Tile Roofing Shingles
Tile shingles (both clay and concrete) are a popular high-end roofing option. Tile shingles mimic the look of traditional old-world European homes or Mediterranean look including slate or rock roofs. Tile shingles are less expensive than traditional slate or rock roofs. They are very durable in a variety of weather conditions, and are extremely fire resistant.
Tile shingles are available in a flat shingle or a barrel-shaped shingle. They can be made from clay or concrete, both naturally occurring components. The shingles are available in a variety of colors to match any home.
How are Tile Shingles made?
Tile shingles are made from either concrete or clay. Concrete shingles are made be mixing sand, cement and color pigment together. The concrete is poured into a shingle mold and allowed to harden, then removed from the mold. Clay shingles are slightly more labor intensive. The clay is rolled out and cut into the appropriate form, the shingle is fired in a kiln, than a glaze or finish is applied, and the shingle is fired again in the kiln.
How long do Tile shingles last?
Tile shingles are very durable once they are on the roof. Many tile manufactures will warranty the shingles for 50 years. However, the shingles are breakable in shipping or when being applied to the roof. Home owners should expect a certain percentage of breakage or damage and adjust their material purchase accordingly. The shingles also may break if a branch falls upon the roof, or if walked upon.
Common problems with Tile Shingles
Tile roofs are long-lasting, fire resistant and great for insulating. They are however much more expensive than standard asphalt shingles (at least up to 3 times the cost). Tile roofs, especially the clay tiles are best suited for hot, dry climates. They aren't always appropriate for cold, wet climates because they can crack from severe cold or frost and allow water to seep through. These shingles also must be expertly applied. Professional installation is required. If installed incorrectly, the tiles might not be seated well and again, could cause water damage, or be more likely to fly off in strong winds. These tiles are extremely heavy and need a strong roof surface and supporting joists to withstand the weight of the tiles. Tiles also require a certain roof pitch, they are not ideal for flat roofs. Roofs must be of a 4 in 12 pitch or greater.
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Tile Shingle Ratings
Tile shingles carry a Class A fire rating, which indicate how well the shingles will resist an external fire. (Class A provides the greatest fire resistance.)
Tile shingles will vary substantially in their frost/freeze rating. In part, the makeup of the concrete or clay will affect the overall rating -- the more porous the concrete or tile, the more likely the tile is to observe water and possible break during freezes.
Tile shingles are rated to withstand a 125 mile-per-hour wind-driven rain without leaking.