Clay Roof Tiles

Clay tile roofs are an iconic symbol within the southwest, all the more so in Southern California.  The curves of the red clay are so aesthetically pleasing that companies have even made sheets of recycled rubber with a clay-red coating on top of it !  But we’re getting a bit ahead of this tale.  Clay roofing has been around for a very long time — at least 2000 years!

Clay roof tiles are made durable by being “fired” in a kiln.  The design of a clay roofing tile inherently includes their ability to interlock, and a channel to direct rain towards the gutters.  These two important functional aspects are essential to the longevity of your roof.  To gain consistency, they are formed in molds, then fired as one might fire pottery, then glazed and fired again.  The glaze can have protective properties or simply change the color and seal the tile.  In any event, the lifespan of a clay roof tile is generally at least a century, making a clay tile installation the last roof your home will ever need.

There is one catch: The tiles made for the warmer Mediterranean climates found in Southern California cannot withstand the cold harsh winters found further north.  There are other tiles made (Grade 1) for places that have ice and snow, and some (Grade 2) designed to withstand some brief freezes.  Since the costs increase, and weight may be a factor, you will want to consult with a roofing professional before selecting the right grade for your home.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular type of roofing material in the United States.  Initially gaining popularity in the 1940’s, advances in the technologies and compositions of the materials used in these shingles have brought them to be some of the most cost-effective, attractive and reliable roof protection on the market.  Made of a composition of asphalt, fiberglass matt material and colored grit, these shingles are extremely durable, leading manufacturers to offer 20 or more years’ guarantee.

Another factor contributing to their popularity is the wide variety of colors available.  Though there are basically just two styles (Three-Tab and Architectural) they are manufactured in dozens of colors and shades, from brilliant white to pitch black, and most every shade and color between.  Each manufacturer has its own set of colors, allowing the homeowner to choose from a sample chart right there in their home.

In order to keep the color consistent throughout the roof, it is important that all the shingles come from the same batch number, (which is printed on each bundle.)  It’s wise to keep at least a bundle or two of shingles from the same batch, so that if a roofer needs to repair your shingles at some later date, you will have shingles that are the same color as your roof began with.

Asphalt shingle roofing has made quality roofing affordable for most every homeowner.  Both protective and attractive, it is likely to continue to be the standard in home construction for a very long time.