How Long Do Tile Roofs Last?

Drive down just about any street in the Southwest and you will likely see tile roofs dotting the landscape. Even many commercial buildings will incorporate tile into the architecture. One of the many reasons why tile roofing is so popular is its longevity, which can outlast many alternatives.

If installed correctly the first time and maintained regularly, a tile roof can last decades, perhaps up to 50 years. This is especially true if the original material was of a high quality. From cement to terracotta to slate to synthetized materials, tiling truly is the way to go if you want your roof to last and last.

Why do tile rooftops have such longevity?

  1. Damage resistance: Many roofs run into trouble when debris crashes against it, scraping up bits and pieces here and there. In Arizona, monsoon season can bring monstrous winds that toss branches, debris, and small stones up into the air. A good tile roof can take the nicks and blows in stride, hardly showing any damage or wear where a roof of another substance might have failed.
  2. Fire resistance: In addition to resisting scratching, tile can resist scathing heat. Fire resistant tiles can be a godsend in crowded neighborhoods, where one building fire might throw flames onto adjacent structures. This high heat resistance also means that tile can either bounce heat away from your home or absorb it so all the warmth of the day stays up there, rather than soaking down into the structure; either way, a tile roof can help you keep cool during the hottest summer days of Arizona.

Underlying Problems with Felt

Proper maintenance can make your tile roof last longer than most relationships, but there could be trouble just beneath the surface. Felt underlayment generally wears down much faster than the tile above it, requiring repair or replacement about once every 20 to 30 years – that is still a long time but not as long as 50 years. There is also the possibility of moisture getting trapped in between the tiling and felt underlayment, leading to mildew or mold problems.

Discontinued Shingles & Recalls

One problem that some homeowners can encounter is caused by defective or discontinued shingles. Product recalls happen all the time, and sometimes they affect tiles, believe it or not. You could feasibly get your structure set up with a new tile roof, feel confident that you won’t have troubles for decades to come, only to find out a couple years later that there is something wrong with the tiling.

Rather than resting on your laurels and assuming your tile roof is invincible, you should still conduct fairly frequent checks. Remember that walking on tiling incorrectly can crack it under your weight. If you aren’t sure how to inspect your roof safely, or just don’t feel like doing it, Lyon Roofing is here to help. Our roofers in Tucson and Phoenix have been called “King of the Rooftops” since we first opened our doors in 1993. Contact us today for more information about how to service, install, or replace your tile roof.