Tile Roofs

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Concrete tiles have become a popular roofing choice due to their outstanding durability, versatile style, and long term value.

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What are Concrete Roof Tiles?

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Concrete roof tiles are made of a cement mixture that is formed under intense heat and pressure. The color of the tiles is achieved one of two ways, either by adding pigment to the cement mixture before it is molded, or by covering the tiles in a cement based pigment.

How are Concrete Tiles Installed?

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After removing the old roofing material, concrete tile roof installation involves replacing underlayment and adding battens to fasten the tiles. It is important to choose an experienced roofing contractor, such as Orbit Roofing, when considering concrete tiles for you home. Roof pitch, complicated roof shapes, penetrations such as chimneys, pipes, and skylights affect the installation of a concrete tile roof. Also, concrete tiles are heavier than more traditional roofing materials, and you need a roofer that can assess the structural demands that will be placed on your home. Concrete tile installation involves layering the tiles so that the roof will work properly while looking good, something only a roofer experienced with concrete tiles can achieve.

The Style of a Concrete Tile Roof

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Concrete tiles can be formed into any shape and come in a variety of profiles from low, to medium, to high. Low profiles, or flat concrete tiles maintain a clean look that can suit almost any home. Medium profile concrete tiles are what may come to mind when you think of Mediterranean architecture. High profile concrete tiles, or barrel tiles, resemble the terracotta tiles found in Spain. Concrete tiles can also be made to resemble the textures of wood shake, clay, slate, and stone. The wide options available in concrete tiles mean that the completed roof will complement the aesthetic of many different styles of home.

Concrete tiles are available in virtually any color. Concrete tiles come in earth tones to mimic clay tiles, soft pastels, or even multi color blends. No matter the style or setting of your home, you can be sure to find a shade of concrete tile roof to perfectly match your needs.

Cost of Concrete Tiles

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There are several factors that influence the cost of a concrete tile roofing project aside from the brand of concrete tile you choose. A roof’s size, complexity, pitch, the location of the home, and whether the roof will require structural reinforcement to support the weight of the concrete tile can all affect the cost of the roofing project. Regardless of these factors, concrete tile roofs are more affordable than traditional clay tiles.

Considerations When Choosing a Concrete Tile Roof

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When choosing the color of your concrete tile roof, color fade is an important consideration. When color is added to the surface of the tile using a concrete based pigment, the concrete tiles are prone to fading in the sun. Color fade can be an issue when making repairs to the tiles because the replacement tiles may not match the rest of the roof. If this is important to you, it pays off to ensure that you purchase a concrete tile whose pigment is added to the cement mixture before it is molded as they retain their color much longer.

Concrete tile roofs tend to absorb more water than clay as they are more porous. When water mixes with carbon dioxide to combine with the lime in concrete, a white chalky substance appears on the surface of the concrete, an effect called efflorescence. The concrete roof may look stained, but it can be cleaned. In order to prevent efflorescence, the roof can be sealed to prevent moisture from being absorbed by the concrete.

Concrete tiles are strong and durable, but if they are walked on improperly, they may break. This is commonly called mechanical damage and can be avoided by always hiring professionals to perform any work on your roof.

Benefits of Concrete Tiles

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A concrete tile roof has the potential to increase the value of your home and is inherently long lasting. Concrete tiles naturally have excellent thermal properties, meaning that they slowly absorb and emit heat. Since concrete tiles are installed over battens, an air channel is created underneath the individual tiles which act as a second layer of insulation to help you conserve energy in both warm and cold weather. Concrete tiles are also an ecofriendly roofing option, not only because a concrete tile roof rarely needs replacing and reduces energy consumption, but also because the concrete tiles are recyclable.

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Concrete tile roof with cracked tiles from hail damage.

How Does Hail Affect a Concrete Tile Roof?

Despite their durability, concrete tiles are not indestructible and can be damaged by severe hail. A concrete tile roof may only need repair following a hailstorm rather than a full replacement. It is important to have Orbit Roofing inspect your roof following a hailstorm as it may require prompt attention to avoid exposing the underlayment to water.

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