Clay Tile Roofs
Tile Roof 1920s
Your roof is one of the most prominent visual element of your home. It can set the tone by which the rest of the home is judged. The roof is also the primary protector from the elements. If properly installed with quality materials, your tile roof can protect your home for a lifetime, and even longer.
We fabricate all of our own flashing and architectural sheet metals. We have installed a wide variety of Spanish clay tiles and slates throughout Texas for many years. We continually strive to improve our installations methods. We insist on using the highest quality materials with proven installation methods.
We invite you to contact us directly for more information on your particular design needs.
Flashing, underlayment and fastening details are not very interesting but are the key to the longevity of your tile roof. A tile roof is not waterproof, only weatherproof. The key to waterproofing is what’s underneath. These systems must be installed using quality materials and experienced mechanics.
If a hundred-year roof is installed, it should be installed over materials that will also last one hundred years. This means copper or stainless steel flashing and fasteners. Underlayment specifications should be those that best fit your area and climate.
We have removed tile on many structures built at the turn-of-century, only to replace the underlayment and certain areas of the flashing and then reinstalling the same tile. These roofs are good for another 100 years. No matter how good or expensive the tile, it is only as good as what is underneath.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What will a tile roof due to the temperature of the attic of my house?
No question it will make it cooler. Most roofing tiles create an air space between the tile and the roof deck. This air space acts as an insulator. The tile absorbs most of the radiant heat from the sun. The air space between the tile and the roof deck helps prevent or insulates against this radiant heat from transferring from the tile to the attic space. With an asphalt shingle roof, the heat absorbed by the shingles is passed directly to the attic. This is because the shingles are very thin and cannot absorb much heat. The shingles are installed in full contact with the roof decking surface and therefore the heat is transferred directly into the attic space.
2. I have heard tile roofs are not waterproof?
This is mostly true. The main water-proof material in a tile roof is the underlayment and flashing. This is why it is so important of the flashing and underlayment to be properly installed. The tile is mostly a weather-proofer — and very beautiful I might add.
3. How long can a tile roof last?
A tile roof can virtually last forever (notwithstanding storm damage) It is the underlayment and flashing that is usually the cause for early replacement. We have completed many “remove and relays”. This is where we remove the tile to replace all underlayment and flashing and relay the same tile. Many of these roofs were first completed in the early 1900s (1910-1930) and this is the first time they are being re-roofed.
4. Are there different tiles for different climates?
Yes, and no. In a very cold climate where you should construct a high pitch roof for ice and snow control, it would be best to install a flat clay tile or slate roofing material. I don’t think you would want to put a Spanish barrel tile on a steep pitch roof. The two designs are just not meant to be together. Design-wise, barrel tiles are more common on low pitch Mediterranean and Spanish Architecture. On the other hand, this is America and you can do anything you want. And we would be happy to do it for you.
5. Is clay better than concrete tile?
Functionally, they are pretty much the same. Generally, concrete is the least expensive product. Concrete comes in a variety of colors where clay is usually in earth tones unless it is a ceramic glazed tile. These ceramic glazed roofing tiles are very pricey and come in any color you would like.
6. My builder told me we can’t have a tile roof because the structure will not hold it. Is this true?
This is very possible. If your home was not originally designed for the weight of tile -(approximately 9 to 12# per square foot). We often install tile over 2 x 6 walls with 2 x 8 rafters and ½ cdx plywood. Wafer or pressboard decking is not recommended. This material has a very low nail pull rating and is not recommended for the installation of tile.