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Concrete vs clay roof tiles

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Zara, Staff Writer

Thursday, 22 April 2021

When it comes to replacing your roof or indeed building one from scratch, the material you choose will be crucial to the finished outcome. 

Naturally, a roof needs to be durable and able to withstand the weather that will be thrown at it throughout its life. 

Two of the most popular material options for a traditional pitched roof is concrete or clay tiles. But which one is right for your property? Here’s the lowdown. 

Concrete roof tiles

Concrete roof tiles are made using a combination of cement, sand and water. As a newer roof material, the popularity of concrete over clay is due to the reduced expense, as concrete roof tiles can be anywhere between 20% and 50% cheaper than clay roof tiles. 

Versatility is another great aspect of concrete tiles. They are available in a wide range of styles and colours, allowing you to customise the look of your property with ease. 

When it comes to weight, concrete tiles are much heavier than clay roof tiles. This means the supporting structure needs to be able to hold the weight of the concrete. In some instances, this may mean concrete isn’t suitable for your particular roof unless it can be reinforced. 

Concrete roof tiles are also not as windproof as clay roof tiles. That said, concrete roofs can last anywhere from 30 to 60 years so they will provide years of protection from the elements. 

Clay roof tiles

Clay roof tiles have been around for centuries. As with anything that’s stood the test of time, there has to be a good reason why it continues to be used even in modern design. In this case, it’s because clay roof tiles are incredibly resistant to hail, wind, U.V damage and even fire, offering excellent longevity and durability. 

Also, clay tiles are not prone to the rot and mould that is commonly seen in more inferior roofing materials. Clay tiles don’t soak up nearly as much water meaning they are especially ideal for wetter climates. 

A clay roof that has been installed to the highest standard (including using copper flashing) and is well maintained can last a lifetime. So, if you want a roof that won’t need to be ripped off again anytime soon, clay is definitely it. Of course, this does mean that a clay roof is going to be more expensive to install.

Clay is not as easy to customise in terms of colour or style. True clay tiles are baked in a kiln and have a specific look to them. So you need to be sure the aesthetic will fit with your property and the wider area, especially if you own a terraced home and your neighbours have a slate or concrete roof. 

Need any further help?

Unlike painting a wall, installing a roof isn’t something that can be easily changed, therefore you need to make sure you get your roof choices right the first time. 

Every property will have a different style of roof that may make one material more suited than another. That’s why as part of your research, consulting a professional Roofer is the best port of call. They’ll inspect your current roof and advise you based on your property needs and budget. 

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