Although asphalt shingle roofing remains the most popular roofing material on the market, clay tile is quickly catching up. Despite its high initial cost, clay tile roofs are very resistant to weather damage, will lower your heating costs during the summer and are designed to last for a century or more without the need for replacement. It's a sound investment into the value of your home with a very low cost of ownership. Here are the areas where a clay tile roof is much better than a typical asphalt shingle roof.
Requires No Periodic Replacement and Will Outlast Your Home
Roofs made of asphalt shingles need to be completely replaced every 15 to 20 years. This is unavoidable, as exposure to sunlight, wind, and rain will degrade the asphalt shingles to the point where water begins to leak through them. Replacing your entire roof is a major expense and a hassle.
A clay tile roof that is installed correctly, on the other hand, will almost always outlast the building underneath it. Although you will need to replace any tiles that break due to major storms or people walking on them, the structure of a clay tile roof will retain its integrity for a century. This makes the long-term costs of owning a clay tile roof negligible.
Resists Damage From Hail and Severe Storms
Clay tile is very resistant to hail — any hailstone smaller than a golf ball almost always bounces off of the tile leaving no visible marks of its impact. Larger hailstones will break clay tiles. However, clay tiles are installed on top of an asphalt underlayment that prevents water from entering into your home before you can have the clay tile replaced. Since clay tiles are installed separately and not linked together, damage from hail is localized. Replacing the broken tiles restores your roof to a fully undamaged state as if a hailstorm never happened at all.
Asphalt shingles can sustain major damage from hail or severe storms. Class 4 asphalt tiles are available on the market that is capable of withstanding large pieces of hail without breaking. However, hailstorms will still cause cosmetic damage to your tile roof, even if the roof remains structurally sound. Unlike with clay tile, cracks and gouges in asphalt shingles can also be difficult to spot — you may not know that your roof has been damaged in a storm until you see water leaking into your home.
Increases Energy Efficiency Due to Air Circulation Between the Tiles
Roofs made of clay tile naturally have gaps of air in-between the tiles and underneath the tiles, allowing air to circulate through them. This reduces the risk of mold since the air will naturally dry any residual moisture on the clay tiles after a storm. It also increases thermal transfer between your home and the outside, which can reduce your cooling bill in warmer months.
If you're interested in installing a new clay tile roof, call a residential roofing service like Mulligan Roofing that has experience working with tile roofs. Not all companies have this experience, as asphalt shingles are by far the most common type of roof. If your existing roof is made of asphalt shingles, your roofing company needs to refer you to an architect as well. Clay is heavier than asphalt, and your home needs to be inspected to see if it can handle the additional load.