Does Your Concrete or Clay Tile Roof Need Repairing Or Replacing?
Do you have a Concrete or Clay Tile Roof with brittle or rotting tiles or tiles covered in moss and lichen? Or is your Concrete or Clay Tile Roof old and worn and in need of some loving care?
Here we’ve put together an Concrete & Clay Tile Roof Guide to give you more information about these specific roof types …
JP Franklin Roofing Concrete & Clay Tile Roof Guide
A Little Bit of History About Clay and Concrete Tiles
Ancient records indicate that the Chinese were producing glazed clay roofing tiles 5,000 years ago, various patterns of flat earthenware roof tile were used in Greece between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago, and in England the Romans used ‘under and over’ type clay tiles as well as concrete.
General use of clay plain tiles seems to have commenced in the 12th or 13th centuries. After the Great Fire of London in 1666, thatched roofing was no longer allowed in London and clay tiles provided an obvious fireproof alternative. These plain tiles were laid with their side joints butted together. Because water could fall through the side joints of plain tiles, 2 to 3 thicknesses of tiles were used to ensure that they were watertight.
It is thought that the Dutch nation discovered the idea of linking tiles together using an ogee or S-shape, rather than relying on their vertical overlaps to prevent the ingress of water. This new design was effectively a Roman under and an over, joined into one tile. These tiles became known in England as pantiles, believed to be from the Dutch word panne (German pfanne). Pantiles, which actually overlapped each other from side to side, only required 1 to 2 thicknesses at any point.
‘Marseille’ roof tiles (fired clay tiles that interlock) were patented in France in 1874, at the same time as the first clay presses. In Australia and New Zealand Marseilles tiles became popular in the early 1900s because of their ease of fixing and comparative lightness and were eventually manufactured in Australia. Later, similar tiles were made from concrete cast in moulds.
Clay tiles were made in New Zealand from the early 1940s to the late 1950s and continue to be manufactured all over the country.
Recorded commercial production of concrete tiles, using natural cement, commenced in Bavaria around the middle of the 19th century. These early concrete roof tiles were made on hand or semi-hand operated machines.
When concrete tiles were first introduced into the UK in the 1920s, they failed to become popular, but after World War II when the huge rehousing programme was started, and other building materials were in short supply, demand rapidly took off and Britain invested in ever faster and more automated production lines.
Concrete tiles have been manufactured in New Zealand since the 1930s.
Clay and Concrete Tile Materials
Clay tiles are produced by baking molded clay. The density of the clay is determined by the length of time and temperature at which it is heated. New Zealand tiles are generally formed of local terracotta clays, fired with a clear or coloured glaze on the outer surface for weather protection and left unglazed on the lower surface. The purpose for not glazing the lower surface is so to allow the tile to breathe. Colours of clay tiles range from shades of white, yellow, orange and brown.
In general the tiles are made of a coarse cement/aggregate mix with a slurry finish. The slurry was usually a mixture of cement, sand, silica, and coloured ochre. Depending upon the manufacturer, the cement mix may be compacted or gravity fed, air or force dried.
Concrete tiles are manufactured from sand, cement and water which are molded under heat and high pressure. The exposed surface of a tile may be finished with a paint like material. Concrete tiles have additional water locks, or interlocking ribs on the edges that prevent water infiltration.
Different Varieties of Clay and Concrete Tiles
While clay tiles have a limited variety of colours and profiles, modern mixing methods allow concrete tiles to be manufactured to fit so many style and colour requirements that it can sometimes be difficult to choose!
Far from looking like gritty grey slabs of cement, these days concrete tiles can simulate the appearance of traditional clay tiles, wood shake, slate, and stone. Like clay, concrete tile surfaces can be textured or smooth, and tile edges can be ragged or uniform.
Concrete tiles come in three main appearances:
- Flat profile – no curves.
- Low Profile – small curves and has a rise to width ratio equal to 1:5 or less.
- High Profile: large curves and has a rise to width ratio greater than 1:5.
How Much Do Clay and Concrete Tile Roofs Cost?
Clay and concrete tiles can both be expensive in comparison to a lot of other roofing choices, but the many benefits and long lifespan make these a great investment for those wanting unique style and authenticity. Concrete Tiles are about 20-30% cheaper than Clay Tiles.
How Long Do Clay and Concrete Tile Roofs Last?
Concrete tiles should protect your roof for 50 years plus and Clay tiles can last for as long as 100 years.
Benefits of Clay and Concrete Tile Roofs
- Resistant to strong winds
- Cost-effective in relation to their performance levels
- Will not rust, warp, or corrode (ideal for coastal locations)
- High thermal and acoustic insulation factor
- Environmentally friendly
- Long lifespan
- Concrete can mimic the aesthetic appeal of clay and slate
- Concrete tiles are impervious to frost or ice
- Clay is very low maintenance
Common Issues with Clay and Concrete Tile Roofs
- Can be brittle and can be prone to breakage
- Rotting – where roofs cavities are susceptible to condensation, the tile can ‘rot’ and become brittle underneath. The tile may, from the outer surface, appear to be in good condition.
- Moss and Lichen growth – this can damage the outer glaze and, left unattended, has been known to eat completely through clay tiles. If caught early, the use of a silicon solution may help temporarily, but ultimately the tile will need to be replaced.
- Weight – reinforced framing will be required to ensure the structure can bear the extra weight of concrete tiles
- Appearance – colours can fade when exposed to harsh weather conditions
- Repair difficulties – due to the weight and the need to colour match perhaps faded tiles.
- Moss – due to the higher rate of water absorption. This can be avoided by adding an extra coating.
Let Us Help You With Your Concrete & Clay Tile Roof Needs
Contact us at JP Franklin Roofing on 0800 456888 (or complete the form below) for professional advice and/or a competitive quote for your Concrete or Clay Roof installation, maintenance, repairs, or replacement. We provide top quality craftsmanship at affordable prices.