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If you have lived in Southern California for any amount of time, you have probably noticed the abundance of clay tile roofs. They come in many styles and offer an attractive option for homeowners. 

GreenCal Construction can help you understand if clay tile roofing is right for your Southern California home. With 20 years experience installing, repairing and maintaining roofs, we are trusted by hundreds of commercial and residential roofing customers.

Here we discuss the different types of clay tile roofing options as well as the advantages and disadvantages of clay tile roofs.

What are the different types of Clay Tile Roofing options?

First, let’s look at four clay tile roof types: 

  • Mission style: These tiles have a distinctive barrel shape, with a cover and pan overlapping.
  • Spanish style: Also rounded in shape, this style has more of an “S” look, with its own cove and pan to the left of each tile.
  • French style: French tiles have a less deeply rounded shape, interlock on all sides, and have deep grooves that allow for water to drain easily. 
  • Interlocking shingle: These flat shingles create a more minimalist look. They are more lightweight than some of the other styles.

The next thing to consider when deciding if clay tile roof installation is a good idea for your Southern California home is understanding the difference between concrete and clay tiles.

Concrete tiles are less expensive than clay. However, clay requires significantly less maintenance and lasts much longer than concrete. The average life of a concrete tile roof is 30-50 years. A clay tile roof can last 100 years or more. 

Finally, let’s take a look at the Advantages and Disadvantages of Clay Tile Roofing

Advantages of Clay Tile Roofing

  • Long-lasting: Tile roofs, when installed correctly, can last up to 100 years. It is the only roof you will ever need to put on your home. 
  • Environmentally friendly: Clay is a natural material, made from earth minerals. They can be crushed and completely recycled at the end of their life span.
  • Energy efficient: Clay tiles have a high thermal mass, which helps regulate temperature in your home. This leads to lower heat and colling costs. 
  • Low maintenance: The upkeep on clay tiles is minimal. There are rarely leaks or damage due to rot or insects. 
  • Disadvantages of Clay Tile Roofing
    • High cost: A clay tile roof typically costs two to three times more than an asphalt tile roof. Clay tiles average $675 to $1,400 per 100 SF of roof area. 
    • Difficult installation: Clay tiles require a certain level of expertise and experience to install correctly. Tiles must be laid in a certain pattern and fit in a way that keeps moisture out. Not all roofing companies have the experience to do it correctly. The experts at GreenCal Construction are trained and experienced in this type of roof installation.
    • Heavyweight: Clay tiles are up to three times heavier than asphalt shingles. You will need an experienced roofing contractor to ensure your home can handle the extra weight. 
    • Tiles are brittle: Clay can break if it experiences impact from tree branches of other objects. Being walked on can also cause breakage, which can make repairs more expensive.
    • Not suitable for all roof slopes: Clay tile only works on roofs with a pitch of 4:12 or greater.  

Investing in a new clay tile roof is a big decision, and finding the right contractor is key. Make an informed decision with these questions to ask a residential roofing contractor

Our team at GreenCal Construction would be happy to help you decide if clay tile is the right solution for you. Contact us for a free consultation today. 

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