The Spanish-style clay tile is a popular choice in Southern States as well as Europe. It is a popular choice due to its sustainability, durability and natural look.. Clay tiles have naturally long life spans. It is not rare for your clay roof to last in excess of one hundred years! Clay is naturally durable. Without treatment, clay is fireproof and can fend off rot, mould and water damage. A lot of manufacturers also provide extremely long warranty. A 75-year warranty is not uncommon.
Clay tiles are an environmentally-friendly roofing material. They are usually made out of recycled material as it is a naturally raw material. Furthermore, the majority of the product waste can also be recycled. A clay roof will provide your house with increased energy efficiency. It will trap cool air in and reflect off heat therefore reducing your reliance on air conditioning.
As you may know, clay tiles are an extremely old roofing material and was used in Ancient Rome and historic Spain. Manufacturers are replicating the historic shapes and designs of clay tiles. This can add a unique touch to your home. With either historic designs or modern designs, clay tiles will give your home an earthy, homey look.
Similar to metal roofs, the upfront cost of a clay roof is much more than asphalt shingles and other roofing materials however it is still an economic choice as long-run savings are made. They are practically maintenance free and have a long lifespan. It is a one-time investment and you are practically set for life!
If you are to make the decision to put clay tiles on your roof and if your roof has never previously had clay tiles, it is important to choose a contractor that is very knowledgeable and has a wealth of experience installing clay roofs. Not all contractors have experience in this area. Clay tiles are heavy and your home may not be able to support clay tiles without additional structural supports. An experienced roofing contractor would be able to assess and determine whether your house is structurally fit for clay tiles.
Clay Tile Manufacturers
The large shingle manufacturers (such as Iko, CertainTeed and Timberline) do not specialize in manufacturing clay tiles. These companies focus on what they do best: asphalt shingles. As such, you will need to find a smaller manufacturer that specializes in the craft of clay tiles. There are hundreds of small suppliers and manufacturers that make these therefore it is important to choose one that has a reputation for quality.
There are a number of things to look out for and questions you should ask?
- Are the clay tiles LEED or Energy Star rated? This will help you lower your overall energy cost and can possibly reduce your insurance rates.
- How durable are their tiles? Have they thoroughly tested them against high winds or harsh elements? Can they withstand at least 120mph gusts of wind? You should ask the manufacturer whether they received any certification.
- Most importantly, are they resistant to water and fire? Leaks or fires are the last thing you want to deal with
- How authentic are they? Are the tiles 100% clay or do they contain other by-products?
- Do they come with a warranty? Most manufacturers offer limited warranties. The question becomes, how limited is the warranty?