Tile roofing is by far the most attractive, cost-effective, and long-lasting roofing material for residential structures. One of the reasons why tile roofing is so popular is its durability and longevity, which can outlast asphalt shingles and other roofing alternatives. Tile roofing ticks all the boxes of an optimal Florida roof. With this type of roof, you know you’re protected against hurricane-force wind, rain, and hail.
The Average Lifespan of Tile Roofs
If installed and maintained properly, concrete tile roofs have the potential to last an average of 40-50 years. Clay or slate tiles may last more than 100 years, making them one of the longest-lasting roofing types. Centuries-old tile roofs are still enduring today.
While the tiles themselves last for many years, the underlayment will need replacing around every 20-30 years. This will depend on the quality of the roofing underlayment, the weather conditions, and how well maintained the roof is in the intervening period.
How Tile Roofs Last So Long
Tile roofs are beautiful, durable, and incredibly popular in Florida. So, what makes them last as long as they do?
Great Fire Resistance
One characteristic homeowners love about tile roofing is its resistance to the heat. By design, a tile roof allows air circulation under the tile, which allows heat to bounce away from your home and reduce transfer to the attic.
Tile roofs have Class A fire rating for intermittent flame, flame spread, and burning brand. Class A roofing materials do not slip from position, provide a high degree of fire protection, and do not produce flying embers.
Can Withstand High Winds
Florida is prone to hurricanes and extreme winds. For instance, wind gusts of up to 150 miles per hour can cause sufficient damage to require roof replacements in 30%-50% of all roofs. Tile roofing provides one of the best defenses against wind damage.
What’s more, its high porosity created natural air ventilation under the tile, which helps relieve wind stress. Clay and concrete tile have been designed and tested to sustain wind speeds of up to 150 miles per hour found in Florida. While hurricanes can still damage tile roofs, the repairs will be minimal compared to other roofing materials.
Clay, concrete, and slate roofs are extremely durable. The tiles are fired at high temperatures to strengthen them. The lower water content produced by the process combined with a water-shedding outer shell, as well as the underlayment, makes it almost impervious to the elements.
Low-porosity and superior density make tiles resistant to the damaging effects of rain, snow, and high freeze-thaw weather conditions. With an average moisture absorption of less than 1%, tile is naturally resistant to mold growth. It’s also resistant to rot, insects, and other pests.
Clay and concrete tiles can resist damage from hailstones larger than a golf ball, making it a good option for areas which experience strong hailstorms.
What Can Shorten Tile’s Lifespan?
While tile roofing holds up well to many extreme weather conditions, it can only reach its full potential lifespan if properly taken care of. Factors which can shorten the lifespan of a tile roof include:
- Improper installation
- Lack of maintenance – Failure to remove leaves and debris from valleys, cut down trees above rooflines, clean gutters, and seal any cracks can reduce the longevity of your tiles
- Weather – Florida’s extreme weather, hurricane winds, hail, cold, and the sun beating down on the tile can cause it to crack or be blown off.
- Foot traffic – Tiles are vulnerable to being chipped or broken by careless treatment. They’re not designed to handle foot traffic.
Tile Roofs Keep a House Cooler Than Other Materials
In addition to handling the heat and weather elements better than other roofing materials, tile is also the most energy-efficient roofing material. Tile roofing helps stabilize your home’s interior temperature, which means your HVAC system won’t have to work extra hard to keep your home cool on those extra hot days and you will save on your energy bills. This is achieved in 3 ways:
Tiles have the ability to reflect direct sun rays than conventional asphalt shingles, though this reflectiveness varies by color. If the material is darker, it is more likely to absorb more solar energy. For instance, white glazed cement or clay tiles can better reflect the sun’s rays, which will naturally allow your home to stay cooler.
This refers to a material’s ability to absorb and radiate heat. Clay has a high thermal mass, which means it heats up slowly during and radiates heat slowly over the course of the night rather than immediately the way asphalt and metal roofs tend to. This helps keep the home at a relatively even temperature.
Tile roofs are installed individually using nails or pegs through the upper edge of the tile. This naturally creates spaces to allow free airflow over and under the tiles. With this, the tiles can release heat efficiently and fast. Air space beneath the tile also allows for the placement of a thermal barrier, which means less heat will escape into the house.
Tile is Suitable for Many Climates
While tile roofs are prevalent in hot regions, they are also ideal for colder regions, as well. Most tile roofs are less likely to deteriorate in harsh weather conditions, making it suitable for use in virtually any climate. Compared to asphalt shingles and other roofing materials, tile is less likely to develop mildew or moss.
Tile roofs are not susceptible to moisture freezing and ice damming due to the naturally occurring air pocket between the roof decking and the underside of the tile. What’s more, clay is resistant to the corrosion of salt air, so it’s a great option for homes in coastal regions near an ocean.
If you want to replace your roof and are looking for a long-lasting and energy-efficient option, tile is a great option. Our professionals at Mark Kaufman Roofing are skilled and experienced at installing, replacing, and servicing tile roofing in North Port, FL. Contact us today to speak with an experienced roofing professional and get a free estimate.