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Slate & Tile Roofing - The Facts!


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Cement & Clay Tile Roofing:

Available in many different shapes and colors, manufactured from clay or concrete, roofing tiles are increasing in popularity as a finished roofing material throughout North America. They bring a rich, elegant and beautiful aesthetic quality to any property and definitely increase the value of any home. More and more builders are using roofing tiles on new construction to enhance and improve the marketability of the property. A tile roof gives instant credibility to the feeling of quality construction and produces an excellent property eye appeal.

The flexibility and creativity in the manufacturing process as lead to a variety of tile shapes textures, and sizes. Some the more popular designs being, rounded, shingle, shake and slate. The manufacturing processes have been so well refined that in may cases tile roofing does not look like tile at all. Spanish mission, rounded, style tiles are very popular in the southern US states of Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California.

Tile Roofing Drawbacks:

Similar to slate tiles, the primary drawback to concrete or clay tiles are their weight. It is important to verify, with your contractor or a consulting engineer, that the rafters and trusses used to form your roof have the inherent strength to support the load created by clay or concrete tiles. The cost of installing a concrete or clay tile roof is not unlike that of wood shingles. However, tiles have a life expectancy of more than 50 years, are noncombustible, and do not require a lot of maintenance.

When installing any roof the price of the material and installation has to be taken in context with other factors including ongoing maintenance costs, warranty and the value added to the property should you wish to sell. Because it is noncombustible, the concrete or clay tile itself has a Class A fire rating, which provides you and your family with a level of safety that is difficult to put a dollar value to. Some insurance companies will reduce the premium for fire insurance to homes that have clay or concrete tiles installed on their roofs. The installation of concrete or clay tiles should reduce heating and cooling costs, as they are very energy efficient.

Slate Tile:

What is more beautiful or aesthetically pleasing than a natural slate roof? A slate roof is one of the most durable roofing materials available. When properly installed, and maintained, a slate roof will last for hundred's of years. The specific life of a slate roof is dependent upon a lot of variables and it is wise to discuss your requirements with a local professional installer.

Life Variables:

  • type and origin of the slate
  • roof style
  • climate

Another consideration is the weight of slate tile. Many roofs are not structurally designed to handle the load represented by a slate tile installation. Before committing to the installation of a slate roof, ensure that your rafters and/or trusses have been designed and installed to handle the additional weight.

Considered to be the most stylish and sophisticated roofing materials, slate comes in a wide range of colors, textures and quality levels. Because a slate roof installation requires skilled, professional and experienced roofers (actually an expert slate installer is not a roofer, they are stone masons - craftsmen), slate is not an inexpensive roof covering. In addition, because of the products weight special handling equipment is required and freight charges will add to the cost. You can expect to pay in the order of $100 per square foot or a $1,000 per roofing square.

Because of the high investment made in installing a slate roof, they should be inspected yearly and after major storms. Most companies that supply and install slate roofs offer annual service contracts, which include inspections at regular intervals. If properly maintained and cared for slate roofs have an indefinite life.

If you are considering replacing your current roof with a new slate installation, check the reputation of the contractor you are using and make sure that the slate they will install comes from a reputable high quality quarry. The capabilities of the contractor and the quality of the slate will be the biggest factors in determining the longevity of the roof.

Planning and knowledge are the keys to any successful home improvement, remodel or landscaping project!

For additional information on roofing materials for your home or other home improvement projects, including landscaping, visit Renovation Headquarters.


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