiet at all times.
Natural climate control
Australia is a country with different climates, and with a tiled roof, the temperature inside your home or building can easily adapt to the weather outside.
Tiles have natural air ventilation underneath, which creates a heat transfer barrier. This feature can help keep your home cool during the summer and warm in the winter, meaning you’ll pay less for heating and cooling costs.
Because concrete tiles have a heavier thermal mass than terracotta or other roof materials, they can store more heat during the day and warm your home at night.
Whether clay or concrete, all roof tiles are fire-resistant. As such, if you live in an area that is prone to bushfires, you should consider installing a roof made of non-combustible material.
Roof tiles are also suitable for homes that are located in cyclone areas. To make sure that your roof is cyclone ready in C2 and C3 rated areas, install your concrete tiled roof to AS 2050 standards. It means that every tile, ridge, hip and barge is mechanically secured and heavy-duty sarking is installed across the entire roof.
Solar power efficiency
Since tiles can store heat during the day, tiled roofs can help keep solar panels warmer for a longer period. This extended heat radiation could boost the overall performance of your solar-powered home.
Tiles are impervious to rust, rot, insect damage, and even decay. They can last for up to 100 years even with the seasonal hail, storm, and high winds. It is therefore common for manufacturers to provide a 50-year warranty with tile roofing, guaranteeing that your roof will remain structurally sound for a period of 50 years.
The manufacture of roof tiles does not deplete our natural resources nor harm the environment with chemicals or preservatives. Additionally, roof tiles are 100% recyclable – they can be pulverised when they reach the end of their lifecycle and the material used again.
Huge range of colours and profiles
Concrete roof tiles are designed to mimic other surfaces such as slate, wood, or even terracotta – therefore offering great flexibility when it comes to appearance.
Roof tiles are available in a wide range of colour and profile combinations to suit different roof styles and pitches.
Should you install a tiled roof?
Terracotta and concrete tiles are best suited for roofs in temperate climates. If your house is situated in an excessively wet, windy, or snowy area, then a tiled roof may not be suitable as moisture trapped in between tiles could cause leaks.
When choosing a roofing option, you might want to consult a roofing expert first and ask for quotes from different licensed roof installers. Be ready with important details such as the measurements, layout and pitch of your roof.