Roof Maintenance FAQs: Concrete Tiles

Quick Facts About Concrete Roofing

Concrete roofing is an increasingly popular material for residential homeowners. Made from a mineral-based mixture of cement, sand, and water, tiles are molded and fired at high heat. They come in a wide variety of colors, are known for their durability and their unique appearance, and are pest and fire-resistant. Concrete roof tiles also come in a variety of shapes and styles. Some mimic the look of clay tiles, while others look flatter, squared, or have unique shapes.

How Long Do Concrete Roof Tiles Last?

Like slate and clay tile roofing, concrete roofing can last for over 50 years. Concrete roofing offers incredible value compared to an average asphalt roof, which lasts for around 20 years. Though the initial cost of materials and installation is significantly higher than asphalt roofing because it lasts for so long, it may cost less over time.

Other benefits of concrete roofing include:

  • Great energy efficiency
  • Easy maintenance
  • Durable and weather resistant
  • Can withstand extreme heat
  • Non-toxic and environmentally sustainable

If you are in your forever home and plan to be there for decades, it may be worth considering concrete roofing the next time you need to replace your roof.

Should I Be Worried About the Weight of Concrete Roofing?

One concern many homeowners have when considering concrete roofing is the weight. And it is true that concrete roofing, like slate and clay tiles, can be incredibly heavy. However, that weight is, in part, why concrete tiles are so durable. The weight and density of concrete also help contribute to the overall energy efficiency of concrete roofing. However, when choosing this type of roofing, it is important to confirm that your roof’s structure can handle it.

If weight is an issue, but you still want to take advantage of the benefits associated with concrete roofing, you do have the option of selecting lightweight concrete roof tiles. These tiles are manufactured specifically to weigh less than conventional concrete roofing. Typically, lightweight concrete roofing has a mixture of clay and slate added into the concrete mix. The clay and slate/shale mixture is fired at a high temperature for a longer period, making the mixture more porous. When added to the concrete mix, this more porous material reduces the overall weight of the tile.

Lightweight concrete roofing is almost as durable as traditional concrete roofing, and if it is well-taken care of, it can last just as long.

How To Care for a Concrete Roof

As previously mentioned, with proper care, you can expect your concrete roof to last for half a century or more. But how do you care for concrete roofing tiles? We have good news! Caring for your concrete roof is no more complicated than caring for an asphalt shingle or clay tile roof.

Tips for maintaining your concrete roof:

  • Schedule annual inspections and maintenance, even if you think your roof is in good shape
  • Make sure you have an adequate, working drainage system
  • Visually inspect your roof every month or after major weather events
  • Don’t forget to inspect your attic or crawlspace for signs of leaks or other issues
  • Ensure your roof is appropriately ventilated to avoid superheating during the summer
  • When you uncover a problem, make repairs as quickly as possible to ensure that your roof doesn’t sustain any further damage

While maintenance of your concrete roof is very similar to an asphalt roof, it’s important to remember that, much like clay tiles, concrete tiles are more prone to cracking and breaking. This is something you should look out for when performing visual inspections. It also means you want to avoid walking on your roof as much as possible.

If you ever need work done on your roof, hire a professional roofer like Lyons Roofing who is experienced in and familiar with maintaining concrete roof tiles.

Cleaning Concrete Roofing

One of the main concerns regarding concrete tiles is algae and moss growth. Unfortunately, algae and moss can cause your concrete roof tiles to disintegrate. Over time, this compromises the structural integrity of your roof. Therefore, if you see signs of moss or algae growing on your roof, you should have your roof cleaned.

You will see online that the best way to remove algae or moss is to pressure wash your roof. We do not recommend that you attempt this on your own. While it is important to keep your roof clean, too much pressure can do as much, if not more, damage than the moss. Therefore, pressure washing of a roof should always be done by a professional roofer to ensure that you do not damage your roof in the process.

Things you can do to keep your roof clean:

  • Keep your roof free of debris
  • Make sure your roof drainage system is cleaned out
  • Keep trees and other plants pruned to prevent excessive leaves and branches piling up on your roof

Are you interested in installing a concrete tile roof on your Arizona home? Call Lyons Roofing for guidance.