Everything You Need to Know About Clay Tile Roofing

clay tile roofing

 

When you like texture on your roof with standout curb appeal, clay tile roofing makes a statement on San Diego. Cut into a myriad of shapes and sizes, clay tiles come in a variety of hues to complement your home. If you're looking to make an exciting statement with materials that last for years to come, consider clay tile roofing.

More than their aesthetic qualities, clay tiles are durable, fireproof, and impervious to environmental changes. They're also water-resistant and have a lifespan of up to 50 years.

In fact, clay tile roofing is so beneficial that it's recently become an integral part of the green building movement.

What Are Clay Tiles?

Clay tiles are made from clay that’s extracted from natural sources. Once the clay is mixed with water, it's formed into the clay tiles. A mold is used to shape the clay into an intricate design. Some of the shapes are called "coffers" that are cut with a diamond pattern. Coarser clay tiles have a rough texture and smooth clay tiles have a smooth texture.

Do you enjoy the look and beauty of clay tiles? You aren't alone. Clay tiles are popular in California because they're attractive and add incredible impact to curb appeal, while clay tiles are very easy to work with and require minimal installation time and little maintenance.

History of Clay Tiles

Are you ready for a little history lesson? Clay tile roofs have been around for centuries, dating back to the early Spanish Colonial period. This particular tile type is a natural sun-dried clay that is laid together in a pattern and fired in a kiln or oven to fuse the tiles together.

This was one of the very first roofing materials that were manufactured and provided a simple way to protect building interiors from the elements. When clay roof tiles go through proper installation and maintenance, it will last for decades. 

Because of their long life-span and low-maintenance requirements, clay tiles are the ideal choice for homeowners in San Diego who desire a homeownership experience without the burdens of conventional shingle roofs. This includes costly repairs and replacement.

The first clay tiles were made in Vera Cruz, Mexico in the early 16th century. However, they were not very popular in the United States until they were popularized by Gustav Stickley in the early 1900s. 

The clay tile roofing materials used in the early Spanish Colonial period were made by local Native Americans. Spanish colonial towns used the local clay to make tiles and sold them to the colonists. Clay tiles were used in early American buildings, as well.

Aesthetic and Eco-Friendly

Many of us think about our carbon footprint, especially when it comes to the way that we design, build or improve our homes. When it comes to roofing, clay roof tiles are amongst the best for the environment. But what makes this roofing material an excellent choice for sustainability?

  • Clay roof tiles do not use any of the energy-intensive products to produce, which can mean that they have an incredibly low carbon footprint.
  • Since this material is long-lasting, you won't have to worry about roof replacement in the future. This keeps excess roofing materials out of the landfill.
  • They're made from natural clay, which in itself is better for the environment than any of the synthetic, manmade materials that are used to make other types of roofing.
  • Natural clay tiles, such as Spanish clay tiles, have excellent thermal insulation values and are also quite heavy, providing good protection from the elements.

Single or Double Layer Clay Roofs

First of all, you have the choice of either a single-layer or a double-layer roof. Single layer roofs are quite common, while double layer roofs are only used in parts of the country where the weather is extremely wet. 

A double-layer roof is also heavier and more expensive than the single-layer variety. Double-layer roofs are generally used on churches, cathedrals and other places where heavy snowfall or solid ice is a real concern.

These roofs are supported by either wood, metal or composite frames. Wood is the most common choice, although a lot of commercial buildings use metal frames. Composite frames are becoming increasingly popular as wood is more expensive and metal corrodes easily.

How do You Maintain Clay Tile Roofing?

If you're considering clay tiles for your roof, you might wonder about the maintenance involved with this material. You'll still need to inspect your roof annually for any missing, cracked or broken tiles. If any of these issues are present, you'll need to replace the damaged tiles. Failure to do so could lead to leaks, further damage, and expensive repairs.

You won't need to remove moss or lichen often, and you won't have to clean the tiles or apply special coatings.

Clay tiles are less likely to develop leaks, but they could, which may lead to leaks in your ceiling or other parts of your home. Make sure your roof drains are clear and free of debris. The tiles are less prone to developing mold or mildew, which is a common problem on asphalt shingle roofs.

Are Clay Tiles Fire Resistant?

House fires are one of the most devastating events to experience. But can clay tiles help prevent the spread of house fires?

The answer is yes.

Some people may be surprised at the answer, but clay roof tiles are just as fire-resistant as metal roof tiles. Depending on the quality, most clay tiles will resist fire for up to two hours - but for fire to burn through one, it would need to be incredibly hot.

Furthermore, clay tile roofs are also Class A fire resistant. This is because they have a low thermal conductivity and they are noncombustible. They are also made from natural materials that do not contain chemicals, which means they do not emit toxic fumes when burning.

With that being said, these roofs are not entirely fireproof. Even clay tiles have the potential to ignite and up to 20% of them may crack due to moisture. This is why it is important to choose the right type of tile roofing for your home, and a roof contractor in San Diego can help. 

The tile itself is as fire-resistant as asphalt shingles. The key difference is how the tiles are installed. The tiles are installed in such a way that heat must travel through the cavity of multiple tiles to reach the living space. This provides far more time for the firefighters to respond and control the fire. It also gives each tile a chance to protect neighboring homes, slowing the spread of the file.

Adding an Eye-Catching Style to Your Curb Appeal

Clay roofing brings an old-world allure that other roofing styles can't touch. This style has been used for centuries and continues to be one of the most successful roofing styles today. It is widely popular in states like Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and you guessed it---right here in San Diego, California.

This centuries-old, European-style roofing material is all about charm. You can count on a clay roof to retain its beauty for decades, and odds are it will never need to be replaced. You might think of a clay roof as being very expensive, but that's not the case. In most cases, clay roofing is a more affordable option than asphalt shingles. This is especially true considering how long clay roofing lasts, and you won't need to worry about replacing it in the near future.

Clay roofing is a traditional material and has been used for centuries. This will add to the look of your home if you are remodeling with a traditional style in mind. If you are creating a more modern design, clay roofing material can still blend in while creating a unique ambiance. The clay color choices are also lovely, ranging from different shades of brown to a light tan.

You can expect your clay roof to maintain a beautiful and rich appearance for many years to come.

Get Clay Roofs from Peak Builders & Roofers

Peak Builders & Roofers of San Diego provides professional installation of clay roofs. Locally owned and operated, we are proud to help you with your next improvement project. If clay roofing doesn't sound right for you, we also offer types of roofing materials including asphalt, metal and concrete. Contact us now for a free quote.

Contact Peak Builders & Roofers of San Diego

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