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Pros And Cons Of Concrete Tile Roof

Concrete Tile Roof

When it is time to replace your old roof, you might opt for a concrete tile roof. But you will want to do your research by comparing roofing materials such as asphalt shingles roof, metal roof, composite roofs, and more with concrete tile roofing to make an informed decision. You may also need to examine these different types of roofing materials based on the pros and cons, and their costs. To help you with this overwhelming process of picking the right roofing material, this article has compiled a comprehensive list of the features. So grab a cup of coffee and start reading.

Are Concrete Tile Roofs Good?

To make sure that concrete tile roofs are worth it, we will have some comparisons.

Life Expectancy Of Different Types Of Roofs

Roof Type

Life Expectancy

Concrete Tile Roof

50 to 100 years

Asphalt shingles roof

10 to 15 years

Metal roofs

35 to 75 years

Wood shingle roofs

25 to 35

composite roofs

Up to 40 years

A concrete tile roof is a clear winner here. But many factors affect the lifespan/expectancy of a roof.

Factors That Affect The Life Expectancy Of Roofing Systems:

1.     Material

Material is the most serious factor to consider as some roof materials are tougher than others. Just take the example of the table above. A concrete tile roof offers the best lifespan. If a roof is maintained properly, you can even stretch the life expectancy to four or five years more. Just like that, asphalt shingles are not as durable as other roofing materials such as concrete roofs. The lifespan of the metal roof is better than asphalt shingles and you can expect 2 to 3 times the lifespan of traditional asphalt shingles roof.

2.     Weather

The weather of the area you live in and the intensity of temperature your roof receives over time can often change the way roofing materials age. If you live in an area that regularly experiences high winds or heavy storms, your roofing materials may age more quickly.

3.     Installation

It is essential to hire a competent and experienced roofer to install the roof. Manufacturing errors are among the most common causes of premature roof failure. Installation faults can lead to premature replacements and premature deterioration.

Inadequate insulation and ventilation can cause a build-up of hot, humid air. In turn, these can cause your ceiling to rot, as well as the growth of mold and mildew. Make sure you're working with a roofing contractor who understands the business and has skilled workers to do the job.

4.     Roof Pitch/Slope

A roof with a higher slope can drain water or snow faster than a flat roof. This means that a steeply pitched roof can dry out faster, avoiding saturation of the roofing materials. Choosing a flat roof system or low slope roofs often requires the regular replacement of roofing materials or special roofing materials to manage the water flow.

5.     Maintenance

Failure to perform ongoing maintenance on your roofing system can sometimes be the cause of major repairs. To regularly check your roof, you should watch for signs of mold, water build-up, etc. Take care of your roof and you will surely take care of it longer.

When To Replace A Roof:

This is a very common question and many homeowners ask that when is the best time to replace a roof. To answer this question, you will need to consider a few signs.

      I.        Age of Your Roof

One of the essential things to take under consideration before you start looking for cracks, tears, and other issues is the age of the roof. Depending on the material and maintenance, a roof can last for many years. For example, a poorly maintained concrete tile roof can last at least 50 to 55 years. Still, several different factors affect the life of the roof.

     II.        Cracks In The Roof

Shingles will need to be replaced if they crack. The extent of replacement depends on how quickly the problem is detected, so vigilance is always required.

   III.        Damage to The Toof

The problem with wind/storm-damaged roof is that exposed places on the roof can be difficult to spot, particularly if it has shingles and have been lifted due to high winds.

   IV.        Mold and Algae

Mold and algae produce dark streaks on roof decks. While it doesn't necessarily damage the roof shingles, it may not look good. Mold can grow on roof surfaces that don't get a lot of sunlight, especially in cold, humid climates. Mold growth can be more than a cosmetic problem.

