Concrete roof tiles have remained popular since World War II, particularly due to their ease of manufacturing and low cost. Homeowners think they’re a durable, versatile alternative to conventional roofing materials like traditional clay roof tiles or asphalt shingles. Many homes in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area have tile roofs, some of which are concrete.
However, concrete roofing does suffer from several drawbacks that make us reluctant to recommend them to our customers. To find out our top roofing recommendations, give Gotcha Covered Contractors a call at (724) 581-8147 today. We offer concrete roof repair and replacement services throughout Pittsburgh, PA.
Common Concrete Roof Tile Concerns
Weight of Concrete Tiles
Concrete tiles are significantly heavier than almost any other roofing material (other than slate). In general, concrete tiles will weigh around 1,000 pounds per 100 square feet, which puts a lot of pressure on your roofing structure. While you can reinforce your home’s structural integrity, it can add a lot of extra money and time to your roof installation for minimal benefit.
Appearance Over Time
Concrete roofs are particularly susceptible to weathering. It’s no secrete that the Pittsburgh area gets plenty or rain and snow! While you can get concrete roof tiles in a wide array of colors and styles, these will fade in a couple of years, dramatically impacting your home’s curb appeal. While you can repaint your tiles, it adds an extra layer of maintenance and cost to an already expensive and high-maintenance roof.
A major headache for many homeowners with concrete roof tiles is that they tend to accumulate a lot of mildew and moss between the tiles, especially in humid climates. Not only does this look unsightly, but it also means that the tiles lift off from the roof, requiring replacing or repair. Most homeowners can expect to pressure-wash their roof at least once a year to keep the moss problem at bay.
Concrete Roof Tile Maintenance
Concrete tiles are designed to handle most harsh weather conditions, but they tend to do quite badly against hail, falling branches, and strong winds. We always recommend that homeowner check their roofs after heavy weather, but this is doubly true for concrete roofs. Due to concrete’s porous nature, it requires more maintenance than other similar roofing materials like traditional clay tiles or asphalt shingles.
It’s important to note that the average lifespan of a concrete roof is around 50 years, which is significantly longer than asphalt shingles. However, it requires a lot of maintenance to reach that limit, and lack of maintenance will result in a roof that looks ugly and performs badly well within its 50-year lifespan.
Most manufacturers also recommend replacing a concrete roof underlayment every 20 years, despite the concrete roof having a much longer lifespan. Replacing the underlayment will add extra maintenance costs and can be frustrating if you’re living in your forever home.
A concrete roof requires extensive sealing to prevent water absorption. Concrete is a porous material, which means that it won’t shed water but will absorb it instead. Poorly sealed concrete tiles will even absorb moisture from damp air, which can lead to numerous issues.
Waterlogged concrete tiles are a haven for moss and mildew growth. Water can also damage the roof’s structural integrity and cause the tiles to deteriorate, leading to a leaky and potentially dangerous roof.
An even larger problem with water absorption is that it makes the already heavy tiles even heavier. Concrete can absorb large amounts of water, which will add significant weight to your roofing structure. If your roof was already taking strain from the weight of concrete tiles, this additional weight could cause major structural issues that are expensive and time-consuming to fix.
At Gotcha Covered Contracting, we want our customers to be completely satisfied with our work, now and for decades to come. If you want alternatives to concrete roof, or want more information about what roofing material is suitable for your property, give us a call at (724) 581-8147. We’re passionate about roofing, and we’ll help you pick the right roofing materials to meet your needs and budget.