What are the pros and cons of tile roofs?

14 September 2012
Tile roofing, which lasts a long time and won’t rot or burn under a scorching summer sun, is a great choice for Arizona rooftops. And nothing says “Southwestern style” quite like it. The most common tile roofs on Arizona homes are clay, concrete and sand-cast.


Longevity. A concrete tile roof will last and last, and clay tile will probably longer than any other kind of roofing material. Some manufacturers estimate their product will last 50 years, but many Arizona homes sport tile roofs that are older.

Style. Clay, concrete and sand-cast tiles make a beautiful roof that gives a home a distinctly Southwestern flair.
Improvements. Manufacturers are making concrete tile to look like wood shakes—but without the fire danger. And they’re coming out with lighter-weight tiles.
Other. Tiles are fireproof and resist rot and insects.

Weight. Most tiles is so heavy that your roof needs reinforcement to support its weight. If you’re replacing a shingled roof with tiles, you’ll need to hire a structural engineer (cost: $400 - $600) to tell you where to beef up the wood in the attic to hold the extra weight. Then you might have to spend $1,500 or so on adding that woodwork, in addition to paying for the tile.

Fragile. Walking on tiles can break them, so repairs and maintenance are better left to professionals who are skilled at maneuvering on a tile roof without damaging anything. That includes painting your home’s trim or cleaning rain gutters and chimneys.

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