How Long Do Clay Roof Tiles Last?

A Clay Roof Being Installed.

How long do clay roof tiles last?

Clay roof tiles are a popular choice among many homeowners. While clay tiles look great, another reason homeowners choose them is longevity. With minimum maintenance, clay tiles will outlast most homeowners as they can last 100 years or more. Moreover, they are highly fire resistant and can withstand extreme hot and cold weather, as well as hail and high winds. If you are considering adding a tile roof and want an expert for clay tile roofs in Dallas, TX, you need to look no farther than Eclat Roofing. We offer a full range of roofing solutions. Find out how we can help by calling 214-373-1500.

What are clay roof tiles called?

When you hear someone talk about Spanish, mission, or Mediterranean tiles, they are talking about clay roof tiles. But clay tiles come in many varieties but two basic types:

  • Pan tiles: These are the rounded tiles like Spanish tiles. You may also see two flat tiles overlapped by a curved tile, and this is considered a pan tile as well. 
  • Flat tiles: These tiles are also known as slab, shingle, book, or French.

All of these tiles can either be interlocked or overlapped when installed on the roof. These tiles come in a variety of colors, though they are commonly found in terra cotta, brown, or even pink hues.

Are clay tile roofs good?

Are you wondering, “Why use clay roof tiles?” Many people choose tile roofing because it is both durable and beautiful. Although initially very expensive to install, as well as heavy, whatever type of tile roof you choose, you’ll be getting a roof that’s going to outlast you, and requires very little upkeep. These roofs are fire-resistant and will hold up in extreme weather. Some modern tiles are impact-resistant, ready to withstand severe hail as well as wind damage. They are also ideal for hotter climates, as they are highly energy-efficient, and will improve your home’s interior temperatures year-round.

While durability and longevity are appealing, most people love tile roofs for their aesthetic appeal. You can get bright curving terracotta Spanish tiles or flat French style tiles and all varieties in between. While brown and terra cotta are common, popular looks, tiles can be glazed to get colors like black or green or even purple. 

Are clay roof tiles better than concrete

When considering a tile roof, normally you’ll pick from clay roof tiles, concrete tile or slate tiles. Among those, slate is normally the most expensive and heaviest tile to work with. Because of this most people tend to choose either clay or concrete, each having many advantages and disadvantages. Both types are durable and can withstand severe weather and fires. One of the main advantages concrete tiles have over clay is the initial expense. Concrete tends to be much cheaper than clay. Clay tiles can be as much as 30% higher than concrete, but you’ll be getting a roofing material that can last as long as a century or more.

Concrete tiles will last about half that time. Concrete tiles also absorb water much easier than clay, making them more vulnerable to mildew and stains. These tiles are also much heavier than clay, so the support structure will have to be even more durable than normal. At the same time, concrete tiles can manage colder climates better than clay. Clay tiles can crack in extremely cold weather, but clay can be really efficient in hotter weather. Clay is also less prone to fading, and the tiles will hold their color better than concrete.

Can you walk on a clay tile roof?

As durable as clay roof tiles are, one of its main weaknesses is foot traffic. While it’s not impossible to walk on clay tiles if you have to get on the roof for maintenance or repairs, a great deal of care must be taken or the tiles can crack. This usually means having to walk in the areas where the tiles lap each other. Even then, no matter how careful you are, it is possible to crack the tile.

Do tile roofs leak?

Clay roof tiles can leak. Installation problems or the roof’s age cause leaks. Sometimes it can be the tile itself, especially if it is of poor quality. Broken or cracked tile or debris clogging valleys also causes leaks. Damaged roofing membranes can also cause leaks. If you have a tile roof that is leaking, repairs can be difficult, and best left up to professionals like those at Eclat Roofing.

Why do clay roof tiles crack

If your clay roof tiles are very old and untreated, the tiles can crack over time especially if you live in an area where it rains heavily or freezes often. Consistent periods of extremely cold weather can cause even more modern tiles to crack. Falling tree branches can also cause tiles to crack. It’s a good idea to keep trees trimmed away from your roof. This is true no matter what kind of roof you have. Clay tiles can be cracked by foot traffic as well. Avoid walking your tile roof, and if any repairs or maintenance are needed, get experienced professionals to help. They’ll know the best ways to traverse the roof without cracking it.  

Can clay roof tiles be painted

Unfortunately, clay roof tiles cannot be painted. The clay they are made of just doesn’t hold paint well. It’s also not feasible to apply roof restoration coatings on tile roofs, but you can treat the roof with materials used to kill off algae and fungus. The roof can also be cleaned with a high pressure spray.

Clay Roof Tiles and Chimney.

Find Out How We Can Help

If you have clay roof tiles in Dallas, TX or plan to install a clay tile roof, let the experts at Eclat Roofing help. We provide a full range of roofing solutions. Call us today at 214-373-1500 to find out how we can help or book a service call.