The type of material that lasts the longest in is Arizona is—bar none—clay tile. It last 60+ years if you treat it right. It does not burn or rot or heat up much in Arizona’s desert climate. And bugs and rodents don’t chew on it. In extreme cases, clay tile can outlast the building it protects.
Not only do the tiles last forever, their beauty does, too. They usually won’t fade in the sun and can be glazed to hold their color.
Now, we could just end this article right there and break for lunch. But longevity isn’t the only factor you need to look at when buying a roof. The tile portion of a roofing system is not the waterproofing component it is the water shedding component of the system. The underlayment below the tile is what keeps you watertight. That will need to be replaced approximately every 12-18 years depending on the type of underlayment and the manner in which it was installed. This is called a Tile R&R (remove and replace).
We’d like to give you some of the downsides of clay tiles, just so you know all the facts, and give you a tile alternative—just so that you know your options.
Downsides of clay tile roofs
Clay tiles are easier to break—The biggest enemies of clay tiles are tree branches and people. Falling tree branches often make their debut on a tile roof during monsoon season. And people often break clay tiles just walking on them incorrectly.
Heavy— At 800 to 1000 pounds per square (100 sq ft), clay isn’t light. Meaning your home may not be able to handle the load if it was designed for shingles, which are much lighter. Additional bracing may be needed.
Relatively expensive— Clay tile costs $700 to $1000 per square (new roof: $17,500 to $25,000).
Concrete tile: An alternative tile material
Concrete tile, while not as long-lasting as clay, still last a pretty long time—50 to 60 years.
But what it lacks in uber longevity it gets in these advantages:
- Tougher— Concrete can still break, but it can take way more of a beating than clay tile.
- Less expensive (compared to clay) — Generally costs $300 to $600 per square (new roof: $7,500 to $15,000).
Read more in our article: Clay Tile vs. Concrete Tile for Phoenix, Arizona Roofs
Need a tile roof estimate in Arizona?
If you’re considering a new roof for your Phoenix, Arizona home, contact Lyons Roofing to request a free roof estimate.