Tile Roofing Facts

I really like tile roofs, but aren't they expensive?
No. The initial cost of a tile roof is more expensive than wood shake or asphalt shingles, but over the life span of a tile roof, wood shakes and asphalt shingles will need to be replaced 2-3 times. Because concrete tiles last longer than most other roofing materials, the increased value of a tile roof normally exceeds any initial "savings" apparent with cheaper roofing materials. Concrete tiles also cost less than real slate or clay tiles.
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How long do tile roofs really last?
Concrete roofs withstand weather conditions that begin to deteriorate other roofs the day they are installed. Tile can reasonably be expected to outlast the building. Tile roofs in Europe and Asia have been the primary roofing product for hundreds of years, proven to last 50-100 years or more.
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Are roofs available that don't look Spanish?
Yes. Roof tiles come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from authentic Spanish and Mediterranean to random slate and rustic shake designs. The wide range of shapes and colors available make it possible to enjoy all the advantages of a genuine tile roof while maintaining any architectural theme. Vande Hey is often requested to create historical reproduction tile. The flexibility that our manufacturing offers allows duplication of hard to find or discontinued tile.
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Most of the tile roofs I have seen are a reddish orange. Are other colors available?
Yes. There is a wide range of colors, including earth tones to blend with the environment, vivid accent colors, and even white to help reduce summertime cooling bills. We can also match any color you bring to us to accent any part of your home. Sequencing and custom blending created to match the exterior color pallet has become very popular. Vande Hey takes pride in creating an artistic approach complimenting the overall look and feel of the structure our tile is placed on.
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Tiles last a long time, but how long will the color last?
Permanent coloring of roof tiles is achieved by adding pigment to the raw materials, applying a dense color glaze over the surface or through blending various shades of pigment and glazing. Colors achieved by adding pigment will last indefinitely. Varying degrees of color softening may occur after extended exposure to the elements. However, this occurs to a lesser degree in concrete tile than most any other roofing material.
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Can I walk on a tile roof?
Yes, if you are careful and know where to walk. When a great deal of foot traffic is necessary, use roof pads, which you can purchase from Vande Hey Raleigh Manufacturing. Going on a roof is dangerous and we recommend having a professional go on the roof to do the work for you.
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I am a do-it myselfer, can I install my own tile roof?
Sure, if you have construction experience. However, we estimate that over 96% of all tile roofs are installed by professional roofing contractors. A handy person can lay field tile without much trouble. However, installing the underlayment, battens, and flashings for valleys, chimneys, solar panels, skylights and cutting the tiles along hips and valleys is no undertaking for an amateur. A complete installation video is available and is highly recommended for all first time installers. The roof is one of the most important parts of any home or building. A poor installation job can be very expensive in the long run.
What about the insulation value of a tile roof?
The total insulative value of the tiles, decking and the air space between them reduces direct heat transfer caused by the application of other roofing materials. Eliminating heat transfer reduces air conditioning costs in the summer, heating costs in the winter, and ice dams in the winter.
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Won’t my building have to be a lot stronger and more costly to support a tile roof?
Most commercial or quality residential structures require little or no additional bracing. Additional costs, if any, to support tiles are usually an extremely small portion of the total project.
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Are tile roofs fireproof?
Concrete tiles are non-combustible. The complete roof assembly maintains a Class A rating when first installed and throughout its life without periodic treatment. Buildings with Class A rated tile systems are eligible for the lowest fire insurance rates.
What about hail?
There have been cases where the most violent of storms have destroyed all types of roofing material. However, with the more typical storms of 2" diameter hail or less only 10% of the tile were damaged whereas other roofing products require complete replacement. FM Approval has certified our tile as having a Class III hail rating. Here at Vande Hey Raleigh Tile Manufacturing, we also do quarterly testing on traverse strength, absorption, tile dimensions, and freeze/thaw.
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What about maintenance?
All roofing systems require some maintenance. The advantages with tile is that the maintenance is restricted to the gutters, protrusion flashings and venting, not in coating, painting, or cleaning the majority of the roof surface.
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I have heard that it may take several months to get delivery on tile. Is this true?
No. Through technology and plant up grades the lead times have been greatly reduced. While special colors will always require scheduling time, the most popular tiles can generally by shipped promptly.
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