Different Roof Types And Their Weights:

Roof Type

Pounds per Square Foot

Pounds per Square/Per 100 Sq. Ft

Kilograms per Square Meter

Concrete Tile Roofing               

6 – 12 lbs

620 -1130 lbs

29.29 – 53.71 kg

Asphalt Shingles

1.95 lbs

194.9 lbs             

9.53 kg

PVC Roof Membrane/composite

60-mil, Full-Adhered

0.40 lbs

42 lbs

1.95 kg

Standing Metal Seam


0.692 lbs

69.2 lbs

3.37 kg

Wood Shingles, dry

4.26 lbs

426 to 428 lbs

21.8 kg


Painting The Roofs:

There are different methods and procedures to paint different types of roofs.

      i.        Pressure washing

Surface preparation is the most important thing to consider before starting any paint job and the concrete ceiling painting project is no exception. You must remove all the dirt from the concrete tiles using pressure washing technology.

     ii.        Acrylic coating

Water-based acrylic coatings are suitable for high UV environments where a reflective ceiling is desired. They can be colored, but are generally sold in white, tan, and gray.

    iii.        Prepare the surface

Concrete shingles should be primed with the best quality primer available on the market. The primer helps the paint to adhere well to the surface. Your paint job won't last long enough if you skip the primer step. You should start operating by priming the highest part of the ceiling and applying the primer with a quality roller.

    iv.        Silicone coating

Silicone coating is used in areas that get a lot of rain and the roof is often humid. It is also suitable for areas that have high UV rays and require a reflective ceiling to reflect the rays away from the ceiling.

     v.        Polyurethane coating

These types of coatings are solvent-based and are of the aliphatic or aromatic type. The aromatic type is less UV stable than the aliphatic type.

    vi.        Paint Under The Sun

You should paint the shingles on a sunny day when the temperature is comfortable and there is no heavy rain or dew. You can apply the coat of paint with a lengthy roller and allow the first coat of paint to dry completely.

   vii.        Asphalt Coating

These coatings are generally more effective when applied over other asphalt substrates. Proficient in being used in cold and extreme climates, asphalt coatings are used when a reflective and UV asphalt coating is obligatory.

How Much do Roofs Cost?

Roof Material

Cost per Square Ft

Cost per Square 100 sq. ft.

Total Installation Costs

Asphalt shingles roof

$1.00 to $3.00

$100 to $240

$5,500 to $13,600

Metal Roof

$5.28 to $12.60

$535 to $1,280

$6,000 to $15,800

Wood Shingle Roof

$3.50 to $4.10

$350 to $450

$10,000 to $15,745

PVC Roof

$1.85 to $5.72   

$195 to $564

$11,200 to $15,100

Concrete Tile Roof

$3.25 to $5.40

$335 to $560

20,000 to $41,000

These are the average roofing Costs. Roofing installation prices can vary depending on factors like the state you live in, labor charges, materials costs, and freight charges.

Pros And Cons Of Concrete Tile Roof:

The Pros:

a.     Low maintenance

Concrete tile roofs require minimal maintenance. In addition, maintenance is almost non-existent if we talk about terracotta tiles, because they are very durable and resistant.

b.     Less Price

Concrete shingles are more affordable than terracotta tile roofs. The average cost of concrete tiles is around $ 3.25 to $ 5.40 per square and $335 to $560 per 100 square feet. Which is still very low than other roofing materials and offers a longer lifespan.

c.     Awesome styles

Concrete tile roofs are great because they can be molded into any shape. They can mimic the textures of smoothies made from wood, clay, slate, and stone.

d.     Toughness

Durability is another great advantage of a tiled roof. It can outlast any other roof and can even last a lifetime. These types of roofs have a service life of at least 50 years, and the service life of the concrete tile roof is 100 years.

The Cons:

a.     Weight

Concrete shingles, like most other tile roofs, are heavy. Standard concrete tiles weigh between 600 -1100 lbs per one hundred square feet.

b.     Difficult Installation

The laying of tiles is much more critical than that of other roofs. Concrete tiles are installation techniques. It requires roofers to cut the shingles into precise shapes to fit exactly.

c.     Fragile

Concrete tiles are durable and strong, but also fragile. They can break if you step on them brutally. This is why it is important to call in a professional if you ever need to carry out work on your concrete tile roof.

Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete Tile Roof

Concrete tile has gained much popularity in recent times as the primary material for roofing. It is made up of sand, cement, water, and pigments which are then molded and heated together to form a solid block. The material has great strength and its strength index against natural elements is much higher than the rest of the options available in the market.

The installation of concrete tiles is simple but you need a professional roofing contractor to do the job for you. You will find many licensed and bonded roofing companies in your area with all the prerequisites to be qualified as dependable roofers.

The cost of a concrete tile roof varies depending on the area of your roof, your neighborhood, and even the time of the year you are venturing the project.

According to www.fixr.com, the national average cost of concrete tile roof installation is around $30,000 with the national range lying between $20,000 - $35,000. The website states the minimum cost is around $13,000 and that maximum to be $40,000.

Now, to the FAQs.

How To Walk On a Concrete Tile Roof?

Walking on a concrete tile roof can be tricky as the surface is not joggers-friendly and the idea that you are walking on the roof can throw you off-balance. Another thing is the nature of the material. You are maybe fooled by the word concrete in it, but the concrete roof tiles are not that sturdy. They are not made to bear tread from humans.

Still, if you need to, here are some practical tips;

  • Carry your weight evenly when walking on the roof.
  • Transfer weight easily from one step to another. Don’t rush.
  • Try to put your body weight on the balls of your feet.
  • Wear soft-soled shoes.
  • Never jump from tile to tile.

When To Replace The Concrete Tile Roof?

Generally, a concrete tile roof can last fifty years if the conditions remain somewhat ideal. Even when they are not, you can still safely bet that it can outlast other roofing materials by a big margin.

Here is a time-lapse for concrete tile roof;

  • Loss of color and grace in around 25 to 30 years.
  • Shape distortion in 40 years.

By that time, you are better off looking for a replacement as the maintenance costs will exceed the utilitarian threshold.

How To Find a Leak In a Concrete Tile Roof?

It is not as simple and straightforward as pinpointing the area of the roof right above the leaking ceiling. Often, the origin of the leak is somewhere else and you need to take precise steps in detecting a leak in a concrete tile roof. In many cases, water can enter the roof through one point and then trickle down the insulation to show up on the ceiling far away from the leak.

Here is how you find a leak;

  • Visually inspect the roof and look for tell-tale signs.
  • Take a note of places that are higher and closer to the ceiling trickle.
  • After visual inspection, take out tiles from places with water damage signs.
  • If there is water streaking beneath, that is your spot.

Call a professional roofer to set up a fixing schedule.

How To Install a Concrete Tile Roof?

First thing, if you have prior experience in this kind of work, then you are probably fine. If not, it is best to let the professionals do the job. They have the necessary tools and expertise to do it in a safe and time-effective manner.

If you are up for the challenge, here is a simple guide;

  • Install safety rail for your protection
  • If applicable, remove old tiles and ridges completely
  • Inspect underlay and roof battens to ensure the structural integrity of the roof
  • Install underlay and battens, if applicable
  • Load up new tiles and start laying, one after the other, keeping in mind the pattern
  • Apply to point for extra strength and rigidity
  • Before climbing down, apply finishing strokes to clean the tiles and remove unwanted materials.

How To Paint a Concrete Tile Roof?

Painting a concrete tile roof is not as simple as picking up a brush, dipping it in a paint canister, and starting applying the paint. You have to have the necessary materials and to ensure the job is well done all around.

  • Wash and brush the roof to remove any unwanted specks and items
  • Let it dry for a while
  • Check the surface by applying a strip of tape. If there are marks and materials on the tape, then you need to make it clean before moving further.
  • Use plywood and carpet boards to climb and walk on the roof
  • Spray primer and then paint the roof, starting from one side and moving to the other.

Concrete tile roofs are a great option for your house. Hopefully, this post may have answered all your questions. If not, feel free to ask yours in the comments section.