Driving around Naples, FL, you’ll see whole neighborhoods topped with clay and concrete roof tiles. Since both types of roofing add a beautiful touch to your home’s overall appearance, how can you choose between them for your new roof? Let’s look at clay vs. concrete roof tiles and how to decide on the best one for your roof.

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Why your roof matters

There’s a common saying among housing experts that the roof is the most crucial part of the house. Once the integrity of the roof begins to fail, extensive and expensive damage to the structure of the house quickly follows. The rapid deterioration is because the leaking roof lets water into the house, causing nasty things like mold and rot.

We certainly see an enormous amount of rain and wind in Naples, and a high performing roof is imperative to the safety of your home. The best way to ensure that your roof will stand up to the fiercest Florida storms is to choose an appropriate roofing material. You must match your roof with the types of weather conditions that we experience throughout the year.

What types of roofing materials work well in  Florida?

What to look for in a new roof

Fortunately, you have lots of terrific choices when choosing a new roof. Popular options include (1) asphalt shingles, (2) metal roofing, (3) clay tiles, (4) concrete tiles, and (5) slate tiles. Today’s Homeowner With Danny Lipford suggests that you consider the following when looking at roofing material options.

  • What is your budget?
  • Can it withstand tropical storms and hurricanes?
  • Will the framing support the weight of the material?
  • Does it fit the style of your house?
  • Does it meet building codes in your area?
  • Is it environmentally friendly?

 When it comes to choosing material for a roof replacement, Naples families turn to experienced contractors for advice. Top-notch roofers, such as Tornado Roofing & Contracting Inc, will happily explain the ins and outs of all types of materials that might work for your project.

Florida homeowners have many terrific roofing materials to choose from when replacing their roof. Let’s look at the perks and cons of two favorite options, clay, and cement tile.

Clay vs. concrete roof tiles- similar benefits

Let’s admit it; tile roofs are beautiful, and there’s no doubt that they will upgrade the appearance of your home. Whether you opt for clay or cement roof tiles, you’ll enjoy a significant number of benefits. Some of the obvious benefits in using clay or cement as a roofing material include:

  • Variety of colors and styles suit many different types of homes
  • Repels rot, insects, and rodents
  • Leak-proof
  • Fire resistant
  • Stands up well to a wet, coastal climate
  • High wind resistance
  • High longevity of fifty to one hundred years
  • Energy-efficient as the roof tiles keep interior of the house cooler

Given these advantages, it’s no surprise that many homeowners turn to clay and cement tiles when it comes time to put on a new roof. The Tile Roofing Industry Alliance provides more information about the benefits of tile roofs here.

Of course, no roofing system is without a downside. Keep reading to learn about several disadvantages that you should consider.

Clay vs. concrete roof tiles- similar downsides

Tile roofs are an excellent option in southwest Florida. However, like any other roofing material, there are a few negatives to consider. Some of the critical downsides of tile roofing in general include:

  • Cost- a tile roof is costly. Expect to pay as much as double or triple what you would pay for asphalt shingles.
  • Weight- you might need to reinforce your home before installing a tile roof if your home previously had a shingle roof. Each square of clay tile weighs as much as eight hundred-fifty pounds whereas a square of cement tile can weigh-in at nine hundred-fifty pounds per square. By the way, a square equals one hundred square feet.
  • Repair costs- The tiles tend to break if hit with a heavy object. It’s even possible to break the tiles while walking on them during a routine roof inspection. Repair costs are expensive.

Another thing to think about if you covet a tile roof is that you must hire a professional roofing contractor for the installation. Fitting a house with a clay or cement tile roof is not a DIY job. You must work with a professional to fully experience the benefit of living under a tile roof.

This is a picture of a residential roof replacement.

Differences between clay and cement tiles

Right now, you may wonder if there is any difference between clay and cement roof tiles at all. The truth is that there are several differences. The primary ones are (1) longevity, (2) cost, and (3) easy maintenance.

The most significant reason to choose clay tile over a cement tile is longevity. This material does very well in the climate found in southwest Florida. You can expect a relatively easy maintenance clay tile roof that will last for as long as one hundred years. 

The major plus of choosing cement tile is that the initial expense is less than that for clay. The average lifespan of cement tile is approximately fifty years. They are higher maintenance than clay tile since the cement absorbs water and tends to develop mildew stains.

Proper maintenance

Although tile roofs are relatively easy to maintain, that doesn’t mean that they are maintenance-free. Indeed, you’ll need to perform regular upkeep if you want to keep the roof in top shape. Make sure that you do the following tasks several times each year.

  • Check for cracks, chips, and broken tiles
  • Fix and replace damaged roof tiles and flashings
  • Wash with a low-pressure hose or house power washer
  • Remove leaves, dirt, and sticks from gutters and tile

Before you set aside your valuable weekend time to perform seasonal roof maintenance, think about hiring a professional to tackle the job. Working on a roof is dangerous, and thousands of people suffer injuries each year from ladder and roof falls. 

A roofing contractor knows how to deliver proper maintenance for all types of roofing systems. Along with general roof upkeep, you’ll also receive the benefit of a complete roof inspection during a seasonal maintenance appointment. 

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Get a Professional Roof Inspection

A professional roof inspection includes a thorough examination of all parts of the roof system. Expect a quality roofer to thoroughly check your attic for any signs that water has found a way into the interior of your home. Along with cleaning and inspecting your roof, the roofing maintenance technician can fix minor problems before they grow into significant roof expenses.

Routine professional maintenance is a cost-effective way to make sure that your roof is in tip-top shape, ready to repel the elements. It’s also an affordable way to spot and repair problems before you face a roofing crisis. Contact Tornado Roofing & Contracting Inc. to schedule a  maintenance appointment today.

Lastly, when considering the pros and cons of clay vs. concrete roof tiles, there isn’t one best option. You can relax and choose either one of these terrific materials for your roof. We suggest that you work with a local roofing contractor to select a tile that fits your project needs and budget.

The pros at Tornado Roofing & Contracting Inc. know all about tile roofs, and we pride ourselves in providing first-class installation and upkeep services in Naples, FL. Contact us today for a no-hassle consultation.